Match Report – Birtley Town 0 – 4 Esh Winning – 27/10/18 – League

The first snow of the season greeted us this morning, fortunately the afternoon was brighter and by the looks of it no snow was seen in Birtey at all! We arrived at a ground much improved from the last visit and a decent crowd in attendance, including some familiar faces now playing for Birtley.

The first 30 minutes was a turgid affair, the best chance for Esh coming in the way of a Callum Boakes long shot, and a few dangerous crosses from the Stags. The final ball just lacking the required quality unfortunately. Birtleys best chance of the half, if not the game came from a corner. Nicholas Hay out jumping the defenders to meet the ball with a powerful header, Reece Brown perfectly positioned on the line prevents Birtley gaining the lead with an excellent block and clearance.

Esh finishing the half stronger saw a long ball from Callum Boakes bounce invitingly to Joe Mole. Mole lifted the ball up and over the onrushing Jordan Bolton, the ball bouncing agonisingly wide of the upright.

43′ Goal – Birtley 0 – 1 (Nick Marley) Esh Winning

Despite the match being a disappointing affair, Esh controlled the half, and a goal just before half time was a deserved one. Good work from Max Stoker saw Callum Boakes pick the ball up on the left wing, skipping past a tackle from Martin Guy he put a low cross into the box. Nick Marley charging in met the cross with a right foot guiding the ball in to the goal to give the Stags the lead.

HT: Birtley 0 – 1 Esh Winning

Birtley generated their first and only real chance of the second half following a nice lay off from Joseph Barwick setting up substitute Anthony Smith who could only power a shot down to Tom Orton’s right, Orton up to the task made a smart save down low.

59′ Goal – Birtley 0 -2 (Max Stoker) Esh Winning

A quick free kick from Callum Boakes saw the ball bounce on the edge of the Birtley area, with no defender around Max Stoker had the task of beating the keeper to the bouncing ball. Making no mistake he rose to glance the ball into the gaping net giving the buffer and confidence his team needed.

For the next half an hour there was a few dangerous looking corners from Birtley and controlled play in the middle from Esh, but the game looked to be petering out to its conclusion, Nick Marley smashing the ball straight at the keeper after a powerful run (Pictured below) in the 90th minute being the best chance, before the game kicked back into life.


90+2 Goal – Birtley 0 – 3 (Sam Steele) Esh Winning

With the clock looking like it was being run down professionally by the Esh Winning team, it came as a massive surprise to everyone in the ground when Sam Steele, powered up the field from right back. Find himself at the edge of the box with time, he cut back on to his right foot and powered the ball past Bolton in the Birtley goal to score a well deserved goal in what was, in my opinion, a man of the match performance from him.


90+4 Goal – Birtley 0 – 4 (Daniel Kent) Esh Winning

Not finished yet, the Stags went hunting the ball right from the kick off. With the left back in possession it did look like a foul from the Esh player as the ball fell to Daniel Kent, with the Birtley defence stopped and the keeper in no mans land Kent marked his return to the club with a shot that hit the underside of the bar before settling just over the line to finish the game with a bang for the Stags. In the aftermath of the goal Mark Pattison saw red for dissent to compound things for Birtley

Whilst 4-0 flattered the Stags it was, without doubt, a well deserved, professional, victory that got us back to winning ways. With a midweek cup game away at Willington before a return to league action, Esh will be looking to maintain the momentum.

Esh XI: Orton, Steele (g), Brown (y), Stoker (c)(g), Summerson, Swift, Redman (y) (Kent ’57 (g)), Mitchell, Marley (g), Boakes (Fisher 81′)Mole (Hailes 70)

Unused Subs: Hendix, Moncur

Birtley XI: Bolton, Guy, Pattison, Allsopp (c), Soulsby, Hay, Tanoh, Honour, Barwick, McEwan, Williamson

Subs: Graver, Fenwick, Smith, Hill, Dodds

Referee: D. Watson

Assistants: L. Brown, D. Hall

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding


All Views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club.





Match Report – Esh Winning 1 – 2 Jarrow FC – 15.08.18

Off the back of two solid results against Durham City & Tow Law the Stags were forced to make several changes to key players; injuries, holidays & work schedules resulting in a youthful looking side.

The game started with the youthful exuberance of the Esh front three getting the better of Jarrow with some quick interlinking play. The first chance falling to the dangerous looking Jayven Redman who hit a half volley from the corner of the area, testing English in the Jarrow goal.

It was more good work from Redman reacting to a deep cross and forcing the ball towards goal, the scramble fell to Reece Brown some 30 yards out, with English out of his goal. Brown strikes the ball hard just going over an open goal by a few inches.

Jarrow started to dominate the game after 10 minutes, Steven Graham flashing wide from 20 yards and a superb double save from Heiniger in the Esh goal. Saving first from Hargrave before getting up sharply to deny Higham with the snap shot. The resulting corner not being dealt with by the defence left Aidan McGee with a free header, looking like he was wheeling away to celebrate Heiniger pulled out a superb save to tip around the post to ensure the stalemate continued.

27′ Goal Esh Winning 1 (R. Brown) – 0 Jarrow FC

Unlike recent matches it was The Stags turn to strike against the run of play, a harmless looking punt up field looked like it was to be shepperded out by McGee, Jayven Redman having different ideas harrassed the defender and expertly nicked it off him on the byline. Looking up he played the ball to an umarked Reece Brown, who used his favoured left foot to sweep the ball into the top corner of the goal, English getting the barest of touches on it to send it in off the inside of the post to give the Stags the lead.

The goal seemed to give Esh the control over the game they lacked earlier on, dominating the rest of the half with good chances coming and going for Brown, Redman and Max Stoker hammering the ball into the post with the whole ground expecting the net to ripple.

Jarrow had an absolute gilt edged chance on the stroke of half time falling to Hargrave who 10 yards out shanked his shot out for a throw in.

