At the time of year when many publications and websites are offering lists and awards to mark the end of the calendar year, I decided that rather than scoff and ignore, I would publish my very own progress report from the Northern League Tour that I embarked on back in the August sunshine at Chester-le-Street.
A little over halfway through the grounds and already I have covered over 1,000 miles (1,144 to be precise) although nearly a fifth of the miles came in the return trip to Whitehaven in October. In the 27 games I have seen 102 goals which makes it an impressive 3.7 goals per game. Without jinxing myself I am set to see a 0-0, and the four draws that I have seen have been 3-3, 3-3, 1-1 and 5-5. I have seen one more home win than away win (12-11) and crowds ranging from 31 to 428.
Favourite grounds visited: Horden CW, Shildon & South Shields
Best goal seen: Sonny Andrews volley for Spennymoor against West Auckland
Best players seen (in no particular order): James Decosomo (Guisborough), Barrie Smith (South Shields), Gavin Cogden (Spennymoor), Dean Critchlow (Team Northumbria) Tony Shandran (Bedlington Terriers)
With 27 grounds visited and 15 remaining, the end is definitely in sight. Planned games with be updated regularly so if anyone wants to buy me a beer at any of the games feel free to get in touch. Next stop Consett and then Ashington…