Chester-le-Street Town v Redcar Town, Tuesday 9th August 2022, 7.30pm

Chester-le-Street Town have played at their Chester Moor ground for the past forty-two years. Initially in the Wearside League and then in the Northern League since 1983. It’s an easy drive from Norton, so I’m a little unsure as to why it’s taken me so long to get to a game.

Anyway, better late than never, Jen and I took the dog up the A1 for their Division Two fixture with Redcar Town.

It was five quid in and another two for the best programme at this level that I’ve seen for a while. I speculated another quid on the raffle which, as usual, came to nothing, before sitting on the concrete steps behind the far goal. If we’d wanted, we could have had proper seats in the main covered stand, but it was fairly crowded and I thought it would be better if the beagle had a bit more space.

There was another clash of colours on the pitch with both sides in blue and white. It’s something that seems more prevalent lately.

I learned from the programme that Chester-le-Street were on a losing streak of nine home games. Their chances of ending that streak were reduced midway through the first half when a long through-ball drew the keeper way out from his goal. The Redcar striker got there first, nicked it past him and tapped home into an empty net.

At half-time I went into the clubhouse and got a pasty and some chips. The friendly lady behind the counter told me that they had been cooked in a Ninja. It was wasted on me as I’ve no idea what a Ninja is, or whether it is likely to improve the taste of what were clearly bought-in oven chips. The tray came in handy though for giving the dog some water from a tap behind the goal.

Redcar had most of the territory in the second half and in hindsight we’d have been better off switching ends sooner than we did. The game was over as a contest when Redcar added a second goal fifteen minutes from time and they notched two more in the last ten minutes for a win that extended the home losing streak to ten games.

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