Leicester lose but Shildon fall short in title dream

Disappointment mixed with slight relief
Disappointment mixed with slight relief
So the champagne went flat for Shildon. A 1-1 draw at Bedlington Terriers was not enough to end the 75-year wait for a sixth Northern League title.

Marske United are therefore the champions, Shildon worthy runners-up. Commiserations to the home town team of Pete Sixmsith and Monsieur Salut and let us see in due course what Sixer made of his disappointing night in SE Northumberland (our deputy editor, Malcolm Dawson, was there, too, and his summary appears below in Comments). . And congratulations to Marske.

Better news from Leicester where Sunderland’s grim predicament near the fit of the Premier at least got no worse, City beaten 3-1 by champions-to-be Chelsea after leading at half time.

Now for Southampton on Saturday …

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7 thoughts on “Leicester lose but Shildon fall short in title dream”

  1. Well Shildon had their chances but went behind after a poor piece of defending when they tried to spring the offside trap and it went horribly wrong. Having started brightly Shildon let the Terriers back into the game which was much more even for the rest of the first half. The Railwaymen seemed to lack any ideas and resorted to hoofing long balls. But in the space of 5 seconds they almost had the ball in the net three times towards the end of the first half but 1-0 to Bedlington was probably a fair reflection of the game.

    Shildon came out all guns blazing in the second half and reasserted their dominance, finally getting just reward with an equaliser with half an hour or so still left. They looked the most likely to score but spurned several good chances. As the minutes ticked by it became a Roy of the Rovers type plot. Could Shildon snatch the league title in the dying minutes. They probably should have done. A great chance just minutes before the end was somehow deflected over the bar from a yard in front of goal and with less than 60 seconds left another great opportunity was wasted when the ball was blasted over the bar.

    I could be heard shouting “Keep your head over the ball man!” but the celebrations are in North Yorkshire tonight. So close but so far for Shildon. A valiant end to the league season but it wasn’t to be.

    Tuesday night sees them take on Newton Aycliffe in the League Cup Final which should give them some consolation but I’m sure no-one’s taking anything for granted.

    But at least the rain stayed away and Durham won!

    • They have already indicated they would not wish to go into the Evostik League even if they won the title. Don’t think any Northern League teams applied this year.

      Darlington beat Spennymoor 3-2 in their playoff semi final in the push for promotion from Evostik North to Premier. They will now face Bamber Bridge to see who goes up with Salford City, backed of course by ex Manchester United players Neville G and Neville P, Giggs, Scholes and Butt.

      • Thanks for that Malcolm. Yes I was keeping an eye on Darlo’s game last night as well as Shildon’s. I have a soft spot for the Quakers, I used to work there and know a few dedicated Darlo fans.

      • There is talk at the FA of introducing automatic promotion subject to ground criteria being met but for many in the Northern League the amount of extra travelling means more expense for the clubs and more time away from home for players and officials.

        Without adequate resources playing a step higher is not always seen as a good thing by North East teams. Look what happened to Durham City when their backer left the club. Now they have Olivier Bernard behind them I should think they’d be happy to go up but the costs are prohibitive for many clubs. Partly the reason for continued Northern League success in the Vase I think. Having watched a lot of non league football in the Midlands I think most NL Division 1 sides would do well 1 or 2 steps higher up the pyramid.

      • If a club decides to opt out of promotion because they think they can’t cover the extra travelling costs, why do the FA want to force it on them? It’s barmy! It would mean clubs going to the wall or even clubs who are top of the league towards the end of the season, throwing matches to avoid promotion. It seems like the FA are crap at all levels of the pyramid.

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