Washington v Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, Tuesday 27th September 2022, 7.45pm

This game was at the Washington Football Hub, which I think is a new location for Washington. Shame I didn’t realise earlier as I could have ticked off their old ground prior to the move. The hub has a few all weather pitches with a car park separating them from the grass pitch used for this Northern League Division Two clash between Washington and Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.

It was a fiver in and I took up an initial position on the rail. There were two covered stands opposite on the dugout side with a few people in them, but with the rain holding off most of the one hundred and sixty-six-people present were spread around the perimeter.

I asked the fella next to me which team was which and after a small period of consideration he suggested that Washington were in the navy kit with white sleeves and Ryton and Crawcrook were in yellow and blue.

Washington had much of the early possession with Ryton relying on their attempts to beat the offside trap with early runs from deep. Neither side finished well though and as we approached half-time it was goalless. The deadlock was broken in added time when a cross from the Washington keeper’s left drifted over his head and dropped in at the back post. He was distraught, but it was clearly a fluke that not even the fella who floated it in had anticipated.

I joined the lengthy queue for a half-time Bovril and was pleased to be asked whether I wanted pepper in it. It’s always good when people know how to do something properly.

Ryton added two more goals in the second half, the first from the penalty spot and the second from an eventual successful evading of the offside trap. The win allowed Ryton to put some space between themselves and the teams fighting relegation but left Washington firmly in the bottom three.

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