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.



Match Report – Tow Law 2 – 4 Esh Winning – 7.4.18

Teaming it down with rain, a pitch that looked more suited to water polo than football and a referee that didn’t bother to look at it until he led the teams out. Who cares, with Tow Law having a further 7 home games to play by May the game just had to be played! The Willington players that turned up just on kick off after having their game called off where amazed that the game was on after declaring their pitch was far more playable, I guess we just got lucky and got a match!

The game started with Tow Law on the front foot. Lewis Teasdale pouncing on a mistake by Matty Soulsby hit a powerful effort that Mark Fish, returning in the Esh goal, stood up strong to block and divert away for a corner.

6′ Goal – Tow Law 1 (Reaks) – 0 Esh Winning

A long ball was flicked on by Teasdale to the on rushing Damon Reaks, who for all the world looked a good 3 yards offside. He approaches the Esh penalty area with the ball getting stuck in the mud, he makes it look easy and slides the ball to Fish’s left and into the back of the net for a deserved lead.

The next 20 minutes where a scrappy affair with the conditions proving much more difficult to master. A nasty incident saw the Stags Jonathan Swift slide in to win a ball by the stand, winning the ball he is unable to stop himself and smashes into the stone wall. returning to the game after a minor stoppage he eventually succumbs to his injuries and claiming a shortness of breath after 42 minutes is replaced by Sean Johnson. We all hope Swifty is absolutely fine now he’s back home in the warmth!

Esh’s first chance of the game fell to Reece Brown, who on the 26th minute made a jinking run from the left wing to find himself in the box, opting to shoot instead of pass he finds the deflection with a goal looking a real possibility.

Esh starting to gel up front with Halpin, Boakes and Brown linking up well to send Halpin racing into the box, knocking the ball past Tom Orton at the corner of his box he goes down over the outstretched hand of Orton. With all eyes on the referee he gives a goal kick with Orton looking sheepishly in the direction of Mr Watson.

The penalty shout stung Tow Law into action, decent efforts for Teasdale and Reaks where both wasted before Esh had the best chance in the dying embers of the half. After a mix up between Pattinson, Kemp and Orton, Matty Allison found the ball at his feet some 25 yards out. With Orton in no mans land all he needs to do is hit the target, however his composure left him and he slashes it wide of the right hand post a let off for the Lawyers.

HT: Tow Law 1 – 0 Esh Winning


47′ Goal – Tow Law 2 (Knowles) – 0 Esh Winning

A sucker punch that came out of the blue for the Stags, a well controlled ball by Teasdale was hit low at the Esh goal, Mark Fish pulling out a superb save dow to his left could only deflect it into the path of right back Adam Knowles who bundles the ball in to the gaping goal.

50′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 1 (Halpin) Esh Winning

What Esh needed now was a quick response, and that is what they got. A long ball forward was well controlled by Brown, he then lays it of to Boakes. In turn he plays a lovely weighted ball through to Connor Halpin who takes it to his weaker left side and rolls it past the advancing Orton and into the bottom corner.

The last real chance for Tow Law was in all honesty an absolute sitter. A mistake by Mark Fish in the Esh goal fell at the feet of Lewis Teasdale, with all the goal to aim at he picks the bottom left corner as he looks at it. From out of nowhere Sean Johsnon appears flying in from left back, managing to somehow arrive at the bottom corner just as the ball does and really helps turn the tide fully into Esh’s favour, a real game changer.

The main creative force today was Callum Boakes, he threaded a ball through to Halpin who again went to his left, this time however he beats Orton but also the opposite post sending it agonisingly wide in what would be his last action. He was replaced by Daniel Kent………

75′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 2 (Kent) Esh Winning

Having been on the pitch for 5 minutes and not seeing any of the ball, Daniel Kent used his freshness and size to excellent effect for the equaliser. Callum Boakes sending a lovely ball over the top to set in motion a foot race between Kent and keeper Orton, with both getting a foot on it at the same time it was Kent who was stronger. Winning the ball and finding himself on his left hand side on the edge of the 6 yard box he makes no mistake and sends it into the open goal for a well deserved equaliser.

81′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 3 (Soulsby Pen) Esh Winning

With only one side looking to likely to win the game it was that man again Callum Boakes who reacted well to a through ball, bursting into the box and looking to shoot. He was clipped by not one, but two Tow Law defenders in separate tackles within half a second of each other he goes down. The referee looks at his linesman who gave no indication, he then waits an agonising 5 seconds before making his mind up that it was indeed a penalty. Up steps Matty Soulsby, who minutes before was down with cramp, to make no mistake and send the ball down the middle to put the Stags ahead against his former team.

95′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 4 (Kent) Esh Winning

With Matty Allison looking to run the ball to the corner he looks up and sees super sub Daniel Kent in acres of space on the edge of the Lawyers area. Receiving the pass he has one effort on his right foot, well saved by Orton, he makes no mistake with his Left foot and smashes the ball into the goal sealing a remarkable and well deserved victory.

There was still time for one more Tow Law effort in the 100th minute with sub Dawson smashing an effort off the bar and out to Safety.

