Month: March 2015

ENL1 – West Allotment Preview





Dean Street

Match Day

25th March
Kick Off: 15:00

Admission Prices
Adult – £ 6.00
Concession – £ 4.00
Under 12’s free with Paying Adult

Current League Position –  18th ENL2
P 37  W 11  D 3  L 23  F 51  A 88  Pts 36

Last Match Played
21st March 2015
West Allotment Celtic 0 Shildon 3


Founded: 1928
Record Attendance: 510 V Cray Wanderers (FA Vase 2004)
Joined Northern League: 2004-05
Home Colours: Green/white hoop shirt, green shorts and socks
Away Colours: 

History taken from


From creation to contenders

West Allotment Celtic were formed in 1928, the culmination of a merger between West Allotment Primitive Methodists and West Allotment Juniors. After moving to the newly-created Tynemouth & District League in 1935, the club began to grow in stature. The club had to face Whitley Bay & Monkseaton Reserves in a play-off for the title, but unfortunately, the decider went the way of the seasiders. Remarkably, Allotment also finished in a play-off position in the following two seasons – and, in both cases, had to settle for a runner-up spot.

Changing leagues, sheds and times

In 1938, the club joined the Second Division of the Northern Amateur League. Now playing at the aptly-named Farm Ground, fans helped to dismantle a cowshed in Heaton and move it, piece by piece, to West Allotment, where it was reassembled at the ground. The shed was not for spectators – it served as the players’ changing facilities! The club earned instant promotion (after a play-off, such is club tradition), but World War II put a stop to any further progress.

A succession of successes…

The club recommenced operations in 1946/47 and enjoyed an unprecedented run of success from the mid-fifties onwards. Allotment won the championship for four consecutive seasons between 1956 and 1960, along with the NFA Amateur Cup in 1957 and the NFA Minor Cup in 1958.

…and the decade of decline

The sixties started promisingly enough, as Allotment looked to build on their previous successes. The club finished as runners-up in the Northern Amateur League in 1960, and were consecutive Minor Cup finalists in 1960 and 1961. However, whilst Celtic remained loyal to the Northern Amateur League, the bulk of the team moved on, and Allotment entered a period of decline as a result. The club stagnated badly during the sixties in an uncompetitive league, and closure become a distinctly worrying possibility.

The threat of dissolution was eventually staved off by the introduction of new blood into the club towards the end of the decade, as Allotment finally began to build towards a more positive future on and off the pitch. Celtic also moved to Backworth Welfare in 1968, consigning the ponds and mud of the Farm Ground to memory.

Champions at long last

A rejuvenated West Allotment won the NFA Amateur Cup again in 1975, largely thanks to the goalscoring exploits of Benny Williams, who averaged almost one goal a game in his 400 appearances for the club. Williams was ably supported by a talented and hungry squad, and, with strength in depth, Allotment were always considered title contenders. However, the championship remained tantalisingly out of reach until yet another play-off tie in 1982. Allotment finally won the coveted title, defeating Annitsford Welfare by the odd goal in seven.

When Celtic retained the title with relative ease the following season, the decision was taken to move up a tier for the first time since 1938.

The colossus of the alliance

In 1983, Allotment made its debut in both the Northern Alliance and the FA Vase. The first honour of the period arrived just one season later, as Allotment dispatched Ponteland United in the Alliance Challenge Cup Final. This success was followed up two seasons later by the first of Celtic’s eight Alliance titles.

In 1987, West Allotment emerged victorious from two nail-biting play-off games against Gosforth St. Nicholas, ushering in a wave of success not enjoyed at the club since the fifties. Throughout this period, Celtic won seven further Northern
Alliance titles, never finishing lower than sixth. Terry Mitchell and Brian Latty built upon Ken Scott and Billy Hays’ consecutive Alliance league titles, leading Allotment into the Northern League.

The modern day

Having acted as tenants at Hillheads in Whitley Bay since 1995, the club set out to find a new home, and found it in Benton. In 2001, the club moved to Whitley Park, also known as the Blue Flames Sports Ground. The ground is well-known as one of the best kept pitches in the Northern League, and also serves as the headquarters of the Northumberland FA.

The club earned promotion from Division Two as champions, losing just twice throughout the entire 2004/05 season. After six seasons of holding their own against the Northern League’s top tier, Allotment slipped back down a league. The current crop have gone some way to restoring success at Allotment, winning the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup last May, and will be aiming for those promotion places this season.


ENL1 – West Allotment Celtic Result

A Comfortable Win

Shildon AFC who were 5th in the league before today’s game, travelled to 5th bottom club West Allotment Celtic on Saturday 21st March 2015 and came away with a comfortable 3 – 0 victory. Shildon are now 4th in the league with games in hand on the teams above them.

