TJFA Weekly Update
The latest from the TJFA
Well, even the gale force weather, added to ground conditions beyond belief, didn't deter some of our battle-hardened teams who ensured their games still went ahead. Admittedly there were only around a third of the scheduled games played but even so, allowing for those conditions, we did play more games than expected last weekend.
The Under 14 League Cup third round match between Hartlepool Pools Youth from the fifth division and Fishburn Park from the fourth, was one of the highlights from the Report last week and the game certainly didn't disappoint, with Pools Youth just shading a nine goal thriller by the odd goal, to secure their place in the quarter final of the Competition, eventually running out winners by five goals to four. The goals for Fishburn from Adam Bainbridge, who scored twice, with Brandon Anderson and Elliott Hewison each finding the target. Two goals each from Jack Sullivan and Matthew Young for Pools Youth, with Kieron Harden netting their fifth. This must have been great cup tie for any neutral supporters watching last weekend and probably quite exciting for both sets of players and their management teams as well.
Moving onto League matches now and in the seventh division at Under 12 level Northallerton Juniors maintained their fine start to the season and kept intact their 100% winning record, as they convincingly won by six goals to one against a Normanby United "Black" side who were losing for only the second time this season. Perhaps a more one-sided scoreline than first anticipated, as both Ben Cox and Max Gardner each hit the target twice for Northallerton Juniors, with Sam Holding and Batu Sunbull also getting on the scoresheet. The consolation goal for Normanby came from Luke Boddy. Northallerton have now opened up a five point lead at the top of the division following this win.
Last weeks choice as the match of the weekend came from the Under 13 third division and produced a fine home win for South Park Rangers "Red", as they ran out 3-1 winners against Bishop Auckland St. Mary's. Although second placed Bishop Auckland have a couple of games in hand over top of the table South Park Rangers, the gap has now widened to nine points and South Park Rangers do look like the team the rest will all have to beat if they want to wrest the Championship away from them, although there is still along way to go this season. The Bishop Auckland goal last weekend from Regan Nixon but Anderson Blaney, Bradley Stephenson and Ben Walton were all on target for South Park Rangers to send their supporters home much the happier of the two.
Just a couple of other games to highlight from last weekends weather affected matches, and Nunthorpe Athletic edged into the hat for the semi-final draw of the TJFA League Cup at Under 18 level, as they travelled the short distance up to Stokesley and won by three goals to two. The Stokesley goals from Owen Armstrong and Josh Smith, with Kevin Hayes, Sam Steel and Max Tennant all making sure that the Nunthorpe players, parents and officials will all be glued to BBC Tees sometime next year when the live draw is undertaken.
Finally, from a depleted fixture list last weekend, a single strike from Ciaran Darby was enough to maintain Guisborough Town's position at the top of the Under 12 third division at the expense of Marton FC "Blue", who lost for only the second time this season. Marton have slipped to fourth place following this reversal, but this division remains wide open in terms of end of season honours, although Guisborough have made it eight wins out of eight played and sit a healthy six points clear at the top at this stage.
So, hats off to all the players and officials, along with, of course, the parents and spectators managed to brave those terrible conditions last weekend.
For the final playing weekend of 2015 we move back to League action where another large selection of mouth-watering matches are scheduled.
We start with the Under 12 fourth division match between Eaglescliffe Elementis "Blue" who are hosting Acklam FC. Two of four teams joint level at the top in this very tight division, having played exactly the same number of matches, with Elementis having the best goalscoring record, scoring 40 goals in their eight matches, against an excellent Acklam defence which has conceded only nine times in their eight games. A really tight match in prospect with, on paper, a draw looking the most likely outcome. This game should kick off around 11:00am.
A top match being played in the Under 14 fifth division when Hartlepool Pools Youth play hosts to Billingham Synthonia. Both teams have lost just the one match so far this season, with the "Synners" having played one more game than their opponents. Billingham have an exceptional defence which has only conceded seven goals in as many games in the League so far. That defence is sure to be tested this weekend, but they may just hold out and yet another game which is too close to call in terms of the end result. This match kick-offs around 1:30pm.
My match of the weekend comes from the Under 15 fifth division where Sedgefield Youth and Shildon AFC meet up. Amazingly at this stage of the season, we have two teams here who go head to head having won all of their respective matches so far. They are also the two highest scoring sides in this division, with Sedgefield scoring 67 goals in their first eight matches and Shildon having scored 51 in six games. A really top class match in prospect and one not to miss if you are in that particular area this weekend. A scheduled kick-off time of 1:30pm for this game.
Hartlepool may be the best location to be in this weekend as, in the Under 16 fourth division, Hartlepool St. Francis are at home to Middleton Rangers. Yet another two sides with very similar records, with both having lost just the one League game this season. An end to end match is anticipated and, with only a handful of points covering the top four sides in this division, a match which both sides will surely be going all out to win. This game kicks off around 1:30pm.
Finally for this week, a selection from our oldest age group at Under 18, and the third division, with Newton Aycliffe Juniors "Black" making the relatively short trip up to Ferryhill Town for what is sure to be a no quarter asked or given encounter. Both unbeaten at this stage, but whereas Ferryhill have drawn one of their six matches, Newton Aycliffe have won all five they have played. This is certain to be a top class advert for the game at this level and yet another end result too close to call. This final previewed match should also kick-off around 1:30pm
So, more top class junior football action to come this weekend