FT: Tow Law 2 – 4 Esh Winning

A double over Tow Law is something that hasn’t been achieved for many years and as such should be celebrated. Thank you again for the hospitality and good luck for the rest of the season.

EWFC XI: Fish, Mordue (Reay 46′), Swift (Johnson 42′), Allison, Stoker (c)(y), Soulsby (p), Mann, Arnott, Halpin (g)(Kent 67′ (2)), Boakes, R. Brown

Unused Subs: G. Brown, Wilkinson

Tow Law XI: Orton, Knowles (g), Pattison, Oro (c), Caygill, Kemp, Reaks (g), Mitchell, Teasdale, Nicholls, Oldfields

Referee : D. Walton

Assistants:  R. Ashton, V. Davison

Report by: Adam Wilding


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


Match Report – Whickham FC 1 v 0 Esh Winning FC – 23/3/18

After the nightmare run of postponements a mild Friday evening in Whickham was something to savour and, from an Esh Winning point of view, something to be apprehensive of given the 8-0 reverse earlier in the season.

Whickham came into the game level on points with Blyth and Northallerton at the top of the table, and the stags looking to pick up more points on an already impressive season for last terms bottom side, the match promised to be a good affair.

The game in the first half took a little while to get into life with both teams playing some nice football in the middle of the park but failing to create any real chances until the 10th minute when Whickhams Owen Lancaster plays a superb ball to release Kyle Wharton. Bearing down on the Esh area he looks to have free reign, just as he is about to slot the ball past Carl Robinson, Matty Soulsby flies in with a last ditch tackle and diverts the ball just wide for a corner.

With Whickham finding a foothold in the game more pressure is soaked up comfortably by the Esh defence. Until that man Wharton again finds himself on the right hand side of the pitch, dropping a shoulder he beats Sean Johnson getting to the by line he pulls the ball back. Carl Robinson gets an important touch on the low driven cross, taking it away from one Whickham player but into the path of Dan Candlish who shanks his shot wide. A real let off for Esh.

On the 25th minute the best chance of the half fell to the Stags, after strong hold up play by Connor Halpin and a lovely weighted pass leaving the Whickham defender on his backside. Callum Boakes was one on one with John Mordey, losing his footing as he shoots he hits it low to Mordey’s right. With Mordey falling to his left he does well to stick out a right foot and just get enough on it to deny Boakes an opener.

The only other chance of the half fell to Esh, a miss hit cross from Dan Mann left Mordey scrambling back and looking relieved when it fell just over his crossbar.

Despite not many chances in the half an even game was an enjoyable spectacle for those in attendance.

HT: Whickham 0 – 0 Esh Winning

The second half started with  Whickham showing why they will be promoted this season, sheer dominance of possession was countered by strong defensive work from an Esh side camped in their own half. A snap shot from Ross Peareth flashing wide the most dangerous attempt allowed in the first 5 minutes.

54′ Goal Whickham 1 (Bulford) – 0 Esh Winning

With a goal looking likely the worst thing the defence could do is hastily clear a ball straight to the feet of a man that has the pedigree of scoring twice in a Wembley final. Unfortunately that is what happened, Andrew Bulford running into the space created by defenders backing off too far unleashes a superb effort beating Carl Robinson, hitting the underside of the bar and down into the back of the net. A moment of real quality deserving of a winning goal.

The next twenty minutes saw one way traffic as Whickham flexed their muscles, still a resolute Esh defence did not crumble. Only two efforts of note, one a turn and hit by Chad Collins from the edge of the box was straight at a thankful Robinsons who would have been in real bother a yard either side of him.

The other was Whickhams best chance, it fell to Collins again, meeting a superb cross from the right wing he powers a header from no further than 10 yards out, Carl Robinson reacting superbly to palm the ball over the roof of the net. His save drawing applause and praise from Whickhams goalkeeper Mordey and the bench alike a superb save to keep Esh in the game.

That miss and Bulfrod striking the foot of the post in the 80th minute sprung Esh into action, dominating the last 10 minutes with a more direct style. First substitute Daniel Kent bullying the Whickham defenders wins the ball 30 yards out, he drives forward to his left, then back to his right. Entering the 18 yard box he has the opportunity to shoot but elects to try and go past another man with the ball getting stuck under his feet he is easily dispossessed with Max Stoker screaming for the ball near him.

With the pressure mounting Esh win a quick free kick which Boakes elects to take quickly to play Kent in. The Whickham player, 3 yards away stick his arm out and blocks the ball. Boakes catches the ball and attempts to play another quick ball before the referee inexplicably gives a free kick the other way for a handball against Boakes. A dangerous free kick turns into a pressure release for Whickham.

Not to be put down without a fight in the first minute of injury time Esh win a free kick just inside the Whickham half. Mykel Summerson strikes the ball to just inside the Whickham box. Kent getting up knocks down the ball to Callum Boakes who cooly slots the ball into the net, looking to go down with cramp at the same time with the final effort he puts in. The Esh dugout goes wild until they see that the assistant referee is signalling for an offside from the initial header disallowing the equaliser and ending Esh hopes of a battling point. Frustratingly, the player that was deemed offside was not the one that headed the ball, but was involved with play, according to the assistant after the game making it even harder to bare.