HT: Esh Winning 1 – 0 Jarrow

47′ Goal  – Esh Winning 1 – 1 (Mellish) Jarrow FC

A slow start from the Stags saw Jarrow force a corner, the ball being whipped in saw an unmarked Jordan Mellish make no mistake and level the game up

48′ Esh Winning 1 – 2 (Higham) Jarrow FC

I mentioned a slow start, well the whole game turned on its head whilst the Esh lads were getting back up to speed, a ball from the left wing split keeper and defence to leave Jonathan Higham the simplest task of nodding the ball into the net to put Jarrow into the lead

The game descended into a poor poor spectacle both teams being unable to string a few passes together and making it a dour second half. The only chance a long range effort by Callum Boakes that looked more dangerous than it was with English simply plucking the ball out of the air

One final chance to Esh in the 94th minute saw a dangerous cross reach the head of Boakes 12 yards out, stood right behind him it looked for all the world to have stolen a point for the stags, until a superb save by English secured the win for Jarrow.

EWFC XI: Heiniger, Mordue, Young, M. Stoker (c), Blackbourne, Summerson, McKellar, Mitchell (Halpin ’51), Swift, Redman, Brown (g)(Boakes ’46)

Unused Subs: D. Johnson, S. Johnson, K. Stoker

Referee: G. Sloanes

Assistants: J.Harkess, C.Stores

Attendance: 63

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding

All views are my own and do not neccisarily represent those of the club


Match Report – Esh Winning 4 – 4 Billingham Town – 25.8.18

A lovely sunny afternoon greeted a good travelling support from the league leaders as Esh looked to rebound from a disappointing draw against Bedlington Terriers on Wednesday night.

Esh got off to an unfortunate start with the third keeper in a week picking up an injury, this time Kieran Stoker being unable to start in goal and being replaced by Richie Heiniger back in the squad after his own injury problems last Saturday.

4′ Goal – Esh Winning 1 (Kane) – 0 Billingham Town

Esh Winning got off to a dream start after a period of possession forced the corner, from the left hand side of the pitch Reece Brown hit an outswinger into the box, the ball eventually falling to Leon Kane on his first start for the club, who rifled a left footed half volley from 8 yards into the net leaving Jack Patton with no chance.

6′ Goal – Esh Winning 1 – 1 (Hutchinson) Billingham Town

With a sense of de ja vu after last Wednesday Esh failed to reorganise after the goal and conceded soon after. This time a poor goal kick was straight into the path of Craig Hutchinson who beat Sean Johnson for pace, a player who has a reputation as a superb goal scorer at this level and who was never going to give up the opportunity. He slid the ball to Heinigers left and into the net just inside the post.

With the game opening up the next chance fell to Esh, striker Connor Halpin gambling on a long ball with Town’s big centre Half Stephen Oakley coming together with keeper Patton, Halpin wins the gamble and swivels and shoots just wide of the upright from 18 yards.

Billingham Town whilst having a lot of the possession failed to capitalise, their only attempt of note coming on the 26th minute with Hutchinson hitting a long range effort, unfortunately for him it was right down the throat of the Esh keeper.

A calamitous moment nearly gifted Esh the lead on the 31st minute, with Town expecting the long throw from Kane he elected to play the ball short to Tom Young. Young hitting a high cross towards the goal line, Connor Halpin again gambling on a mistake being made forced Jack Patton into spilling the ball just 3 yards out from his goal. With the ball bouncing towards the empty goal Patton reacts just in time to stop the ball dead on the goal line, the linesman making the correct decision and not awarding the goal.

34′ Goal – Esh Winning 1 – 2 (Hutchinson) Billingham Town

A move that started with a ball into Jamie Davies who looked in an offside position was played back into the midfield. The ball eventually being sprayed back to Davies, he beats his man and puts in a superb cross to Craig Hutchinson who makes no mistake and puts Town into the lead

A period of Town domination for the next five minutes saw Davies flash wide from 20 yards and Hutchinson spurn two good chances for his third. The latter chance resulted in a counter attack from Esh, the ball played into Jayven Redman who drew the foul from the Town defender.

39′ Goal – Esh Winning 2 (Halpin) – 2 Billingham Town

The free kick was awarded just inside the Town half. Mykel Summerson on duty sends a teasing long ball bouncing just 5 yards outside the area, with the race on between Jack Patton, Stephen Oakley and Connor Halpin, it was the Esh man who nipped in their first to glance a header past the advancing keeper and into the empty net restoring parity in a fantastic first half.


The last chance of the half also fell to Halpin, after another long ball from Summerson. Oakley who failed to get any distance on his header. Connor Halpin lurking 30 yards outside the area hit an acrobatic effort towards the goal, for all the world looking like a shoe in for goal of the season, Jack Patton somehow managing to tip the ball over the bar denying an absolute cracker.

HT: Esh Winning 2 – 2 Billingham Town

The fist 15 minutes of the half passed without much incident the only effort of note from Jayden Redman who hit a long range effort just an inch over the bar. The last 30 minutes of the half was a totally different affair!

64′ Goal – Esh Winning 2 – 3 (R. Keeney) Billingham Town

A long ball forward found Hutchinson, his deft flick around Sean Johnson released Reece Keeney, the substitutes pace beat Johnson and Swift before slotting the ball low to Heinigers left in a calm finish.

72′ Goal – Esh Winning 2 – 4 (Arthur Connelly) Billingham Town

Another long ball caught the Esh defence goal and saw Arthur Connelly burst onto it on the left wing, just in line with the penalty area and about 10 yards from the goal line, he attempts a cross with no one in the box. Slightly miss-hitting his cross he somehow manages to loop the ball up and over a stranded Heiniger and into the goal for what looked like the winning goal.

74′ Goal – Esh Winning 3 (Fortune) – 4 Billingham Town

With the next goal crucial it was a turning point in the game when an innocuous shot from 18 yards from Scott Arnott was fumbled by Jack Patton right into the path of John Fortune, making no mistake from point blank range for his first for the club.

77′ Goal – Esh Winning 4 (M. Stoker) – 4 Billingham Town

Out of nowhere Esh found themselves back on level terms, a break down in the attack was only partially cleared by the Town defence. Max Stoker full of confidence after his superb strike on Wednesday found himself 25 yards out, he hits a rocket of a shot that never got above a foot off the ground Jack Patton could only watch on as it crashed into the inside of his net ending a mad 5 minutes in the game.

With the game opening up there was still time for a chance apiece, Esh’s falling to Halpin who hit a long range effort that Patton, still shaken after the two goals, nearly flapped into his net, fortunately for him managing to secure the ball on the second attempt.

