Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Article excerpt

THE whole Ebac Northern League Division One programme was wiped out by the weekend's weather, with all but one of the games postponed due to either snow or extreme frost, with pitches freezing up and becoming unplayable.

The one game that did start was the Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle Benfield and Sunderland RCA.

However, this was abandoned after 22 minutes, with the pitch becoming "very slippery."

Before the match was abandoned, Sunderland RCA had taken a fifth-minute lead, when a defensive mix-up between Lewis Scorgie and Matthew Cornish allowed Colin Larkin to feed Stephen Callen, who beat goalkeeper Andrew Grainger in the Benfield goal.

Mark Convery, the Newcastle Benfield manager, commented: "The referee started the game, but it was played at a pedestrian pace on a slippery pitch.

"We should have been 2-0 up early on, but RCA took the lead and almost doubled their score soon after.

"After ten minutes, the referee reassessed and suggested the teams play on. After 22 minutes, with the temperature dropping, there was no chance of the pitch thawing out and referee Lucy Oliver abandoned the game."

Martin Swales, Sunderland RCA manager, said it was the "right decision" to abandon the game.

Only two matches survived the weather in the Ebac Northern League Division Two and only at the last minute was the Billingham Town and Heaton Stannington game called off by the match referee.

Blyth Town remain in the hunt for promotion after a 3-2 win at Northallerton Town. The visitors went ahead in the seventh minute when Liam Gillesphey scored, giving the home goalkeeper James Briggs no chance with his shot, and then Ian Herron made it 2-0 to Blyth in the 37th minute.

Northallerton were a different team in the second half and fought back well, reducing the deficit when Stuart Owen's 60th-minute shot beat Mathew Crook in the visitors' goal. …

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