Saturday 10th March 2012 – Northern League Division One at the Ironworks Ground.
Tow Law Town 2-3 Jarrow Roofing
Admission 5 quid, Programme a pound.
Hot dog and Tea 2.20.
Official attendance 65 (it looked more).
Badges sold out, more on order apparently.
Ground rating; 4.5/5 – Match rating; 4/5
Staying in Durham for the weekend, we travelled up on Friday. It’s an easy 20 minute drive through open country and mining villages from the centre of Durham. Tow Law sits atop Weardale with views all around of rolling fields.
It really is a cracking ground. Only the 3rd Northern League fixture I’ve watched, but already its very clear to me this league is head and shoulders in standard over many other non league national Step5/6 leagues.
These two teams, 2nd and 3rd bottom, still managed to produce a decent quality and highly entertaining fixture.
The game started in milky sun on a lovely spring day, but finished in grey skies and a wind cold enough to unsettle an Eskimo! which had me thinking that this is probably the most exposed and windiest ground I’d encountered since watching Arbroath at Gayfield a few years back.
Both teams went at each other from the off in this relegation six pointer. Tow Law taking the initial ascendency with captain Michael Robson scoring an excellent headed goal in the 21st minute at the clubhouse end.
The Lawyers could have added to their lead in the first 30 minutes as they had 1/2 good opportunities, but Jarrow keeper Josh Carmichael made a couple of excellent saves to keep them in it.
On 43 minutes Josh Allen scored a great equaliser from a corner, taking a ball over his shoulder and volleying in from 10 or so yards, even the Tow Law fans applauded!
On 45, game turning point, as Lawyers captain Michael Robson went in, for what in my eyes was a 50/50 challenge and won the ball. Not so according to the ref who deemed it over the top studs up, and produced the red card! This caused the usual 20 man handbags, as Robson challenged the decision and other players became involved.
As I wandered back to the clubhouse at HT, I asked another fan 30 yards down the touch-line his thoughts on the challenge, and he thought it had been a studs up red card offence. As he blew for HT, it seemed most of the home fans did not agree.
The extra man certainly made a difference, as the Jarrow boys attacked the clubhouse end, and ex Newcastle centre forward Paul Robinson scored a lovely 20 yarder in the 68th minute, then centre back, the follicly challenged Michael Hedley made it 1-3 from a few yards in the 74th minute after more great work from left winger Chris Hughes, my MOM.
Matthew Scott gave the Lawyers some hope with an 87th minute strike, but then in the 90th minute player manager Ian Davison pulled back a rampaging Jarrow striker when clean through to also get his marching orders and extinguish any hope they may have had.
The game was played at a great tempo, with plenty of skill on show. I won’t leave it long before returning to the Northern League 🙂
Tow Law have played at this venue since 1894, when the ground was built by striking mine workers. Then upgraded again in 1921 by striking mine workers. One assumes they had great pride in their local team!