The last and best chance of the final throws of the game fell to Billingham Town, a long ball causing a defensive mix up leaving Heiniger exposed and attempting to close down the angle to Craig Hutchinson. Hutchinson winning the ball Heiniger does well to both force him wide and not bring him down at the same time. Hutchinson cutting back on his left hit an effort that the keeper does well to palm up in the air, looking like it was dropping into the net it fell to Sean Johnson to clear the ball off the line with a calm header.

What I have missed out in the match report is quite how good a game this was, both teams happy to fly into a tackle and Esh certainly making their opponents work hard to show their ability. If Wednesday felt like two points lost, this was certainly a point well earned and gained.

EWFC XI: Heiniger, Young, Johnson, Stoker (c)(y)(g), G. Brown (y)(Swift 56′), Kane (g) (Arnott 56′) Redman (Stewart 70′), Summerson, Halpin (g), Fortune (g), R. Brown (y)

Unused: K.Stoker, Valente

Referee: D. Ranson

Assistants: K. McCord, D. Van Hymes

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding

Attendance: 83

All views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club

Match Report – Esh Winning 3 – 3 Bedlington Terriers – 22.8.18

A warm evening greeted the first home game of the season. The two teams knew each other well, looking through the team sheet it was noted that 8 of the Bedlington players had at some point seen action for Esh Winning in the past.

The first few minutes where dominated by Esh, good possession ultimately ending in a disappointing final ball, or well swept up by the Terriers defence.

5′ Goal – Esh Winning 1 (Boakes) – 0 Bedlington Terriers

A long ball forward was ineffectively cleared by the Terriers defence, falling to Callum Boakes some 30 yards out, hitting the ball first time it looked in from the moment it left his foot. The keeper only able to watch it over his head and into the top corner gave the Stags a deserved early lead.

With the chances flowing it looked like Esh would romp away with the game, the most notable a free header from 6 yards out from Nick Marley, after a dangerous corner from Jayven Redman, crashing into the bar with the keeper stranded.

10′ Goal Esh Winning 1 – 1 (Young) Bedlington Terriers

With Esh looking huge favourites to score next it took a defensive mixup between keeper Fish and captain Stoker with the latter giving possession up in a dangerous area. The ball found its way out to Andrew Hall who squared it to an unmarked Stephen Young, who rolled the ball into the empty goal to draw the game level.

With The Stags still in control despite the equaliser another long range shot from Boakes stung the hands of the keeper as he tipped it over the bar, the resulting corner causing mayhem in the box with the ball eventually being flashed wide by Halpin.

Another dangerous corner from Redman found Marley in the area, a powerful effort well saved by the keeper. Bedlington starting to gain a foothold in the game towards the last 10 minutes of the half forcing a couple of corners that amounted to nothing.

36′ Goal Esh Winning 1 – 2 (Hall) Bedlington Terriers

A contentious goal saw the Terriers take the lead. From the corner Mark Fish in the Esh goal came out to claim the catch, after being knocked in the process by a Terriers player, something that 9 times out of 10 is given as a foul. He lands and his knee buckled underneath him, he later describes the feeling as the knee momentarily popping out of its socket, before spilling the ball and letting out screams that can be heard around the entirety of the ground. The referee not only missing the foul, then fails to stop the game, with the stricken keeper on the floor Terriers player Andrew Hall, rolls the ball into the net. The next 5 minutes saw treatment issued to Fish before being replaced by debutant keeper Kieran Stoker.

With the goal yet again kick starting the Stags into action, a good run forward by Reece Brown ended with a clumsy tackle a foot inside the area. The referee some way behind play gave the decision as a free kick on the edge of the box much to the amusement of the Bedlington Keeper who openly admitted, after play had restarted obviously, that it was well inside the box. A poor decision by a referee who appeared to be having a rough evening. The free kick amounting to nothing.

Just before the half time whistle Kieran Stoker made his first contribution in the Esh jersey as he made a decent save from Sherlock to gain the confidence of his defence.

HT: Esh Winning 1 – 2 Bedlington Terriers

47′ Goal – Esh Winning 2 (M. Stoker) – 2 Bedlington Terriers

With the stags looking to kick on and regain control of the game it looked only a matter of time before an equaliser. That came courtesy of a 30 yard half volley from Max Stoker up from the back, the keeper again rooted to the spot as the ball fired over his head and into the goal for another goal of the season candidate in the same game.

Terriers suddenly coming to life after the goal, Kieran Stoker made two good saves from Sherlock, one at his feet and one for the cameras flying to his right to tip the ball around the post.

59′ Goal – Esh Winning 3 (R. Brown) – 2 Bedlington Terriers

Despite the two goals being superb long range efforts, this was my goal of the game, lovely free flowing football involving 6 Esh Winning players resulted in a wide ball played into the path of Nick Marley who gave the keeper the eyes before electing to roll the ball to his left to Reece Brown, who made no mistake and slotted the ball into the net to take Esh back into the lead.

61′ Goal – Esh Winning 3 – 3 (Sherlock) Bedlington Terriers

The Terriers front three had looked dangerous throughout and a mixture of sloppy defending and a nice move, the equaliser was only 2 minutes away! A corner had been half dealt with by the defence, the ball falling to Sherlock who was tracked by Reece Brown, Brown appearing to get the better of him he managed to get a toe on the ball directing the ball towards another terriers player, he sprayed the ball to the left wing beating the offside trap and in acres of space. The ball played in took a deflection off Swift and Kieran Stoker and eventually hitting John Sherlock before ending up in the back of the net.

Esh dominated 25 of the last 30 minutes, good chances falling to Brown, Halpin and Marley. The latter missing the goal from a couple of yards out, after a goal mouth scramble left the ball bouncing to Marley who blazed over with the snap shot.

The best chance of the dying minutes for the Stags fell to Connor Halpin, after lovely work from Marley and Reece Brown, electing to pass rather than shoot, saw Halpin just to the left of the goal on the edge of the area. A curling shot was somehow tipped around the post by the keeper.

The last 5 minutes was very open, the last real chance falling to Terriers who themselves created a goal mouth scramble. An initial good save from Stoker saw the ball ricochet to the Terriers striker who hit a powerful effort towards goal, expertly blocked by Tom Young to secure the point.