Next Wednesday 25th March todays fixture is reversed and the teams play each other again in the league at Dean Street.

After Celtic’s Sean Reid’s overhead kick went into the side netting early on, Shildon took control, scoring on 10 minutes when a Mark Doninger smart cross from the right found Paul Connor whose slick back heel beat keeper Dan Mullen.

It was all Shildon with the keeper at full stretch to keep out a Mark Hudson lob and then stopping a left foot drive from Paul Connor.

Just before the break a through ball from Mark Hudson found Mark Doninger who fired low into the bottom corner for 2 – 0 to the visitors.

Half Time:  West Allotment Celtic  0  Shildon AFC  2

Early in the 2nd half the Railwaymen went 3 – 0 up when a Mark Doninger cross was blasted home by Paul Connor.

A minute later Celtic’s Liam Hudson beat two Shildon defenders and was through only for Kyle Hayes to pull off a fine save with his feet.

On the hour a Mark Doninger header was pushed away for a corner then Lee Scroggins fired over.

Although Shildon controlled the play for the remainder of the half they were not able to capitalise on their superiority and didn’t add to their goal tally.

Final Score:  West Allotment Celtic  0  Shildon AFC  3

Goalscorers:  Connor 10, 57, Doninger 45

Subs:  Ellison for Rae 40, Chapman for Greulich-Smith 68, Atkin for Connor 79

Bookings:  None

As the season draws to a close, the league title is still wide open, with 6 teams still in contention.


1) Kyle Hayes
2) Sam Hodgson
3) Adam Rundle
4) Mark Hudson
5) Daniel Moore
6) Darren Craddock
7) Mark Doninger
8) Lee Scroggins
9) Paul Connor
10) Michael Rae
11) Billy Greulich-Smith


12) Liam Atkin on for Connor
14) Lee Chapman on for Greulich-Smith
15) Carl Jones
16) Jack Taylor
17) Marc Ellison on for Rae


Connor x 2, Doninger


League Cup Quarter Final Result

Seaham Red Star Hit For Six.

Shildon AFC are through to the semi-final of the Brooks Mileson Northern League Cup after beating Seaham Red Star 6 – 1 at Dean Street on Wednesday 18th March 2015, with all of the 6 goals scored in the 2nd half.

Apart from a Bobby Moore header hitting the bar in the first minute, Shildon didn’t have another shot on target up to the break.

Seaham, who are currently top of the 2nd Division, 10 points clear, with games in hand, took the lead on 28 minutes when a long ball was chested down by No  10 David Palmer who fired past Shildon keeper Kyle Hayes.

Hlaf Time:  Shildon AFC  0  Seaham Red Star  1

It was a game of two halves, with Shildon playing far better after the break . They equalised from the spot on 51 minutes through Lee Scroggins after Ben Wood was brought down in the box by Chris Storey.

Minutes later a scramble in the goalmouth from a Mark Hudson corner resulted in Micky Rae fumbling the ball over the line.

Shildon were in full control and on 68 minutes a Lee Scroggins shot was blocked and Ben Wood fired the rebound into the top right corner for 3 – 1.

Micky Rae got the 4th with his second attempt, and on 85 minutes a class move between Mark Doninger and Jamie Harwood saw Harwood slot the ball past the advancing keeper.

A minute later Harwood put Mark Doninger through for Shildon ‘s 6th goal of the night.

Final Score:  Shildon AFC  6  Seaham Red Star  1

Goalscorers:  Sroggins 51, Rae 53, 73, Wood 68, Harwood 85, Doninger 86.

Subs:  Rundle for Wood 75, Doninger for Greulich-Smith 75, Taylor for Hudson 77.


1) Kyle Hayes
2) Jamie Harwood
3) John Brackstone
4) Lee Scroggins
5) Darren Craddock
6) Daniel Moore
7) Mark Hudson
8) Sam Hodgson
9) Michael Rae
10) Ben Wood
11) Billy Greulich-Smith


12) Paul connor
14) Adam Rundle on for Wood
15) Carl Jones
16) Mark Doninger on for Greulich-Smith
17) Jack Taylor on for Hudson


Scroggins (Pen), Rae x 2, Wood, Harwood, Doninger


Hudson, Harwood


League Cup – Seaham Red Star Preview

Seaham Red Star FC


Dean Street
County Durham

Match Day

18th March
Kick Off: 19:30

Admission Prices
Adult – £ 6.00
Concession – £ 4.00
Under 12’s free with paying adult

