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Still No Goals But At Least A Game And A Point!

by Jeff King (Not In Attendance! X Account Used!)

Ebac Northern League Division 2 - Wednesday 24th January 2024 Chester-le-Street United 0 v 0 Esh Winning

United's last game had been the Boxing Day derby defeat at Chester-le-Street Town. The weather since meaning that several games had been postponed as fixtures pile up across The League.

It meant that United went into the New Year still without a goal and a win since September 2023 and needing to find some form and inspiration from somewhere to turn their fortunes around.

Since the last game First Team Coach and Head of Football Development at Park View Academy Micky Nelson has been persuaded to return to active playing duty for United. A move welcomed within the Club as his experience and knowledge on and off the pitch is invaluable to United.

It meant Harvey Rudd moving to right wing back to help accommodate Nelson. Their was also a first start for Academy youngster Jack Wilson a striker that had impressed both in the United PV side that plays in the Wearside League and the Academy sides that play midweek.

Sam Bajrami also came back into the side in central defence having not played since the heavy loss to Blyth Town way back in September as United looked for a formula to get them back on track.

Main Incidents :

8’ Penalty shout for United turned down by the referee as United look to get on the front foot in the early stages.

12’ Corner for Esh but it’s played short and the clip into the box is easily claimed by James Hughes.

18’ A real battle developing in midfield now with both teams looking to gain the ascendancy in this contest.

25’ Corner for United now but it’s scrambled away before they can get a shot on goal.

31’ Harvey Rudd gets forward from the right cuts inside and drives his effort just wide of the target from outside the box.

33’ Best chance of the game for Esh as they drive from midfield and hit the bar with a shot from the edge of the area.

45’ Wilson almost gives United the lead on halftime but his effort is comfortable for the Harry Alderson in the Esh goal. It ends goalless at the break.

51’ A bit of a long range pot shot from Esh ends up in the hands of Hughes.

53’ Esh's Joe Bates with a great run finding Aaron Jackson in the box but he fires wide. A big chance squandered by the away side.

54’ United go so close to breaking the deadlock. Jack Ledger hits what appears to be a cross that fades towards goal and is tipped onto the post by Alderson and the Esh defence scramble the loose ball clear.

57’ Another big chance For United as Wilson races through on goal but Alderson comes out bravely to block him and knocks the ball back off the striker to win a goal kick.

68’ Wilson fires over for United after the ball drops to him on the edge of the box.

74’ Substitute Kobe Bewicke is next to test Alderson who he holds on well to the well-struck effort.

The points are shared on a difficult heavy pitch where chances were at a premium. Both sides had their moments but neither was able to break through. United's search for a win and a goal continues but at least there was a point gained.

For United Nelson was Man of the Match showing his experience, knowledge and ability as he guided his side throughout the game. Bajrami on his return was very solid and Wilson was perhaps United's most dangerous outlet on his full debut.

It was also nice for United to see Ben Lawton return from injury and get some minutes under his belt after over 3 months out with injury.

TEAM : 1. James Hughes 2. Harvey Rudd 3. Jack Ledger 4. Dylan Wilkinson (c) 5. Micky Nelson 6. Sam Bajrami 7. Dan Robinson 8. Reyhan Grimaud 9. Jack Wilson 10. Ashton Houlahan 11. Ben Lawton

SUBS : 12. Charlie Loveday (for Houlahan 66 Mins) 14. Kobe Bewicke (for Lawton 55 Mins) 15. Ryan O'Connor - DNP 16. Dylan Robson - DNP 17. Michael Mallaburn (for Wilson 76 Mins)

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