All in all, it was a game that we should have won on the balance of play. 3 good goals cancelled out by some sloppy defending, and a couple of contentious decisions.

EWFC XI: Fish (K. Stoker 40′), Mordue (Summerson ’70 (y)), Young, M. Stoker (c)(g), G. Brown (y), Swift, Redman (Kane 70′), Halpin (y), Marley, Boakes (g)

Unused Subs: McKellar, Johnson, Fortune

Referee: M. Andrews

Assistants: D. Hall, A. Breeze

Attendance: 53

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding

All views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club.


Match Report – Chester-Le-Street Town 3 – 1 Esh Winning – 11.8.18

If Wednesdays 1-1 draw against Brandon was frustrating, then it was equally as frustrating today. A lovely summers afternoon greeted the two sets of players, The Stags making three changes.

A fairly dour start to the game saw both sides electing to send the ball long, no real quality on display whilst the two teams figured each other out. Marley for Esh and Clarkson for CLS winning their respective battles but failing to find

7′ Goal Chester-le-Street 1 (Clarkson) – 0 Esh Winning

A long ball forward was contested, and partially cleared by the Esh defence. The ball falling on the half volley to Andrew Clarkson 25-30 yards out unleashing a wicked effort hitting the underside of the bar on the way into the back of the net flying past a despairing Mark Fish in the Esh goal.

A scrappy first half was a very even affair, Halpin getting to the CLS by line and squaring it to an awaiting Marley was only thwarted by the impressive Walker at centre half for CLS. A chance that summed up things to come saw a lovely ball into Nick Marley whos header was somehow tipped over the bar by Wilson in the CLS goal, he was not to know the flag was raised for offside anyway.

The only other chance of the first half was a glorious opportunity for Nichol after a long ball was misjudged by Mark Fish out to sweep up the ball bounced over his head leaving Nichol free on goal. Nichol elected to hit a quick left footed shot rather than bringing the ball a bit closer to the goal, hitting the post with the follow up being an easily dealt with cross.

HT: Chester-Le-Street 1 – 0 Esh Winning

The second half started with Esh in the ascendency with Jonathan Swift pushed up front to add more presence along with Marley & Halpin. It was Swift who flicked the ball through to Halpin who attempted to square the ball to Marley but only managing to find the side netting.

Chesters only chance of the first 30 minutes of the half again fell the way of Nichol as a hurried clearance by Stoker ricocheted perfectly into the feet of Nichol, he drove the ball forward and to the edge of the Esh box, the shot being deflected to safety by a lunging Summerson.

With Esh striving to get back into the game chances where missed by Reece Brown after a knock down from Marley and a header from a corner by Swift.

The next action saw possibly the best save I have seen at this level, after good work from Marley laying the ball to Boakes, who in turn sent a lovely flicked pass through to Reece Brown on the edge of the area. Brown hits a low effort that was deflected by the CLS defender up and over the keeper. Standing right behind the effort it looked in for all the world before Wilson in the CLS goal managed to throw an arm up from nowhere and somehow get enough on it to divert it away for a corner.

The game changing moment happened in the 83rd minute, more good work from Reece Brown saw a ball sent out to Marley on the left wing, looking to find the left footed cross it loops up into the air and is destined for the top corner, but yet again that man Wilson somehow found a fingertip onto the ball, again thwarting the Stags.

84′ Goal – Chester-le-Street 2 (Nichol) – Esh Winning 0

Not content with making a couple of worldies Wilson played a part in the second goal, massively against the run of play Wilson sends a long ball forward catching the Esh defence pushing forward. With no other option but to try and reach the ball Mark Fish comes out to the edge of his area, unfortunately for him Cameron Nichol, beat him to the ball. Making no mistake he lofts the ball up and over into the Esh net.

85′ Goal – Chester-le-Street 2 – 1 (McKellar) Esh Winning

Not knowing when they are beat Esh came storming back, a long ball up from the bak was well controlled by Jake McKellar, making his debut. Learning from previous attempts that Wilson was superb with high shots he elects to stroke the ball low and into the goal, making no mistake with a nice finish.

86′ Goal – Chester-le-Street 3 (Hepplewhite) – 1 Esh Winning

A crazy few minutes saw the Stags finally out of the game after a good cross from Stephenson was tapped in at the back post by Hepplewhite (unsure which one).

One final attempt summed the game up, a free kick from Boakes found Marley rising at the back post, heading the ball back across goal it looked like the 5th goal of the game, before that man Wilson again managed to tip the ball over.

FT: Chester-le-Street 3 – 1 Esh Winning

A frustrating game, there is no doubt that on the balance of play a point was the least the Stags deserved, however an exceptional performance from Wilson in the CLS goal and taking the few chances at the other end saw the citizens emerge with the 3 points.

EWFC XI: Fish, Mordue, Swift, Stoker (c), Summerson, Sposton (56′ R. Brown (y)), Fortune (71′ G. Brown), Arnott, Marley, Halpin (61′ Mckellar (g), Boakes

Unused: Young, Johnson

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding

All Views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club.


Brandon United 1 – 1 Esh Winning – 8.8.18

A lovely Durham evening saw both teams came into this local derby off the back of disappointing opening day results.

The game started scrappily with neither side managing to forge any opportunities and squandering possession. The first chance fell to Esh’s Connor Halpin after a great ball through to him from Reece Brown, on the edge of the area he turned and released an immediate snap shot which went agonisingly wide of the post.

With Esh in the ascendency the next few chances falling to the men in Green, a partly cleared corner was looped back into the box, debutant Rob Smith killing the ball with an exquisite touch on the goal line just at the edge of the 6 yard box. He fired a low ball dangerously across the goal but unfortunately for Esh no one was there to tap the ball home.

A Callum Boakes free kick, following a foul on Reece Brown, saw the first shot on target fairly easily saved by the Brandon stopper, before Nick Marley scuffed his shot with the target open and a long range Gav Brown shot was tipped around the post.

Brandons only chance of the half so good work from Lee Blades driving into the Esh territory before hitting a daisy cutter just wide of a grateful Mark Fish’s goal, resulting in a goal kick.