An enjoyable match, against a good Whickham side, aided by some good officiating to allow the game to flow and not showing harsh cards made it a good Friday evening despite the result.

Thank you as ever to Whickham for the hospitality I have no doubt you will be promoted this year, so good luck for the rest of the season and with Division 1 next year.

Esh XI: Robinson, Summerson, Johnson, Stoker (c), Turnbull, G. Brown, Mann (Reay 61′), Soulsby, Halpin (Kent 66′), Boakes, R. Brown (Swift 76′)

Unused Subs: Wilkinson, Fish

Whickham XI: Mordey, Lancaster, Hedley, Clasper, Brown, Robson, Wharton, Peareth (c), Bulford (g), Collins, Candlish

Subs: Mole, Shickle, Martin, Soutar, Broadhead

Referee: S. Lawson

Assistants: R. Bird, D. Williams

Attendance : 101

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding


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



Match Report – Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 2 – 2 Esh Winning FC – 24.2.18

A match report that for 75 minutes I was dreading having to construct turned into a super escape after being reduced to 10 men. A game that every season is of vast importance at the foot of the table reverted into a much more comfortable mid table clash for both teams.

The game started in a strong wind towards the Esh goal, Esh also kicking uphill, a freezing cold day despite the blinding winters sun. The first chance falling to Liam Anderson who finds the ball heading towards him at the break down some 30 yards out, he curls an effort that looks destined for Mark Fish’ top left hand corner, before he out stretches a hand and glances the ball over.

With RACA starting the stronger and using the advantage of the wind, Martyn Hepple beats the offside trap to find himself one on one with Fish, with Fish standing tall Hepple attempts to slide it past him. Fish making a dangerous attempt look comparatively easy to deal with and a let off for the Stags

16′ Goal Ryton & Crawcrook 1 (Hepple) – 0 Esh Winning

With it only looking a matter of time before RACA took the lead it was a long hopeful ball to a clearly offside Martyn Hepple who was a good yard ahead of the defender, unfortunately for Esh the assistant Mr Brampton was some yards behind play deemed it onside. Matty Soulsby at the heart of the Esh Defence makes an error and misses his kick leaving Hepple one on one with Fish. This time Hepple gets the better of Fish and slots the ball home for a deserved, if controversial, opener.

The game fell into a dour affair due to the difficulties of the conditions. Esh having the next chance some 20 minutes later, a long ball evaded the RACA defender allowing Kai Hewitson a run at the goal. Just as he is about to pull the trigger the defender gets back at him and puts a superb block in, the ball looping over the keeper and a yard over the bar for a corner.

The only other chance of a disappointing first half falling to Hepple, who hits a long range effort toward the Esh goal, the ball deflecting off Soulsby and leaving Fish helpless. Fortunately for Esh it drifted just wide of the goal and concluded the first half.

HT: Ryton & Crawcrook 1 – 0 Esh Winning

48′ Goal – Ryton and Crawcrook Albion 2 (Hepple) – 0 Esh Winning

The second half kicked off in the same manner as the majority of the first half, with RACA in the ascendancy, yet another long ball saw the offside trap this time fairly broken, Martyn Hepple yet again one on one with Fish. He makes no mistake and strokes the ball home into the gaping net, for what can only be described as a deserved second for the hosts.

53′ Red Card – Nick Marley – Esh Winning – Violent Conduct

With frustrations building the normally calm and level headed big Esh striker had his leg held in the far corner alongside the linesman, with what looked like a soft kick out, but a kick out all the same, the referee took a dim view and sent Marley off. On first viewing it looked a deserved red from where I was stood.

There where murmurs from a few RACA fans that they always seem to play worse against 10 men, and so the prophecy came to pass. Esh starting to find their way into the game for the first time saw a lovely interchange between Stoker and Boakes, the latter playing a deft flick to Hewitson bursting into the box. Being forced to take the ball wide he flicks the ball over the advancing Houghton in the RACA goal, the nature of the flick meant that the ball did not carry enough power to take the ball over the line. Liam Barker getting across to preserve the RACA clean sheet clearing the ball inside the 6 yard box.

The Esh management bringing on Gavin Brown, Shaun Reay and Connor Halpin started to bare fruit as the dangerous attacking trio alongside Kai Hewitson started to dominate the play.

77′ Goal – Ryton & Crawcrook 2 – 1 (Hewitson) Esh Winning

A lovely weighted pass through to Hewitson from Gav Brown saw Hewitson dash forward, the defender left with little option but to bring him down on the edge of the D. Kai Hewitson picks himself up and strikes a low powerful effort to Houghtons right, the keeper not getting near the ball and getting Esh a foot back into the game.

The next 10 minutes saw 4 poor offside decisions from Mr Brampton, declaring Esh players offside when they where clearly on and one decision where the player was clearly offside he decides he was onside. A baffling and frustrating series of play for both sets of fans.

A major scare for Esh saw Hepple break forward the Esh backline who where engaged with trying to restore parity at the other end. Hepple whipping a lovely looking ball into Mason Stephenson a yard out who slots the ball in at the back post. The player instantly looking at the linesman who denied the goal to no complaints from RACA players.

