Darlington v Altrincham

National League North

Wednesday 1st March 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.48

Darlington 3 Altrincham 1,  attendance 1,423

3′ 1-0

29′ 2-0

33′ 2-1

80′ 3-1 (pen)

@ Blackwell Meadows

Grange Road



£12 Admission

£2.50 Programme (from original postponed fixture on 11th February) 56 pages, plus 4 page insert.

Having arrived in plenty of time from Leeds, it was easy to get a prime parking spot in the nearest road to the stadium, although it is still a good 10 minutes walk away. The main objective here, apart from avoiding the £3 car park charge, is the fact that all cars are held back until all pedestrians have cleared from the driveway leading to the ground from the main road, so even by walking back to the car, you can still be away onto the A1 before the cars are released from the car park.

Darlington still think they are a Football League club, judging by the prices charged for everything, although of course the club disappeared in 2012, and were reformed, joining the Northern League the following season, under the name Darlington 1883. No mention anywhere of the 1883 part of the name in the programme or on their badge, so I assume they have now dropped this from their title ?

I had seen the original club play in the Football League at two different home grounds, Feethams (22.4.1989 v Scarborough, 2-1, Division 4, attendance 2,850) and then Reynolds Arena (30.9.2003 v Southend United, 0-0, Division 3, attendance 4,369) which was when their problems really began in a stadium that had nearly 20,000 seats more than they were ever going to need.

The current ground, shared with Darlington Rugby Union Club, is not a good venue for viewing the game. It is totally inadequate for large crowds, tonight’s being their lowest since moving here on Boxing Day 2016, when they sold out the ground to its 3,000 capacity. Even only half full the view was awful, so it must have been impossible for most people to have seen anything at all with more than double tonights attendance rammed in.

A very poor standard of football on show for the second level of the English non-league game, perhaps not helped by Altrincham being bottom of the table, where it is a matter of when, not if, they are relegated. Darlington didn’t really need to be very good to beat them.

This just leaves one more to do at Step 2 and one that I am really not looking forward to at all…..F.C. United of Manchester. I can’t wait………

University Leeds v University York

British Universities & Colleges Sport

Northern 2B

Wednesday 1st March 2017

Kick Off 14.15 Actual 14.17

University Leeds 2 University York 4,  attendance 6

4′ 0-1

11′ 1-1

12′ 2-1

25′ 2-2

26′ 2-3

48′ 2-4

@ Weetwood Sports Park, 3G Pitch

Weetwood Hall


LS16 5AU

No admission or programme.

This was my second visit here, having previously been on 9th February 2005, when the game was played on the grass pitch that runs at right angles to the 3G pitch, beyond the far goal when entering from the car park end of the complex.

As a new pitch has recently been laid, spectators are not allowed inside the cage, but you can watch from the entrance gate, or from the grass bank adjacent to the rugby pitch at one end.

A surprise result as it was 3rd v 5th, out of six teams, in the group. Leeds had won the reverse fixture 1-0. At least three of the goals today were high quality finishes.

Having stayed over following last nights game in Consett, it was a nice easy drive south to the northern outskirts of Leeds. Thankfully the heavy rain shower had dispersed about half an hour before kick off and it remained dry for the rest of the day.  From here, it was a 1 hour 20 minute drive back up the A1 to Darlington for our evening entertainment.