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This weeks TJFA update - will we finally clear some of this back-log of games! 

The worst week of the season in terms of fixture completion, as waterlogged pitches combined with those turning to ice overnight, again decimated the schedule.

Just five games to report on this week and we'll start in the Under 12 first division where one goal was enough to secure all three points for Grangetown Boys Club, as they made the journey across to Richmond Town "Royal". Grangetown have now consolidated their position in fourth place and are now only four points behind the League leaders. Their all-important goal at the weekend was scored by Mark Gent.

Eaglescliffe Elementis "Blue" went three points clear at the top of the Under 12 fourth division as they travelled up to Bishop Auckland to play the "Aces" side and came away with a convincing 5-1 win. The Bishop Auckland goal was scored by Neil Vickers, but an excellent hat-trick from the prolific Harry Close and further efforts from Oliver Cook and Charlie Stewart-Titchiner enough to give Elementis their seventh win from the nine matches they've played, and they have lost just the once this season. Bishop Auckland "Aces" remain on the fringe of the top sides after this match, suffering only their third reversal of the season.

A fantastic performance by Newton Aycliffe Youth "Falcons" as they made the lengthy journey down to Whitby Fishermans and they came away with all three points following a narrow 2-1 win which puts them clear top of the Under 12 fifth division. Admittedly they have played a few games more than the teams in the chasing pack, but points in the bag at this stage of the season are vital. This was the first defeat of the season for Whitby Fishermens who became the last team in this division to lose their unbeaten record and they still remain very much in the hunt for silverware later this season. The goal for Whitby scored by David Willison, with Dylan Redpath netting an excellent double for the Newton Aycliffe "Falcons" side.

The Bishop Auckland area was where we managed to play more games than anywhere else last weekend and this was great news for the Under 14 top flight "Aces" side who were entertaining Stokesley FC and they went on to record their eighth straight win in maintaining their 100% winning record. Bishop Auckland have now moved eight points clear at the top of the table, as goals from Harrison Lynch, who netted twice and Gidion Kanyondo were enough to gain the spoils last weekend. The Stokesley goal was scored by Samuel Howells.

Finally, from a savagely depleted fixture list last weekend we must mention a tremendous result for Greatham FC "B", who travelled up to Bishop Auckland "Kings" in the Under 14 third division and won by three goals to nil. This was a bit of a shock result as the Bishop "Kings" boasted a 100% winning record and had conceded only two goals from the seven matches they had played in the League before this. But Greatham do score a lot of goals and have now scored 60 in only 13 League games to move them eight points clear at the top. Again teams in behind, including Bishop Auckland "Kings", have a number of games in hand which, if they win those, will put them above Greatham, but this was still a superb result for the Hartlepool based side. Their goals last Sunday were scored by Clayton Jewson, who scored twice and Reece Bailey.

So, the worst weekend yet in terms of the numbers of fixtures played and the backlog really has begun to build up. Fingers crossed for the forthcoming weekend and thereafter. The team officials, the junior players and all of us in a League official capacity are now becoming desperate to for games to recommence in earnest.

Well, we hope the upcoming fixtures for this weekend go ahead, as we do have some great fixtures in store.

We start with the top match in the Under 12 fifth division, as the teams in second and third places respectively meet up across in Darlington as Spraire Lads play hosts to Barnard Castle. Both sides have lost just the one match each so far and either team can go top with a win, although the end result could be really close with both teams having to settle for a point apiece at the final whistle. The goalscoring power of Barnard Castle may hold the key though, as they have knocked in 61 goals in just seven matches so far and they must be slight favourites in a match which is scheduled to kick-off around 11:00am.

Darlington could be the place to be at the weekend as a great match is scheduled in the Under 13 second division, with second placed Darlington Youth welcoming third placed 21st. Allstars "A" across to their venue. Very similar records for these two sides, with both having won all but one game each so far and a mouth-watering fixture for any neutral supporter in that area on Sunday, in another match scheduled to start around 11:00am.

Also across in the Darlington area, our third highlighted game, this time from the Under 13 sixth division between Mount Pleasant Rangers "B" and Darlington Young Bulls promises to be one of the best games of the weekend. Young Bulls are unbeaten so far, having won seven of their eight League games, with Mount Pleasant suffering just one reversal in their first six. Two quite well organised defences on display may make this a very close end result, with perhaps just the odd goal enough to gain all three valuable points. This is a top drawer game which also has a scheduled kick off time of 1:30pm.

Moving up one age group into the second division within the Under 14 age group, third placed Teesside Rangers make the short journey across to Top Corner Sports on the Trunk Road to play the League leaders Polton Allstars, in what should be a great advert for the game at this level. The best two defences in the division at this stage, but Polton possess a great forward line which has already seen them score 59 goals in their opening ten matches and that could be key in this fixture. This penultimate previewed match should kick-off around 1:30pm.

Finally for this forthcoming Sunday, my selection as the match of the weekend comes from the Under 16 third division when second placed South Park Rangers play hosts to top of the table Seaton Carew. South Park Rangers are only two points behind their visitors but they do have a game in hand, so this is a real crunch encounter. The South Park Rangers defence has been in fine form this season and it may be that just an odd goal will be enough to determine the eventual winner. An end result too close to call and this final previewed match will also kick off around 1:30pm.

So, hopefully more matches this coming weekend, we could certainly do with some games being played now.

Chris Ord

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