84′ Goal – Ryton & Crawcrook 2 – 2 (Halpin) Esh Winning.

The second half substitution seeing Connor Halpin enter the fray proving key as a ball from Mark Fish was flicked on by Hewitson which led to a bouncing ball 25 yards out taken powerfully on the chest by Halpin, showing strength to enter the box and holding off his defender he caresses a beautifully executed left footed effort past the advancing Houghton and into the inside of the side netting clawing Esh back to an unlikely 2-2 draw.

The final few minutes saw yet more strange offside decisions from Mr Brampton, two passes forward to Hewitson deemed to be offside when he was quite clearly onside. The last such strange decision summed up a bad day at the office for Mr Brampton, Shaun Reay flicking the ball to his left to Hewitson, a yard behind his strike partner with a defender in front of Reay in any case. Hewitson takes the ball on and scuffs his shot into the grateful hands of Houghton only to look up and see Mr Brampton with his flag up for offside.

A day in which we did not deserve a point saw us show a passion and resolve to get back into a game against all odds. A true display of why we are looking comfortable in mid-table and not scrapping around at the foot of the table, despite playing poorly we found a way to get a result.

A quick word for RACA who likewise are moving away from the trouble at the bottom of the table and who look a much stronger opposition than recent years. It’s good to see both clubs looking up for a change and thank you for the superb hospitality as ever.

EWFC XI: Fish, Summerson (G. Brown 69′), Swift, Stoker (c), Mordue, Soulsby, R. Brown (Reay 50′), Allison, Marley (so), Hewitson (g), Boakes (Halpin 73′ (g))

Unused subs: Robinson, Kent

RACA XI: Houghton, O’Dowd, Dunn, Below, Barker, Anderson, Stephenson, Hodges, Hepple (2), Davis, Moody

Subs: Smith, Miley, Shaw, Mitchell, Hedley

Referee: D. McCarrick

Assistants: J. Brampton, D. Cameron

Attendance: 49

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding


All views expressed in this report are my own and are not necessarily reflective of the club. 



Match Report – Esh Winning 4 – 1 West Allotment Celtic – 21/1/18

For the first time in what seemed like an eternity after the bad weather there was football on offer at West Terrace in the form of the Northern League Division 2 clash against West Allotment. Earlier in the season Esh had seen off the same opposition with a comfortable 4-1 win, things have improved for Celtic since then so it was anticipated to be a tight affair.

The match was club captain Max Stokers 150th appearance for the club, in that time he has seen several managers come and go and was fittingly given the club captaincy by Tony and Jackie when they arrived at the club. Since then he has been an ever present, other than enforced suspensions. A key member of the team he was rewarded with a token of appreciation from the club, presented by chairman Charlie Ryan (Pictured above) (Credit to @KatLee_necgcpl on Twitter who took a far superior photo than I could!)

The game started as a cagey affair, only really bursting into life on the 8th minute after good work by Nick Marley running across the edge of the box, he cut the ball back to Reece Brown on the edge of the area, unfortunately the winger scuffed his effort and the ball rolled harmlessly wide of Taylors goal.

With West Allotment finding possession and chances at a premium a major chance was wasted by Gary McCartney, who sprung the offside trap and a despairing tackle from Turnbull. Finding himself one on one with Mark Fish in the Esh goal he fires a low shot. Fish however stands tall and deflects the ball wide with his left foot.

With Esh continuing to dominate possession after that chance Reece Brown managed to keep a corner kick in play on the opposite by line, he lays the ball back towards Matty Soulsby who hits an effort that may just have had a deflection of Nick Marley, the ball striking the base of the post with Taylor helpless.

A clumsy tackle from the Stags Scott Arnott in front of the Celtic dugout saw a deserved yellow card brandished amongst the calls and screams from the Celtic manager and players for a harsher punishment. The referee Mark McMahon goes over to the dugout to give a final warning before proceeding with play some 3/4 minutes later. The resulting free kick being comfortably claimed by Mark Fish. He then looks up and finds Nick Marley who, as he did throughout the game, wins the header and nods it to Stoker. Stoker lays it off to Dan Mann who in turn plays a lovely through ball to Matty Allison bursting forward, one on one with Taylor he strikes a low powerful effort. In a carbon copy of an effort on the Esh goal earlier Taylor makes himself big and deflects the ball wide with a fine save with his feet.

A yellow card was awarded for breaking up play to Kai Hewitson after he brought down a defender looking to play the ball out. In what seemed a something and nothing incident, whilst the referee is talking to Hewitson, the assistant on the far side by the West Allotment dugout some 60 yards away is flagging profusely. The referee heads over to consult with his assistant before taking the decision to remove the West Allotment official, I believe it was the manager but I can not confirm, from the dugout. A further 3 minutes of time was taken for this process, something that would later in the half come back to haunt Celtic.

37′ Goal – Esh Winning 0 – 1 (McCartney) West Allotment

With the game being played in the Celtic half, the twin strike force of McCartney and Walker constantly looked to sit on the shoulders of the Esh defence keeping them honest. From a good claim by Taylor he finds Luke Parkinson at left back, driving forward on the counter attack he takes the ball 40 yards, before looking up and playing a lovely one two with Walker, he then whips in a perfectly timed low cross in to Gary McCartney who makes no mistake in finishing a lovely well worked team goal.

