The season has started well; fifth place in the League and two FA Cup ties under our belt. Steve and Nathan have brought in a number of good players to strengthen our squad and everyone who has seen us play has been impressed with the good football and the effort and commitment of the players. Looking back, at the end of last August we were second bottom in the League with three points from four games and we had been knocked out in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup beaten 2-1 at home by Jarrow Roofing. There is a long way to go so let’s hope our good results and keeping our players injury free continues.
Our trip down to Nelson brought memories of our Unibond days – hiring a coach, 11:00am departure, arriving back at 8:45pm after a pub stop etc.; the people at Nelson are really lovely people but it was a shock to players and supporters to experience their ground (very old and run-down to say the least) as we have such great facilities. Nelson are hoping to build new dressing rooms and a clubhouse and we know that won’t be easy but let’s hope for them they can achieve the necessary funds to meet the needs of modern day football, even at nonleague level!
After going down to an early goal our team dominated the game and came out worthy winners 4-1 meaning we play Ossett Albion in the next round. There has been a lot of back-room discussions with regard to our fixtures when they clash with Darlington’s. Our Ground Share Agreement with Darlington does not give them precedence with regard to their League games so on this occasion we have decided to play the FA Cup fixture on Saturday 3rd September. We will assess each clash of fixtures individually and discuss with Darlington the dates we will play.
Ossett had a someone watching us last night at Jarrow Roofing (the red track suit top with Evo-Stik on it was the giveaway!). I think they would have been impressed with us as we played, once again, good attacking football although we did concede two goals that I think Steve will have been disappointed in and to be fair it would have been unfortunate if we had been beaten if the ref had given what looked a blatant penalty for the Roofing!!
Our first home game of the season against Marske United went smoothly both on and off the pitch. We had Bishop Auckland St Mary’s Under 8 aces as mascots and ball boys and a good attendance of 287. The team had an emphatic victory against a side that will certainly be in the top half of the table at the end of the season.
Work going on at HP this week has included the main stand and the stand behind the goal being cleaned by Andrew Henderson of Purekleen who has done a fantastic job – thanks Andrew! Brian Watson is meeting with our electricians this week to look at the floodlights. One of the lamps is out and before we replace the bulb we thought it worth looking at either upgrading the bulbs in all the lamps to improve the light or adding a lamp to each pylon. It won’t surprise you to know that new bulbs can cost up to £200 each (and we have 16!).
Thanks to those people who have ordered the away strip replica shirts; they are on order and hopefully will be with us very soon and we will be in touch for collection.
I got a call last week from Norman Smith from Shildon Football Club who had been contacted by Grimsby Town who were planning a tribute to one of their former players, Sid Wheelhouse, who died at the Somme in September 1916. Sid was born in Bishop Auckland and played for Bishop for a season before signing for Shildon where he played for five or six seasons before signing for Grimsby Town. Grimsby recently named one of their bars ‘The Wheelhouse Bar’ after Sid and held a ceremony before a recent game in honour of Sid and all those soldiers who died at the Battle of the Somme.
Norman and myself, on behalf of our Clubs have agreed to commemorate Sidney Wheelhouse and all those soldiers who died at the Battle of the Somme before our game on Bank Holiday Monday. Plans are still to be finalised but we will have some invited guests including some of Sidney’s family at the game and we will hold a minute’s silence before the game.
More details of this will be made available at the end of the week.
We have recently announced that we will be hosting two Christmas Party nights and a New Year’s Eve Party night in our function room. Tickets will be £12 for the Christmas Party Night and £20 to see the New Year in at Heritage Park. There will be a buffet and disco at the Christmas party nights and a buffet and a band entertaining us on New Year’s Eve. To book a place contact: [email protected]