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The latest from the TJFA 

Some tremendous junior football played again last weekend and we’ll take a quick look back to some of the matches which we highlighted on last weeks show.

We start with a tremendous win for Whitby Fishermens who were entertaining the previously unbeaten Barnard Castle in the Under 12 fifth division. Whitby went to the top of the table with an excellent 6-3 victory. The goals for Barnard Castle from Flynn Turnbull who netted twice and the League’s current top goalscorer Levi Coll, but two goals from David Willison who was ably supported by George Barkas, Jack Cairns, Marshall Kelly and Matthew Wignall were enough to steer Whitby to the top. Despite this reversal, Barnard Castle are only two points behind the leaders in second place. 

A really close encounter was envisaged in the Under 13 fourth division and this turned out to be totally correct as Whinney Banks FC travelled the short distance across to TIBS to play their “Yellow” team, with Whinney Banks gaining all three points following a narrow 2-1. The TIBS goal scored by Charlie Tierney, but two excellent goals from Connor Fryett were enough to give Whinney Banks those vital points. Only the second reversal of the season for TIBS who now slip to fourth in the table, but this fine performance by Whinney Banks enough for them to consolidate their position at the top and they have now won their first four League matches. 

Another team to continue their fine start to the season were also involved in a very close match as Eaglescliffe Elementis “White” journeyed up to Stokesley FC in the Under 15 second division and returned with the three points after winning by two goals to one. Eaglescliffe remain three points clear at the top after this their fourth straight win from the first four matches in the League. The goals in this game from Kyron Sutton for Stokesley, with both Ryan Dalton and Josh Jowers on target for the visitors.

 In the Under 16 fourth division, two of the top sides couldn’t be separated at the final whistle after Hartlepool St. Francis entertained Ferryhill Town and the points were shared, with the game finishing 1-1. Both teams held onto their unbeaten records in the League, as a goal from Joel Currell for Hartlepool St. Francis was cancelled out by a strike from Ryan Gallimore for Ferryhill. Ferryhill slip to second in the table and St. Francis to fifth, but St. Francis do have a couple of games in hand over the teams above them.

Finally from the League fixtures last weekend and this time in the Under 18 second division, a fairly comprehensive win for TIBS as they beat League leaders Hartlepool FC by five goals to one. The first reversal for Hartlepool who remain top, but TIBS maintained their excellent 100% winning record and have moved into second place, level on points with their rivals and they also have an all-important game in hand. The TIBS side have an excellent defensive record which has so far conceded only two goals from their first four League matches. The goals last Sunday from John Stephenson for Hartlepool, but a brilliant hat-trick from Joe Pickett for TIBS, with further goals coming from Kieron Mulroy and Joshua Todd keeps them firmly on course for League honours come the end of the season.

So yet more closely contested and exciting matches last weekend.

The first weekend of November sees us moving back to Cup action, although a large number of rearranged League games are also scheduled for teams not currently involved in the Cup Competitions. Hopefully the weather will stay kind to us as the Cup matches are vital in terms of end of season completion.

It’s the Cup games which we will preview this week where we’ll pick out four good-looking League Cup fixtures and one Challenge Cup tie.

In the Under 12 League Cup, Marton FC “Blue” from the third division, play hosts to 21st. Allstars “A” team from Darlington who are currently unbeaten in the first division, in a tie which should kick-off around 10:30am. The Marton “Blue” team have won three of their four matches in the League this season and will be no pushovers at their home venue on Hall Drive. The Allstars side are having a great season though and, on paper, they do look favourites to progress to the fourth round stage of the Competition.  

In the second round of the League Cup, this time at Under 13 level, Billingham Synthonia travel across to Newton Aycliffe Youth to compete against their “Falcons” side. The Aycliffe “Falcons” team are carrying all before them in the fifth division having won all six of their League games so far. This will be tougher though as they take on second division “Synners”, who themselves have lost just the one League match from the four they’ve played. This could be a lot closer than some people expect and a bit of a shock could be on the cards. We’ll have to wait and see. Kick-off will again be around 10:30am.

An intriguing fixture in the Under 15 League Cup quarter final as top of the second division Eaglescliffe Elementis “White” play hosts to the second placed team in the third division in the shape of Northallerton Juniors. Both sides have won all of their League matches so far and this match simply has to be given my billing as the tie of the weekend. Two very good defences on display and while Elementis, who score goals for fun, could be classed as favourites to get through to the semi-final draw, those draws hopefully taking place live on BBC Tees around February/March of next year, this is an excellent looking Cup tie and not one to miss if you manage to get across to Urlay Nook Road in Eaglescliffe next Sunday. This game should kick-off around 1:30pm.

At Under 18 level, our oldest age group in the League, across at Sandy Flatts on Hall Drive, Kader FC from the top flight, play hosts to TIBS who have won every single League match in the second division and sit proudly at the top. Kader have scored 15 goals so far, but their forwards will have to be at their very best to break down the resolute defence of TIBS, who have conceded only two goals in the League from the four matches played so far. A really close end result is likely and a Cup tie which might have to go into both extra time and the dreaded penalty shoot-out before we find who eventually manages to get through to the semi-final draw stage. Another 1:30pm kick-off.

Finally for this coming Sunday, this time from the Under 16 Challenge Cup, a second round game across at Station Road in Norton, between Norton & Stockton Ancients and Marske United which could be one of the best in that particular Competition. A clash between two second division sides, with Marske United unbeaten after three games and where they are certain to start as slight favourites, but Norton & Stockton are certain to be up for this Cup tie and the end result could be quite close. This final previewed match should also kick-off around 1:30pm. 

So, more exciting fixtures with both League matches and Cup ties being played this upcoming weekend.

Chris Ord, League Secretary, Teesside Junior Football Alliance. 2015/2016

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