Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fixture Chaos to Test New Year Resolution; Remax Northern Alliance League

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fixture Chaos to Test New Year Resolution; Remax Northern Alliance League

Article excerpt

WITH the year soon to draw to a close, many sides could be facing a hectic time in 2009 - with some having played only a handful of league games so far.

Frequent postponements and intervening cup commitments have hit several Premier Division teams hard, the worst affected being Harraby Catholic Club, Newcastle University and Ashington Colliers. Harraby have played five cup games on the trot but have managed only seven league starts - their last being on Octiber 4.

Late starters Newcastle University similarly have only seven Premier Division games under their belts. Ashington have played only one game more than their two colleagues and as a result have remained stuck in the basement.

Saturday's flood of call-offs did not help matters.

The league programme suffered badly again with every game in the three divisions wiped out - except for the First Division clash between Stocksfield and visitors Hebburn Reyrolle.

Heading the table and only beaten once so far, Stocksfield increased their lead in pole position by winning 5-2.

They are now four points clear of nearest promotion rivals Whitley Bay A - with the added bonus of a game in hand.

Visitors Hebburn have suffered a recent dip in form and were soon in trouble, trailing to goals by Stocksfield's Phil Murray and Ben Pearson at the interval.

Pearson netted again after the break to take his tally to 11 league goals and Pat Finnerty scored the home side's fourth.

Hebburn rallied with replies from James Keeler and David Jeffers, but their hosts still had the last word as Scott Johnson completed the scoring.

The third-round programme in the Northumberland FA Minor Cup - the county's biggest Saturday competition - frequently causes problems as it coincides with the wintry weather.

It is living up to its reputation again this year - and the postponements have a knockon effect as far as fixtures are concerned in leagues like the Northern Alliance.

After two successive blank weekends due to ice, snow and rain, there are eight Alliance hopefuls caught up in the logjam and hoping the weather relents this coming Saturday.

Last weekend only three of the Minor Cup games went ahead, including two matches involving Northern Alliance sides. …

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