45+3 Goal – Esh Winning 1 (Hewitson pen) – 1 West Allotment

A long floated ball from Max Stoker towards the Celtic goal, was misjudged by keeper Taylor who missed his kick on rushing out. With Kai Hewitson clean through on an empty net just to the left hand side of the penalty spot he is unceremoniously tripped up by centre half Bradley Ives, who did not appear to make a genuine attempt at the ball. Mr McMahon left with no other alternative but to send Ives off. Hewitson himself steps up and slots the ball to Taylors left making no mistake and restoring parity before the half time whistle.

HT: Esh Winning 1 – 1 West Allotment

With Esh now enjoying a man advantage the formation changed to exploit the space and stretch the play. The first chance fell to Kai Hewitson after good work from Reece Brown he strikes a viscous dipping effort from 25 yards, forcing Taylor into a superb fingertip save the ball striking the underside of the bar and falling into his grateful hands with two Esh players lurking.

The game was controlled and dominated by the Stags without creating any clear cut chances, a couple of long range efforts blazed over the cross bar and wide of the goal respectively.

57′ Goal – Esh Winning 2 (Marley) – 1 West Allotment

The break through finally came in the 57th minute after good work from Dan Mann switching play to find the other full back, Mykel Summerson, on the corner of the box he puts a high lofted ball in towards Nick Marley who shows strength and nods the ball home from 5 yards out, brushing off his defender in the process.

65′ Goal – Esh Winning 3 (Stoker) – 1 West Allotment

A move that started with Mark Fish rolling the ball out to Matty Soulsby in which 8 Esh players touched the ball in a 15 pass move the ball found its way to Dan Mann darting forward on the left wing, he attempts to force the cross in towards Daniel Kent only denied by a last ditch tackle from Elliot Mitchell who puts the ball wide for a corner. Mann heads over to take the corner which he aims low and to the near post, a glancing right foot of Matty Soulsby sends the ball towards the goal. Max Stoker in the right place at the right time and bundles the ball home to extend the Esh lead.

The next 20 minutes saw chances for Hewitson, Kent, Allison and Brown come and go with Esh seemingly unable to add the final nail in the coffin, whilst not allowing the 10 men of West Allotment a sniff. Celtics only chance of the entire second half a dangerous looking free kick on the edge of the D not amounting to anything and straight at Fish.

87′ Goal – Esh Winning 4 (Hewitson) – 1 West Allotment

Another flowing move from The Stags enjoying the freedom afforded to them by the man advantage fell to Max Stoker on the left hand side of the area, he puts in a perfectly weighted cross into Kai Hewitson. He makes no mistake, as you would expect from a man on a purple patch of goals, guiding the ball past Taylor and into the bottom right hand corner.

FT: Esh Winning 4 – 1 West Allotment

Esh XI: Fish, Summerson (Gibson 71′), Mann, Stoker (c) (g), Turnbull, Soulsby, Allison, Arnott (y), Marley (g)(Kent 61′), Hewitson (2) (y), R. Brown

Unused Subs: Robinson, Boakes, Swift

West Allotment XI: Taylor, Watson, Parkinson, Berhan, Mitchell, Ives (so), Watson, Chapim, Walker (c), McCartney (g), Laws

Subs: Dunn, Whitelaw, McKenzie, Mendes-Correia, Hodgson

Referee: M. McMahon

Assistants: A. Morten, I. Frostwick

Attendance: 64

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding


All views above are my own and do not represent those of the club, or any other person.

Match Report – Esh Winning 3-4 Billingham Town – 3.2.18

A damp and drizzly day at West Terrace for our Ebac Northern League Second Division clash with Billingham Town.

3rd Minute – GOAL!!! 0-1 (Kerridge) Billingham Town play some good football and get the ball out wide to Luke Hogan, a former Esh player. A cross floated into the box finds Joseph Kerridge who jumps and heads home to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Good play between Matthew Allison and Kai Hewitson gives Hewitson the chance of a shot on the edge of the box. Kai strikes but the shot is saved comfortably by Liam Gibbs in the Billingham Town goal.

13th Minute – GOAL!!! 0-2 (Lavan) Lavan runs through the heart of the Esh Winning defence and round Robinson to make it 0-2 to the visitors.

Another five minutes pass and Billingham Town seem to be feeling at home. Another Luke Hogan cross floated into the box and headed home by Joseph Kerridge. This time however assistant referee Selwyn Heslop has his flag up and the goal is ruled offside.

First twenty five minutes dominated by Billingham Town. Esh Winning doing themselves no favours allowing Billingham to play.

25th Minute – Nicholas Marley’s first game back after suspension is cut short. Brought off for Daniel Kent after appearing to take a knock.

30th Minute – Esh Winning starting to take a foot hold in the game. Starting to create chances and putting Billingham Town under pressure.

31st Minute – GOAL!!! 1-2 (Hewitson) Kia Hewitson takes another shot just outside the box and beats Gibbs in the Billingham goal.