The last couple of chances also went Esh’s way, Halpin busy in the Brandon half stealing the ball before firing just wide. The best chance of the half falling to Reece Brown who picked the ball up on the right hand corner of the area, beating a few men and getting to the by line he elects to cut the ball back onto his favoured left foot, which was smothered by the keeper, instead of sending the ball across the goal to the waiting strikers.

HT: Brandon United 0 – 0 Esh Winning 

The second half started in much the same way as the first with the Stags in the ascendency a looped ball in to the Brandon area saw Halpin head the ball towards the goal, the keeper performing admirably diving to his right to keep the ball out of the waiting net with Halpin thinking he had opened the scoring.

Callum Boakes again was dangerous from a free kick just outside the area, again testing the keeper down to his right and forcing another good save. More good work from Nick Marley saw a flick through to Reece Brown who hit a powerful effort towards goal, unfortunately for him the keeper stood strong and diverts the ball wide for another corner.

67′ Goal – Brandon 1 (Blades) – 0 Esh Winning

Out of nowhere a long ball caught the Esh defence cold, Lee Blades running onto the ball with Max Stoker catching up with him all the time. Stoker appears to simply out muscle Blades with a shoulder to shoulder tackle, clearing the ball. Blades makes little appeal, but the rest of Brandon does, all eyes turning to the referee who is all the way back at the halfway line, in turn he looks to the linesman who was only 15 yards away in a direct line from the incident and the best view in the ground. His flag goes up and a penalty is awarded. Blades steps up and dispatches a good penalty to the keepers right, diving the right way the ball was just hit too powerfully and finds its way into the goal for an unlikely lead.

With Esh taking a few minutes to recover from the set back Brandon nearly doubled the advantage a savage shot from 30 yards out testing Mark Fish in the Esh goal, the big stopper doing well to parry the ball away to safety, the last threat to his goal.

73′ Goal – Brandon 1 – 1 (Marley) Esh Winning

A deserved equaliser came after a long ball forward was nodded on by Nick Marley to Callum Boakes, shaping to shoot on the edge of the area he makes a superb decision to lay the ball back to an unmarked Marley who strokes the ball into the top corner of the Brandon goal ending a good Esh move with a goal.

The last 15 minutes was dominated by a rejuvenated Esh Winning side, an immediate impact from sub John Fortune saw a dangerous Boakes released on the left wing to put a cross into the danger area, unfortunately the ball was just in front of two Esh players and just shuffled away to safety.

Callum Boakes had a great chance after a lovely through ball from Man of the match Nick Marley, hitting a powerful effort just over the crossbar from 20 yards. Gav Brown also found himself in some space after driving forward 20 yards, he hit a dangerous looking shot towards the Brandon goal, unfortunately it ended up a foot above the goal with the keeper stranded.

The last chance was also the best chance, after good work from Stoker on the right wing. A high ball into the area was met by the head of Marley just 8 yards out, heading the ball into the ground the people in attendance where just waiting for the ball to hit the net, the ball kissing the outside of the post and going agonisingly wide.

FT: Brandon United 1 – 1 Esh Winning

Although the Stags came from a goal down to earn the point it certainly felt like two points lost after dominating the play. We take on Chester-Le-Street on Saturday, come down and show your support.

ESH XI: Fish, Summerson, Swift, Stoker (c), Smith, G. Brown (y), R. Brown (Howourth 84′), Arnott, Marley (g), Halpin (Fortune 80′) Boakes (y)(Johnson 87′)

Unused Subs: Watson, Sporston

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding

All Views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club.

Match Report -Northallerton Town 1 – 6 Esh Winning – 4.8.18

A beautiful summers day for the new season, saw the longest journey of the year for Esh down to Northallerton Town. Never a good hunting ground for Esh, with a Northallerton side looking strong and no doubt eventual promotion contenders thrown into the mix.

4′ Goal – Northallerton 1 (Hedley) – 0 Esh Winning 

A terrible start for The Stags as a long ball forward to a suspiciously offside looking Kerry Hedley on the right wing. Who drove at Sean Johnson beating him and finding himself one on one with a clearly injured Jonathan Swift (soon to be substituted) at centre half. Taking the ball onto his left foot on the edge of the area he leaves Mark Fish in the Esh goal with no chance as he buries it in the bottom right corner.

Esh’s first chance came from a long range free kick which was pumped into the box, Max Stoker raising highest tested Dawson in the Town goal, forcing a corner. The next chance in the game also fell to Esh, a long range left footed drive from Gav Brown, tested Dawson low down to his right palming it just around the post.

18′ Goal – Northallerton 2 ( OG Stoker) – 0 Esh Winning

After the brief interlude of Esh chances it was a defensive mistake that saw the ball given away to former Esh Man Nicky Martin, who was fouled but managed to release the ball to Hedley. Driving into the 18 yard box he puts in a low cross, with Martin closing Max Stoker has to do something and unfortunately forces the ball into his own net for an unfortunate own goal.

Nicky Martin again found himself clean through after a defensive lapse allowed the ball to bounce over Stoker & Summerson, clean through he elects to lob a stranded Fish, the lob dropping agonisingly wide of the goal.

32′ Goal – Northallerton 3 (Wilson) – 0 Esh Winning

The flood gates well and truly open the first of two quick fire goals saw a good move that resulted in a lovely cross into the Esh box, James Wilson on hand to score a deserved third for Northallerton

34′ Goal – Northallerton 4 (Martin) – 0 Esh Winning

Another defensive lapse saw former Stag Nicky Martin, continue the punishment as he finds himself one on one with Fish, calmly sliding the ball into the net to increase the Town lead

A disallowed goal for offside, from Nicky Martin saw the Stags regroup and start to look a little more dangerous towards the end of the half, a decent effort from debutant John Fortune testing Dawson.

44′ Goal – Northallerton 4 – 1 (Halpin) Esh Winning

A goal to maybe get the Stags back in the game saw a long pass through to Connor Halpin, who out jumped the centre half before winning the second ball. Executing the left foot finish to leave Dawson stranded and a consolation before half time for the Stags

HT: Northallerton 4 – 1 Esh Winning

A bright start for Esh after switching to a three at the back, saw Reece Brown getting down the left wing and whipping a cross towards Howourth who, stretching, can’t connect properly and sends the ball wide from 10 yards out.

