Wynyard Village Reserves v Wynyard The Stables, Saturday 8th April 2023, 1.30pm

This was a bonus game, as in one that I stumbled across and which are always welcomed for adding to my number of grounds attended. Although it’s debatable whether there are any criteria other than my own interpretation that would deem a school pitch without even a boundary rope as a ground. It wasn’t even the school’s main pitch, which is where I’d planned to see a game, but, as I say, I make my rules.

The fixture was at Northfield School, somewhere that I’m likely to have played at, or much more likely to have shivered to death at on the touchline as an unused sub for my school team forty-odd years ago. I’ve no memory of this particular pitch from those days but then again, I’ve little recollection of most things that I got up to way back when.

I asked a lad with a team tracksuit on who was playing and whilst he knew that his team were Wynyard Village Reserves, he had no idea who the opposition where. Clearly, they don’t go in for Revie-style dossiers on the opposition at this level.

I checked with an older bloke who turned out to be a former manager of Wynyard Village and he knew enough to tell me that their reserves side were playing someone called Wynyard The Stables in a friendly. Wynyard Village Reserves are in the third division of the Wearside League, so a tier thirteen side. He didn’t know what league The Stables were in, other than it was a step or so down from the home side’s dizzy heights. He confirmed that his former team were leading three-one and then tipped me off that there were only two decent players on the pitch, one of whom was his son.

Ten minutes was sufficient and with kick-off imminent in the game that I’d come to see I walked the hundred yards or so to the main pitch.

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