Esh Winning definitely looking stronger as we headed towards half time. Great play between Max Stoker and Kai Hewitson sets Matthew Allison up for a short just outside the centre of the box. Matty’s shot unlucky not to beat the Billingham Town keeper.

CAUTION – Reece Brown is booked for a trip on a Billingham Town player.

Jonathan Swift finds Daniel Kent at the back post with a cross but Kent’s shot is cleared off the line by Liam Gibbs in the Billingham Town goal.

Matthew Allison takes another shot at the Billingham goal, beats the Billingham Town keeper, but is just over the bar.

45th Minute – GOAL!!! 2-2 (Hewitson) Two goals inside 15 minutes for Kai Hewitson and 4 goals in 2 games. Kai works himself into the box with the ball at his feet and gets the chance of a shot which he took well and made it 2-2 just on the stroke of half time. It must be said that each and everyone of the Esh players played a part in this goal as it was worked up the field from a Billingham Town freekick.

HT – Esh Winning 2 – 2 Billingham Town

55th Minute – GOAL!!! 3-2 (Allison) – Kai Hewitson challenges Billingham keeper Gibbs in the air and comes away winning the header. The header leaves the ball at Matthew Allisons feet and he makes it 3-2 to The Stags.

Unfortunately, Billingham Town keeper Gibbs, who had been having a great game, was injured when he challenged Hewitson who won the header. Billingham forced to bring on their substitute keeper.

SUBSTITUTE – Gavin Brown is brought on for Alex Goundry on the 61st minute.

65th Minute – GOAL!!! 3-3 (Kirkbride) – Some crappy play in the Esh Winning box leaves Brandon Kirkbride with the ball at his feet and he manages to put the ball in the back of the net 3 a piece.

68th Minute – Esh manager Tony Boakes shows no signs of giving in as he takes Reece Brown off and replaces him with a centre forward in Connor Halpin.

74th Minute – PENALTY SAVED – Paul Oxley brings down a Billingham forward inside the area and referee Evan Culling points to the spot and cautions Paul Oxley. Carl Robinson dives to his right hand side and saves the penalty. The rebound is cleared for a corner and Robinson makes another quick fire save following the corner.

Esh Winning play some fantastic football and create many chances but are unable to get a fourth goal.

A strange situation as a punch appears to have been chucked at Gavin Brown off the ball. Neither the referee nor the assistant referee on the far side appear to have seen this therefore the referee pulls both skippers in to calm the situation down.

87th Minute – 3-4 GOAL!!! (Lavan). Heartbreaking! Mykel Summerson appears to be fouled as he tries to defend against a cross from Billingham Town however the foul isn’t seen by the referee and the ball makes its way into the Esh Winning box. Ashley Lavan finds the back of the net and makes it 4-3 to the away side.

Full Time – Esh Winning 3 – 4 Billingham Town

A disappointing result for The Stags but a fantastic performance by each and every one of the lads. Two nil down and looking like conceding more to leading the game 3-2. At 3-3 Robinson incredibly saves a Billingham penalty but a last minute goal leaves The Stags with no points.

Esh XI: Robinson, Wilkinson, R. Brown (y) (Halpin 68’), Stoker (capt), Oxley (y), Summerson, Goundry (Brown 61’), Allison (1), Marley (Kent 25’), Hewitson (2), Swift

Unused Subs: Fish, Soulsby

Billingham Town XI: Gibbs, Moore, Dixon, McDonald, Oakley, Kirkbride, Hargrave, Connor, Kerridge, Lavan, Hogan

Subs: Redman, Shaw, Taylor, Maloney, Lambert

Referee: Evan Culling

Assistant Referee: Selwyn Heslop

Assistant Referee: John Love

Attendance: 67

Match Report: Matthew Burdess


Match Report – Esh Winning 2 – 2 Brandon United – 31.1.18

A local derby that was promised a couple of weeks ago finally got played on a perfectly clear January night whilst the temperature off the pitch was cold, the tempers on the pitch where fiery for this match.

The game kicked off with both sides hitting long hopeful balls being cut out by either defences, some of the tackles showing the desire of the players on both team to come out on top.

The first chance of note came on the 7th minute, after a late challenge on Kai Hewitson left Callum Boakes a free kick from just outside the box to the right of the goal. Boakes struck it sweetly with his left foot, forcing Brandon keeper Steven Skinner to smuggle the ball up and over the bar for the corner.

9′ Goal – Esh Winning 1 (Hewitson Pen) – 0 Brandon United

With Esh in the ascendency the ball fell to Max Stoker on the edge of the centre circle, spotting Callum Boakes getting the jump on his defender, he sends a perfectly weighted outside of the foot pass splitting the full back and his centre half. Boakes running on to the ball looks to drive into the left hand side of the box before being bundled over by Reece Marshall when bearing down on goal, clear penalty and a yellow card for Marshall. Kai Hewitson steps up and cooly slots the ball home giving Skinner no chance.

The goal seemed to rattle the Brandon side, demonstrated when Reece Brown darted down the right wing, getting to the edge of the area, shielded the ball just as Connor Lowes went right through the back of him resulting in a yellow card that could easily have been a red on another occasion. Boakes again with the free kick, however this time leaves Skinner untroubled and balloons the ball over the bar.

