Soccer Magazine

Around The Alliance 23

By Smidrophenia
695.Armstrong ParkRothbury 1-1 Forest HallNorthern Alliance 1st DivisionSaturday 17th August Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23 Rothbury is a town and civil parish in Northumberland on the River Coquet, 13.5 miles northwest of Morpeth. (population over 2,000) It was chartered as a market town in 1291, becoming a center for dealing in cattle and wool for the surrounding neighbouring villages.
Rothbury FC are one of the oldest football clubs in Northumberland, dating back to 1876. The current side stepped up from the North Northumberland League to win the 2nd Division of the Northern Alliance last season.Around The Alliance 23Armstrong Park is just on the edge of the town centre, although it's easy to miss after the welcome sign was taken away. I traveled up with Lee & Katie and we met up with our Hull Hopper friends - Dave and Phil. I was aware of the location of the ground but our Groundhopping pals from East Yorkshire struggled to find it. The ground has a picturesque setting with grass banking behind one of the goals and running down one side. There’s a couple of park benches with the changing room block on top of the hill. It was officially opened in 1979 by Lord Armstrong, the grandfather of actor, TV and radio presenter Alexander Armstrong.(a pointless fact) The club describe it as - ‘The perfect setting for free flowing passing football, wonderfully maintained by dedicated volunteers’.Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23It finished all square in the Division One clash with Forest Hall. After a scoreless first half the deadlock was broken just after the hour mark, when Innocent Charinda stroked home the penalty after a foul in the area. Rothbury equalised late on when a free kick aimed at the back post, fell to Gareth McCann who fired home from close range.Also I must mention that in the fifth minute Rothbury’s Joel Laviers lost his temper after a throw in was awarded to the visitors which resulted in the referee sin-binning the player. This means he has the honor of being the first player I’ve seen sent to the bin following this new enforced rule from this season.

Matchday FactsRFC 1(McCann)FHFC 1(Charinda pen)2.30pm koAtt.60hcAround The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23696. Crag ParkSeaton Sluice 1-3 BurradonNorthern Alliance 2nd DivisionWednesday 21st AugustAround The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Seaton Sluice is a village divided by a bridge across the Seaton Burn in Northumberland, midway between Whitley Bay and Blyth.(population about 3,000)Seghill FC joined the Northern Alliance from the Newcastle Corinthians League for the 2017-18 season. In December 2018 they changed their name to Seaton Sluice FC and have finished 14th and 11th and their two seasons in the 2nd Division.Around The Alliance 23Crag Park is just off Beresford Road- the A193 which runs up the coast. There is a changing room block at the entrance with the pitch roped off, running downwards towards the North Sea. I drove over to the coast with Lee & Katie and also watched the game with legendary Toon supporter Glenn Wallace, who called to the match in between cricket at Scarborough and heading back hyem to Ashington.Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23
The Sluice lads have made a good start to the season but came a cropper against an impressive Burradon. Lee Isbister fired in at the second attempt to give the visitors the lead just before the break, before taking control of the game in the second half. In the 64th minute a corner kick was headed onto Adam Corbett who skillfully vollied home, before Harry Poole hammered home from a right wing cross to make it 3-0 with twenty minutes left.  The home side grabbed a late consolation when a daisy cutter free kick from Liam Bainbridge was deflected in by Steven Robinson.Matchday FactsSSFC 1(Robinson 90+1)BFC 3(Isbister 43 Corbett 64 Poole 70)6.15pm koAtt.44hcAround The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23
Scotswood Sports Centre.(revisit)Newcastle Blue Star - AFC New FordleySaturday 24th August Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23I visited the Scotswood Sports Centre when Grainger Park Boys Club were the residents, before they became FC United of Newcastle and relocating to Wallsend in 2017. You can read about my previous visit in August 2016 in part seventeen of Around The Alliance.Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23The original Newcastle Blue Star was founded in 1930 and were FA Vase winners in 1978 as a Wearside League side.

The club won promotion to the Northern Premier League when they folded in June 2009. In 2018  local businessman Steve Best had a vision to bring the club back to life, so the new set up merged with Hazlerigg Victory and relocated to the Scotswood Sports Centre. The new club is managed by former Newcastle United midfielder/full back Kenny Wharton AKA “The pride of Blakelaw”Since my previous visit, the ground has been improved with a new pitch perimeter fence and dugouts.  The new revamped clubhouse was officially opened in October 2018 by Lady Elsie Robson and named the Sir Bobby Robson Lounge.Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23 The Premier Division teams both with five wins out of five met in a cracking game with Blue Star coming out on top. New Fordley took the lead in the 21st minute when a right wing cross was met by Connor Andrews with a well taking side foot volley. 

The home team quickly responded with a corner cross producing an own goal, then taking the lead with a cracking shot from Scott Goldsmith from outside the box to make it 2-1 at half time.
The game was evenly matched with the visitors equalising with a well taking 20 yard free kick from Kieran Pyle.  The record crowd at Scotswood were rewarding with the winner on 68 minutes, when Owen Breaton ran on to a defensive clearance to rifle home to make it 3-2 to the Star.Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23Around The Alliance 23

Matchday FactsNBSFC 3(OG 29 Goldsmith 34 Breaton 68)AFCNF 2(Andrews 21 Pyle 64)2.30pm koAtt.232 (a ground record)

Admission £2
(including 4 page color programme)

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