The first ten minutes was dominated by Esh, the only period in the game, with a very good chance missed by Halpin who fails to double his tally from 8 yards out with a turn and shot with his left foot whistling the wrong side of the post.

60′ Goal – Northallerton 5 (Cheeseman) – 1 Esh Winning

The game was put out of sight when a free kick was whipped in by Wilson from the right hand side, Stephen Cheeseman sliding in at the back post to score. For the second time Esh Winning defenders feeling aggrieved with an offside decision going against them. The goal well and truly knocking the stuffing out of the stags as an attacking force.

Good saves from Fish denied Cheeseman and Nicky Martin, and a more solid looking defensive performance saw the score kept down in the second half. Very few chances to either teams with Northallerton looking in control of the game.

84′ Goal – Northallerton 6 (Martin) – 1 Esh Winning

The last piece of action came after Esh had been reduced to ten men, Halpin forced off with an injury with all subs used, a lovely weighted ball from Wilson saw Nicky Martin, round an isolated Mark Fish before sliding into an empty net.

All in all a vey disappointing start to the season, still there are 37 matches left starting on Wednesday in a local derby away at Brandon United, who lost today at West Allotment Celtic.

Esh XI: Fish, Watson, Johnson (46′ Sproston), Stoker (c), G. Brown, Summerson, Fortune, Swift (11′ Mordue), Halpin (g), Howourth (65′ Boakes)

Unused Subs: Robinson, McKellar

Northallerton XI: Dawson, Pattinson, Jackson, Stephen Cheeseman (c), Knox, Proctor, Walker, Keogh, Martin (2), Hedley (g), Wilson (g)

Referee: L. Thurlow

Assistants: J. Arrowsmith, A. Cook

Attendance: 124


All views expressed are my own and do not necessarily correspond with those of the club

Match Report – Esh Winning 2 – 1 Easington Colliery – 24.4.18

After a fine couple of days the rain returned before kick off. Your trusty match reporter getting a soaking whilst wearing another hat (Unfortunately with no actual hat) on the gate!! Esh came into the game after a good away victory against Jarrow, Easington off the back of a defeat at Willington. The reverse fixture up there with the most disappointing performances of the season with a 6-2 defeat for Esh.

A quiet start to the game with both teams struggling with finding a final ball on a slick surface, the first chance of note was a contender for miss of the season. After good work down the left wing by Easington’s Liam Adamson he puts a superb cross in to an unmarked David Vincent all alone at the back post, 3 yards out and looking for all the world like he is going to score his composure suddenly deserts him at the last minute. He somehow manages to handle the ball into the ground rather than nod it in with his head, a free kick being awarded.

Another chance fell the way of Easington quikly. A superb bit of work by a winger, this time on the right, puts in a lovely floated cross to Adamson at the back post unmarked six yards out, this time it’s his turn to fluff his lines and heads the ball up and over the bar.

25′ Goal – Esh Winning 0 – 1 (Adamson) Easington Colliery

With the likely goalscorers being in the Blue of Easington, it was no surprise that a perfectly weighted ball by Michael Cooke was played into the path of Liam Adamson. With the Esh Winning defence caught out he found himself one on one with Matty Soulsby, beating him for pace he hits a strong effort that Mark Fish can only get half a glove on and divert it into the net.

The rest of the half descended into a drab affair, Easington struggling to break down a resolute Stags defence looking to regroup following the set back.


HT: Esh Winning 0 – 1 Easington Colliery

The game swung to Esh from half time onwards, the first chance fell to left back Sean Johnson marauding forward from his defensive position he meets a lovely ball through to him on the left corner of the box. Kyle Donaldson in the Easington goal charges out to narrow the angle, leaving Johnson to attempt to go up an over him. Unfortunately for Johnson he can’t get enough elevation in the attempt and it is saved by Donaldson.

Saturdays Hat-trick hero Daniel Kent started to come into his own, bullying the Easington defenders he cuts back onto his favoured right foot from 20 yards out he hits a viscous effort that Donaldson can only parry. The quickest to react its Kent who picks up his own pieces on the corner of the 6 yard box, managing to force the corner.

Chances come and go for Esh. An effort from Jonathan Swift forcing a decent save from Donaldson, followed by a superb driving run from Dan Mann down the right wing and a low cross that substitute Connor Halpin could only find the finest of touches on with the goal gaping, the ball just slightly too far in front of him.

With the first half miss being close to miss of the season, Esh’s Dan Mann missed a similarly guilt edge opportunity. Max Stoker opening up the play and finding Sean Johnson on the left wing, Johnson looks up and attempts to put a cross in. The right back manages to get a boot on it, with the ball looking all of a sudden really dangerous the entire Easington back line stop to watch it loop into the goal. Somehow however the ball hits the base of the post and comes out to Mann on the edge of the six yard box, his composure letting him down as he blasts a ball up and over the netting behind the goal and into the forest!

With the game entering the last 15 minutes Esh having all of the ball and opportunities but struggling to find an opening. What looked at the time to be a guilt edged chance well saved by Donaldson fell to Kent after more good work from Halpin to flick the ball on. Kent driving into the right hand side of the box hits a low effort that nearly sneaks under Donaldson but the keeper gets enough on it and does enough to keep his team ahead.

81′ Goal – Esh Winning 1 (Kent) – 1 Easington Colliery

Within 60 seconds of the earlier miss Callum Boakes sends a ball forward through to Daniel Kent, with the defender looking the favourite to cut the ball out he air kicks the ball and sends Kent clear through. Donaldson charging forward this time Kent opts for power and blasts the ball giving Donaldson no chance at all this time for a deserved equaliser for the Stags.

With Esh looking more and more dominant but no chances created the possibility of being caught on the break all of a sudden emerged, the only thing Easington could do with the opportunity was find the commanding back line of Johnson, Summerson, Soulsby & Wilkinson in superb form to see off any attack.

90+2′ Goal – Esh Winning 2 (Swift) – 1 Easington Colliery

A decisive goal looking unlikely Esh managed to force the throw in. Max Stoker taking it is met at the near post by a lovely flick on by Connor Halpin. The ball hitting an Easington defender before sitting up to Jonathan Swift 4 yards out, he smashes the ball right footed into the waiting net to send the home dugout into raptures and claiming a hard fought victory for an Esh side not giving up.