With Brandon gaining a foothold in the match their first chance fell to Craig Hindmarch on the 18th minute who narrowly missed a viscous free kick taken by Craig Ruddy, when any touch would more than likely resulted in a goal.

The game became scrappy for the rest of the first half. A swinging arm by Lee Blades catching Paul Oxley in the face, and not dealt with by referee Adam Nichol, led to a five minute outbreak of bad tackles and grumblings from both teams. Gav Brown receiving a caution for breaking up the play before Blades again kicked out at Oxley whilst attempting to get on to a through ball. Mr Nichol saw this one and produced a Yellow card for the offence.

The final chance of a dour last 20 minutes of the first half fell to Esh and Hewitson who ran on to a loose ball 40 yards out, unleashing a rocket of a shot that left Skinner rooted to the spot, however the ball narrowly went over the bar.

HT: Esh Winning 1 – 0 Brandon United

The second half started with a flurry of fouls and dangerous free kicks in Brandons favour, Reece Brown, Summerson and Paul Oxley all receiving yellow cards trying to stem the tide. Fortunately for the stags the resulting free kicks caused no panic. The closest from Ruddy flashed a yard wide of Mark Fish in the Esh goal.

Following the dangerous few minutes, Esh began to find a rhythm and whilst not creating any clear cut chances managed to control the game.

Goal 60′ Esh Winning 2 (Hewitson) – Brandon United 0

With Boakes, Hewitson and Halpin beginning to look more and more dangerous it seemed only a matter of time before a clear cut chance was created. Boakes receiving the ball just inside the Brandon half, looked up and saw Kai Hewitson darting forward. Boakes threads a perfectly weighted ball and with the defence stepping forward and claiming an offside which the linesman disagreed with it fell to Hewitson one on one with Skinner. Choosing power Hewitson strikes the ball hard and at head height, Skinner gets a hand to the ball but it is not quite strong enough to stop the ball crossing the line and into the goal for his second of the evening. As always I will give my honest opinion, I was inline with the play and Hewitson did appear to be half a yard offside, with Luke Thompson being the deepest of the defenders stepping forward at the last second.

With Esh still in the ascendency Hewitson missed a golden chance for his hatrick, after good work from Connor Halpin on the left he sends the ball into the area, with no one around him on the penalty spot it looked for all the world to be Esh’s third goal. Hewitson striking the ball low to the keepers left, Skinner remarkably pulls out a save to deny Esh the safety net of a third goal.

Brandon came out fighting following that save, Jordon Lee sending a daisy cutter of a cross across the box crying out to be tapped in, however it split the three Brandon players in the box and went out for a throw in.

Goal 82′ Esh Winning 2 – 1 (Fingleton) Brandon United

With Esh conceding a soft corner it was always likely to cause issues, the ball whipped in was not dealt with effectively leaving the towering Niall Fingleton an uncontested header from six yard out. Fish in the Esh goal not standing a chance. Brandon scoring with only their second shot on target in the game.

Goal 84′ Esh Winning 2 – 2 (Fingleton) Brandon United

Unbelievably in the space of two minutes the game turned on its head. After a long ball down the right wing saw a shot from the edge of the 6 yard was blocked by Fish down by his left hand post, the ball sprang back into play, a scramble ensued and what looked to be a foul on an Esh defender was turned down by Mr Nichol, the ball fell to Niall Fingleton again in the right space at the right time and hit the ball goalwards. Max Stoker got a foot to the ball and cleared it, believing it to be not over the goal line he gets up to continue the game, only for the referee to award the goal. I cannot give an opinion on whether it did or did not cross as I did not have the right angle on it, what I will say however is that it did look a clear foul in the build up to the goal.

With the equaliser scored Brandon reverted to a defensive game, Captain Craig Ruddy telling his players on the return to the centre circle that a point is something they should settle for.

The final chance of the game fell to Esh in the 93rd minute of the game, after a snap shot by Hewitson was parried by Skinner, Connor Halpin gambled on the rebound, getting to the ball he tries to tap it around Skinner before finishing. With Skinner on the ground he raises his left arm and appears to take down Halpin, the ball rolling to safety. With every one of Esh’s players and management expecting a penalty Mr Nichol waves the claims away before blowing for full time shortly afterwards. From the angle I was at, inline with the 18 yard box on the opposite side of the field, with no obstruction I fail to see how no penalty was given, however that is football.

A smash and grab from Brandon resulted in them scrapping to an arguably undeserved point, but their desire to come back and not lay down should of course be admired. It is another point towards the total as we aim to look up the table rather than down with the half way point well passed in the season.

Esh XI: Fish, Summerson (y), Swift, Stoker (c), G. Brown (y), Soulsby, R. Brown (y) (Mann 63′), Oxley (y) (Wilkinson 71′), Halpin (y), Hewitson (2), Boakes (Arnott 80′ (y))

Unused Subs: Robinson, Kent

Brandon XI: Skinner, Marshall, Wren, Fingleton (2), Hindmarch, Thompson, Lowes, Ruddy (c), Blades, Stephenson, Lee

Subs: Alderson, Jones, Byrne, Quine

Referee: A. Nicholl

Assistants: M. Guffick, J. Gordon

Attendance: 59

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding


All views and opinions expressed in this report are my own and do not represent those of the club or any person.



