Dunston UTS v Bridlington Town, Saturday 4th December 2021, 3pm

Jen and I had tickets for a concert at the Sage, Gateshead in the evening so I picked an afternoon game that was less than five miles from our hotel. The gig was ok, but nothing special. It was the London African Gospel Choir singing Paul Simon’s Graceland. I like that album, but the choir arsed on too much, stretching it out by introducing everyone and indulging them with a solo and then having the women in the audience singing one line, whilst the men sang another.

I’ve no interest in party games. When I go to a gig, I just want them to play the songs and then clear off. If you haven’t got enough songs, then play some of them twice if you must rather than stretch the last two songs out for half an hour.

That’s enough of the music. The game that we went to beforehand was Dunston’s eighth tier Northern Premier League East Division tie with Bridlington Town at the UTS Stadium. We were able to park up in a nearby street a minute or two away.

It was seven quid in. I didn’t see any programmes, although they may have been selling them in the club shop. Maybe they have done away with paper copies completely as there was an electronic programme mentioned on Twitter.

There was a covered seated stand on the half-way line and we found a spot towards the back. It was absolutely freezing and whilst Jen had brought a blanket I wasn’t sure that she would survive the entire ninety minutes. The Tommy Mooney Stand opposite was standing only with a lot of people lined up along the rail behind the goal to our right.

Dunston went into the game in fifth position in the table with Bridlington rock bottom. Current form also favoured the home side with them having won four out of the last five whilst the visitors had managed no better than a couple of draws over the same period.

The standard of football wasn’t the best but I don’t mind that. By the time you get down to the eighth tier of English football it can be a bit hit and miss. I suspect Dunston will have played a lot better this season. The grass looked a little on the long side and I don’t think it helped with trying to pass along the ground. Once the turf started to churn it became even harder and the easy solution was to hit longer balls.

Virtually nothing happened in the first half until Dunston had an on-target shot blocked in added time. There was more going on in the second half and the Bridlington player-manager opened the scoring with a shot that went in off the post. They added a second with a finish that I felt the Dunston keeper could have done better with.

The tempo picked up after Dunston pulled one back from a pen but with the visitors time wasting at every opportunity tempers spilled over and a home player saw red for a kick at the Bridlington goalie.

Despite the cold we saw out the game and the away win. The chatter from the home fans on the way out was all about Newcastle’s first win of the season. A nice distraction for them from the dropped three points.

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