16th April 2017

Writing this blog ensured I made it to the Football yesterday when otherwise I might not have got there. Travelling to Esh through Cornsay Colliery, a Police car was blocking the road into Esh Winning near the Hamsteels estate. I’m not sure what caused the blockage, but there was no way past.

I sat for 5 minutes in the queue of cars and nothing happened. Other cars started turning back so I followed suit giving a fleeting thought to just heading home. But knowing I wanted to write about something in today’s blog post, I persevered, turning left at Cornsay, heading over the hill into Waterhouses, turning left at The Black Horse and left again into the ground.

Once there the nice weather, good clubhouse and friendly welcome ensured I did not regret it for one second. The club is well looked after by their Chairman, who has been associated with the club for decades and Matthew Burdess who was, perhaps still is, the youngest club secretary in the Northern League. All their committee do a great job.

Billingham Town were good value for their 2-0 lead heading towards half-time when Esh were awarded a penalty. It was one of those decisions referees hate. There was contact but the attacker got his shot off. I’ve seen much worse not given, but I was fine with the referee’s decision. Esh duly converted the penalty and headed into half-time back in the match trailing by 1-2.

It was a spectator friendly second half with few, if any, nasty challenges. Late in the game Kai Hewitson broke clear and neatly finished a counter attack from a poor Billingham corner to level the scores. It could be argued Esh did not deserve it, but Billingham had not finished them off. It turned out to be the final goal of the match and it ended 2-2.

Billingham will feel it was two points lost and Esh, despite a quiet 85 minutes, did finish strongly and might feel the unlikely win was there for the taking late on. It was that type of game.

Congratulations to Stockton Town FC who wrapped up the Northern League Division 2 title yesterday. They will do well in Division 1. Consett vs Penrith for me tomorrow.

Happy Easter!

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