Match Report – Esh Winning 2-2 Hebburn Town – 23.12.17

A mild yet windy Saturday afternoon greeted the two teams who both find themselves in the top half of the table for Christmas.

The game started at a frantic pace with Hebburn making the most of some lacklustre defending of a team coming off a long period with no league football, with a cup defeat against todays opposition also playing on their minds.

8′ Goal Esh Winning 0-1 (North) Hebburn Town

Making the most of the wind blowing across the pitch the long throw from the right was predictably met by the towering Channon North with a header up and over the helpless Mark Fish in the Esh Winning goal.

10′ Goal Esh Winning 0-2 (Chow) Hebburn Town

With The Stags still reeling from the early setback and with recent heavy defeats in mind the defence opened up all too easily for North running on to a long through ball, left back Alex Hird the man to try and keep up with him, he slides and gets a foot onto the ball, sending the ball through to the man in an offside position in other circumstances Paul Chow, who rolls the ball into the empty net. With the assistant referee flagging for offside it was down to referee Mr Hargrave, to make the correct decision and award the goal to Hebburn. That was Chows third goal in two league games against us this season.

With Esh 2-0 down it would be understandable to think that would be the end of the game and a possible cricket score being put up by Hebburn given recent games. Not today however, and despite being two down the balance of play shifted towards Esh. Jonathan Swift striking a ball hard and just over the bar and Nick Marley hitting the bar with a dipping shot after good work by Gav Brown sparking signs of life.

26′ Goal Esh Winning 1 (Marley) -2 Hebburn Town
With the dominance of possession starting to show the hard working Swift on the left wing was brought down 40 yards out in line with the Esh dugout and 6 yards infield. Shaun Reay whipping a superb free kick onto the penalty spot and Nick Marley delivering the diving header the ball deserved to halve the deficit

31′ Goal Esh Winning 2 (Marley) -2 Hebburn Town
In football it is so important to take advantage of any momentum and so it proved again today. Another free kick awarded in the corner was put across by Gav Brown, the defenders failing to clear the ball fatally bouncing on the edge of the six yard box. Nick Marley reacting quickest and smashing the ball into the net with Hubey helpless to stop it.

The final two chances of the half both fell to Paul Chow, a free header from the penalty spot should have restored Hebburns lead. However, the easier chance was after a cross beat the entire Esh defence, Chow found himself unmarked with a header at the perfect height for him. All Mark Fish could do in the Esh goal was make him as big as possible charging across the goal, Chow heading back from where Fish had come from missed the net by a yard with it looking easier to score.

HT: Esh Winning 2-2 Hebburn Town
The second half saw both teams a little more cautious, not helped by the wind making good football difficult on a heavy pitch.

The first chance fell to Esh on the 55th minute, Matty Soulsby finding space 35 yards out struck a curling effort just going wide of the left hand post.
With the game becoming slightly stretched Kanda danced through 4 Esh defenders and to the edge of the box, losing composure he blasts a left footed effort high over the Esh goal.

The main talking point of the second half was a disallowed goal for Hebburn, Paul Chow finding himself unmarked in the box, as he slides the ball into the net the flag goes up to rule Chow offside, as I was not in a position to see the line it is hard to be conclusive my gut reaction was he looked offside, albeit that is clearly an Esh Winning point of view. However two Hebburn fans inline with the incident said he was level, either way it was close!

The final 20 minutes arguably belonged to Esh, after good work from Swift, Shaun Reay holds the ball up well in the Hebburn penalty area he then lays the ball off to Alex Hird 25 yards out. Hird smashes the ball some 20 yards over the bar, clearing the netting behind the goal, he claims later that it hit a huge bobble.

The final two attempts came from Max Stoker long throws, the first finding Nick Marley looking for his third lurking on the six yard box. His glanced header goes just wide.

The final chance of the game in the 90th minuted saw Stokers throw glanced on by Marley, Matty Soulsby getting a glancing head on it beating the keeper and hitting the underside of the bar before going to safety.

FT: Esh Winning 2-2 Hebburn Town

A fair result on the day I think, both teams will be happy with the point at the end of the match. Albeit it with Hebburn in control early on and Esh rueing missed chances at the end of the game.

All that is left to be said is to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and we hope to see you on Wednesday night as we take on Brandon at home with a 7:30 kick off.

EWFC XI: Fish, Wilkinson, Hird, Stoker (c), Brown, Summerson, Allison, Soulsby (y), Marley (2), Reay, Swift

Unused Subs: Robinson, Watson, Boakes, Hewitson, Gill

Hebburn XI: Hubey, Toward, Shaw, Bickerstaff, Bramley, Donaghy, Wightman, Kanda, Chow (g), North (c) (g), Jones

Subs: Myers, Feasey, Robinson, Douglas, Blackburn

Referee: Mr. G. Hargrave

Assistants: Mr. I. Frostwick, Mr D. Matuszek

Attendance: 54

Match Reporter: Adam Wilding

All views are my own and do not represent those of the club or any other person.