FT: Esh Winning 2 – 1 Easington Colliery

A victory clinched in the last minute is the best feeling in football, hard to take for Easington however who’s players and committee where magnanimous  in defeat and a credit to the Northern League. The three points takes up to 46, some 18 points better off than last season with 3 games left to go, a solid season that we look to finish off in the next 3 games.

Final word, for the second game in a row credit must go to the officials, Paul Burt letting the game flow and managing it well. No silly bookings despite being assessed which is a joy to see. Both Paul and Dan from Saturday are both in their first season refereeing at this level (I believe) and look to be a real asset to the league.

EWFC XI: Fish, Mordue (y), Johnson, Stoker (c), Summerson, Soulsby, Mann (Wilkinson 68′), Wigley (Halpin 56′), Kent (g), Swift (g)

Unused subs: Robinson, Stewart, Forster

Easington Colliery: Donaldson, Barrow, Goundry, Metcalf, Ball, M. Cooke, Green, Wood (c), Adamson (g), Vincent, Talbot

Subs: L. Cooke, Smith

Referee: P. Burt

Assistants: V. Davison, S. Parnaby

Attendance: 53


All views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club.

Match Report – Jarrow FC 1 – 3 Esh Winning FC – Northern League Division 2 – 21.4.18

What a difference a couple of weeks make, from the rain sodden game at Tow Law to the Riviera that is Jarrow! Possibly the best pitch in the league greeted the players on a glorious afternoon.

After a defeat in the reverse fixture at the end of March, Esh came into the game with a thread bare squad, just reserve goal keeper Carl Robinson taking his place on the bench after a number of late withdrawals.

The game started with Esh on the front foot. Nick Marley, finally back from a 4 game suspension that seemed to go on and on with the cancelations, forcing a superb save from Jarrow stopper Jak Wells.

With Kris Goss who scored twice at West Terrace looked dangerous in the early stages a lovely flick from the big man sending Max Kirkhamm into the box, with Mark Fish making himself as large as possible in the Esh goal his only option is to loft it over him, fortunately for Esh the ball lands on the roof of the net.

The Stags reasserted control, good work from Jonathan Swift powering through a couple of fouls, and taking the benefit of a good advantage played by the referee, threads a superb ball through to Dan Mann nipping in from the right wing. Mann steals in before Wells to round the keeper, taking himself to the edge of the 6 yard box he cuts back onto his right foot and attempts to curl it past the two men on the line. His shot ends a lovely move with a throw in to Jarrow after losing composure and miss hitting his shot.

Yet another chance falling to Esh after a hurried clearance from Daryll Donnelly falls at Daniel Kents feet some 30 yards out, driving forward he drops his left shoulder and cuts the ball onto his right foot. A curling effort crashes into the post before Donnelly atones for his error by nipping ahead of Sean Johnson to clear the ball out for a corner.

Esh looking to take advantage of their chances saw yet another great opportunity slip by, a quick throw from Johnson saw Nick Marley turn and hit a viscous effort. Wells manages to get a hand to it but only succeeds in palming the ball to Dan Mann, who blazes over with the goal gaping.

37′ Goal – Jarrow 1 (Graham) – 0 Esh Winning

With Esh plowing forward the full backs where caught out of position when a hurried long ball clearance was not dealt with by Matty Soulsby, his only mistake of a near flawless display. With Kirkhamm reacting to the weak header, Mark Fish rushes out of his area to attempt a headed clearance. The pitch being in perfect condition the ball bounced higher than he perhaps anticipated and he got less distance on his header than he would have liked. The ball falling to captain Steven Graham who expertly lofted a lob onto the goal line from 40 yards out, the ball bouncing into the roof of the net and giving Jarrow a shock lead.

42′ Goal – Jarrow 1 – 1 (Kent) Esh Winning

As before the goal the Stags continued to play the ball about confidently on the perfect pitch, some good work on the right wing from Chris Mordue and Dan Mann saw the latter attempt a cross. The ball looped over everyone in the box with Gav Brown reacting well to pick it up in the left corner, looking up he puts an inch perfect ball onto the foot of Daniel Kent who makes no mistake from 5 yards out meeting the cross on the volley and equalising for the stags.

44′ Goal – Jarrow 1 – 2 (Kent) Esh Winning

With The Stags firmly back in control and in the ascendancy a second before half time looked more probable than possible. Chris Mordue picking the ball up at right back pinging the ball 60 yards to just inside the Jarrow box. Daniel Kent out muscling Nick Little, taking a touch and sliding the ball past Wells to put Esh deservedly in front at the break.

HT: Jarrow 1 – 2 Esh Winning

A quiet 20 minutes at the start of the second half was exactly what was required to give the lads the breather they required, in the sweltering heat, with no outfield substitutes available. The first chance of note falling to Kirkhamm turning and hitting a strong shot straight down the throat of Mark Fish who was untroubled by the effort.

Esh’s first chance of the half came the way of the lively looking Dan Mann, who reacted well to a Nick Marley flick on rolling the ball past the onrushing Wells from 18 yards out. Unfortunately for him the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the post when it looked in at first glance.

Shortly after Mann almost redeemed himself with an excellent corner finding Max Stoker leaping above the Jarrow defenders to power a header past Wells. With the Esh dugout expecting the ball to nestle into the net a Jarrow defender appears from nowhere to superbly clear the ball off the line.

80′ Goal – Jarrow 1 – 3 (Kent Hat-trick) Esh Winning

A harmless looking ball into Max Stoker with his back to goal 30 yards out, saw Stoker sense a yard of space behind him and exquisitely turn past his nearest man, he then jinks his way past a further two defenders before hitting an effort from 25 yards. The shot taking a slight deflection wrong footed Wells who could only parry the ball out. Who else but Daniel Kent reacting the quickest to return the ball back towards goal bouncing over the stricken Wells and into the net to give the Esh Winning resident a well earned third for his local club.

The goal killing the game as a contest and giving the Stags the cushion they richly deserved, the biggest chance of the remaining minutes fell again to Kent who turned his man from a corner and blasted a half volley into the side netting in a smart looking move. Kris Goss and Kirkhamm unable to test Fish in the Esh goal from distance.