Current League Position –  15th ENL2
P 34  W 17  D 3  L 4  F 112  A 41  Pts 84

Last Match Played
14th March 2015
South Shields 1 Seaham Red Star 2

Road to the Quarter Final

2nd Round – 11th November 2014
Seaham Red Star 6 Whitle Bay 2

3rd Round – 27th January 2015
Seaham Red Star 2 North Shields 1


Founded: 1973
Nickname: The Star
Record Attendance: 1,500 v Guisborough, Wearside and Sunderland floodlight opener 1979
Joined Northern League: 1983/84
Home Colours: Red and white stripe shirt, red with white flash shorts and red with white turnover socks
Away Colours: 

Seaham Red Star history taken from

Seaham Red Star are named after the pub in which they were formed. A Sunday morning side in 1973, they are now widely regarded as one of the Northern League’s leading clubs.

Much of the credit for the Club’s early development belongs to Ralph Pigg, the initial Secretary, and Larry Phillips, the Club’s first Manager. The pair, supported by a small committee, entered a side in the Houghton and District League and, after a promising first season, made a successful application to join the Northern Alliance League in 1974. After a further five fairly successful seasons, the Club felt sufficiently confident to join the then highly competitive Wearside League in 1979. This confidence was soon justified, the Club winning the Durham Challenge Cup in 1980 and the League and League Cup “double” in 1981-82. In 1983, they were elected to the Northern League Second Division and , after some near misses, eventually gained promotion to the First Division in the 1987-88 season.

Bryan Mayhew took over as Chairman of the Club in 1986 and, with able support from  former Secretaries, Harry Hobson and John McBeth and a small hardworking committee – in particular Reg Atkinson, Dave Copeland, Jim Ferguson and John Smith –  the Club enjoyed First Division status for an unbroken fourteen seasons. Notable successes during this period, included finishing third in 1993-4, winning the League Cup in 1992-3 and, after leading the table for most of the season, finishing second in 1999/2000. Mayhew was also a prime mover in getting the League to join the National Pyramid, calling the Special General Meeting of clubs which eventually led to the historic decision being made.

Just two years after finishing runners-up in the First Division, the Club suffered its first ever relegation in its near thirty years history. Even worse was to follow when, as a result of  dwindling committee support, officials took the reluctant step of  tendering the Club’s resignation from the League.

However, following a positive response from a number of local people keen to see the Club continue, a new committee was formed under the chairmanship of John Smith and the resignation was withdrawn.

The Club’s re-introduction to Division 2 at the start of 2002/3 got off to an unpromising start but, after bringing in Neil Hixon as Manager, the Star failed by the narrowest of margins to gain an immediate return to Division 1. Unfortunately for the Club, Neil’s achievements resulted in him being snapped up by Durham City shortly after the start of last season, effectively putting our promotion aspirations on hold for at least another year. However, with experienced Northern League manager Peter Mulcaster steadying the ship, the Club finished in a respectable mid-table position.

Neil Hixon returned as manager in 2005 and along with Stuart Gooden and former Sunderland & Scotish International George Herd put together a side that won promotion back to the First Division in the 2006/07 season. The following season Hixon & Herd moved to Sunderland RCA and Gooden took over the team which finished in a creditable 8th place in the table. The following season saw yet another change in management with former Darlington player Andy Toman taking over. Another dip in club fortunes saw the side face relegation.

The 2010/11 and 2011/12 were two of the worst seasons in the Red Star history with the team involved in relegation battles which could have seen the club relegated to the Wearside League, both battles were successful and the club retained it’s Northern League status.

This season the club appointed Mark Collingwood and Simon Johnson, who achieved great success in the Northern Alliance League with Hebburn Reyrolle.

Previous managers in the Club’s history include Northern League legend Paul Walker, in conjunction with the long serving Chris Copeland; former Hartlepool Manager, Billy Horner; and ex Burnley player, Harry Wilson. Former players going on to join Football League clubs include Nigel Gleghorn (Ipswich and Manchester City), Bobby Davison (Halifax, Derby and Leeds) and Stephen Harper (currently with Newcastle United). Tommy Henderson remains the Club’s leading goalscorer, netting 211 goals in 276 appearances including a record breaking 62 in 1978-9.

Honours: Phillips Floodlighting Competition winners 1978-79; Durham Challenge Cup winners 1979-80; Wearside League champions 1981-82; Wearside League Cup winners 1981-2; Northern League 2nd Div runners up 1987-88; Northern League Cup winners 1992-93; Northern League 1st Div runners up 1999-2000, Northern League 2nd Div Runners Up 2006-07.