West Allotment Celtic v Crook Town, Tuesday 5th April 2022, 7.30pm

The Northern League finishes this month and there are plenty of midweek fixtures as clubs deal with games lost to the weather and covid. This one was at East Palmersville Sports Pavilion, just a bit north of the Tyne Tunnel. West Allotment Celtic moved there this season after a nomadic few years and I suppose their recent arrival explains why I couldn’t see any allotments anywhere around the ground.

It was six quid in, with another two for the programme and a further quid for the raffle. No luck again, although as I rarely drink rose wine, it wasn’t a big disappointment.

There were slim pickings at the tea hut, with a choice between a hot dog and a cheeseburger. As the cheeseburgers were still being cooked, I went for the hot dog. I’m not really convinced that they should count as food, but I hadn’t had my tea and thought I should have something.

I took a seat in one of the covered stands where I was soon joined by an old bloke who supported the visitors, Crook Town. He was adamant that Crook would win and kept telling me that they were the better side.

On discovering that I was from Stockton he advised me that the market day was a Wednesday, but there was little point in going as it had declined a lot in recent years. Whilst I knew Stockton’s market day, I’ve no idea of market days in any other town. That sort of knowledge struck me as a bit of a superpower and was certainly more impressive than his assessment of the state of play on the pitch.

There were few chances and no score in the first half. West took the lead midway through the second with a cracking strike from the edge of the box. I missed the Crook equaliser from a penalty in the dying moments as with ten minutes to go I’d nipped out to the clubhouse for a slash and with the rain coming down decided to head for the car rather than return to my seat.

The draw kept both sides in a lower mid-table position as they see out the season.

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