FT: Jarrow 1 – 3 Esh Winning

A superb first visit to Perth Green for a depleted Stags saw the first hat-trick in 3 seasons for Esh was scored by an Esh Winning local on a perfect pitch and a stunning day for football. A word for Jarrow FC who are a great addition to the Northern League and look sure to cement a place in next seasons League. Final mention for referee Daniel Mahmoodshahi who let the game flow, played advantage well for both teams and managed a fairly easy game well to increase the spectacle. Something that a lot of referees could learn from.

Next up is Easington Colliery at home on Tuesday night with a 7:30 kick off, we look forward to seeing you there. I will leave you with a happy manager Tony Boakes enjoying the sunshine before the game.


Esh XIFish, Mordue, Summerson, Stoker (c), G. Brown, Soulsby, Kent (3), Johnson, Marley, Mann, Swift

Unused Sub: Robinson

Jarrow XI: Wells, Simpson, Simpson-McGill, Donnelly, Mellish, Little, Allen, Graham (c)(1), Goss, Kirkhamm, Martin

Subs: Elliott, Morton, Collins, Attewell, Watson

Referee: D. Mahmoodshahi

Assistants: A. McDonnell, M. Heskett

MOTM: Daniel Kent


Please note that all views and opinions are my own and as such do not necessarily represent the club 


Match Report – Esh Winning 0 – 2 Thornaby – 14.4.18

A week of nothing but rain put the game in severe doubt until the pitch passed an inspection at 11:30. The afternoon however was a lovely mild spring day and in the end the pitch held up fairly well, although the chunks of pitch missing in patches will take some repairing for Thursdays game. Esh Winning missing several big players to suspension, illness, work and family concerns respectively made five changes from last weeks victory against Tow Law

Thornaby came into the game still with an outside sniff of promotion and showcased their ability with a dominant first 15 minutes. Good chances from Lewis Murphy and Kurtis Howes after decent runs where brilliantly denied by blocks from Soulsby and Allison respectively.

The best chance for Esh fell to Dan Mann, a botched clearance from keeper Oliver Simpson saw the ball land at Mann’s feet some 30 yards out, with no real pressure on him his pace would have taken him clear. Unfortunately he decided to shoot from 30 yards, snatching at the chance and the ball rolling harmlessly wide with the goal gaping.


Straight from the goal kick a long ball was flicked on to Lewis Murphy, running at the defence he eventually lays it back to Daniel Chapman who strikes an effort towards goal, looking for all the world like it would nestle in the bottom corner a black boot attached to Max Stoker suddenly appears from nowhere to completely change the course of the ball back past the other post and to safety.

In an uneventful first half the last action saw a lovely knock down by Esh’s Daniel Kent into the path of Matty Allison charging in to the edge of the 6 yard box, rushing out quickly Simpson manages to make himself big enough to block the effort and put the ball out for a corner.

HT: Esh Winning 0 – 0 Thornaby

48′ Goal – Esh Winning 0 – 1 (Hannah)


The second half started in much the same way as the first half did, pressure from Thornaby. After good work on the edge of the box the striker was alleged to be felled by Matty Soulsby. The player tasked to take the free kick was substitute Kallum Hannah, who steps up and hits a good left footed effort evading the grasp of Robinson in the Esh goal.

The best chance of the half for Esh, and a potential game changer, fell to Gav Brown. Matty Allison nipping in on the edge of the box following good work from a throw in gets to the by line, pulling it back to the penalty spot Brown meets it with a well struck shot. Unfortunately for Esh the ball is just to the keepers right, Simpson gets down and makes a block, the resulting corner amounting to nothing.

Two big chances for Thornaby put the visitors firmly in control, good work from Hannah saw two big quick fire saves from Robinson to keep the Stags in the game. This was followed by what looked to be a stone wall penalty after a late tackle from Mykel Summerson went unpunished by the referee.

The man of the moment Kallum Hannah began to show why he is nailed on to score over 20 league goals this year, receiving a long ball into the box he eases Stoker off the ball in what was an obvious push in the back. Reacting to the surprise of being allowed to play on he spins on the ball and hits a left footed effort across the face of the goal, somehow the ball stays out after hitting the inside off the post before looping back across the goal line to the welcome arms of Carl Robinson. His second effort came shortly after, latching on to a through ball and beating the offside trap he gets one on one with Robinson, sliding the ball past him and glancing the outside of the post on its way out of play.

75′ Goal – Esh Winning 0 – 2 (Hannah pen) Thornaby

They say things even themselves out in football and if the earlier penalty shout was stone wall the second was anything but. A long ball through to Daniel Chapman who looked to be in an offside position was met with a burst into the box from him. Taking on Matty Soulsby he decides that he has done enough and clearly takes a dive with Soulsby nowhere near him. With the referee not in a good position to see the dive he awards the penalty without hesitation, Kallum Hannah stepping up and giving Robinson no chance hitting the inside of the side netting to make the most of the opportunity.

The next 10 minutes or so descended into a scrappy niggly affair, the player that won the penalty Chapman picking fights with most Esh players on the pitch much to the annoyance of his own teammates and manager telling him to calm down, a lucky boy not to see a card after leaning his head into Stokers face. In the Premier League you would see Stoker fall over claiming all sorts of atrocities, luckily in the Northern League there is less of this and the players sorted the issue out themselves and returned to the football.

The last chance of the half fell to last weeks hero Daniel Kent, this time being unable to force an effort on the corner of the 6 yard box past Simpson and into the net.

FT: Esh Winning 0 – 2 Thornaby

A game settled by two set pieces saw a tired looking Esh Winning succumb to defeat, next up is Chester-Le-Street in an unusual Thursday night fixture due to the ongoing fixture congestion.

Esh XI: Robinson, Summerson, Johnson, Stoker (c), G. Brown, Soulsby, Mann, Allison, Kent, Swift, R. Brown

Thornaby XI: Simpson, Morrison, Graham, Marshall, Simpson, Rone, Crainey, Wilson (c), Chapman, Murphy, Howes

Subs: Hannah (2), Posthill, Scaife-Wheatley

Referee: D. Quigley

Assistants: A. Breeze, D. Hewitt

Attendance: 53

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding

All views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club.