2009 Review - the season so far...

by James Johnson

In the Premier Division it looks like any one of five teams could win the coveted league title. The Jolly Potters are the overwhelming favourites to capture the prize and also fancy themselves to make a clean sweep of all major league honours, to do this they will need to keep to a high standard of good football and to keep their concentration levels up which let them down in their only league defeat of the season.

Aquatic Sports are another side in the title hunt after superb run of results despite a stuttering start. Manager David Hoey has really got his side going playing good attacking football, lets see if they can keep it up in the 2nd part of the season. It really would be a season to remember for Aquatic if they lifted the title despite the fact they nearly folded last season and they have been going strong now for 50 years thanks to the hard work and dedication of Tommy Oliver.

There are 2 sides in from the East End but only one of them can win the league, this being
Blue House. Colin Hopes men are handily placed and have 2 games in hand on the leaders, they really seem to have the bit between their teeth but have they got the bottle and nerves when it really comes to the crunch in the battle when they play the other title contenders. They certainly have the players to do it as they have their own galacticos in Luke Morrow, Jordan Thompson, Brian Carter and Martin Hope. For me the form and performances of Jordan Thompson will be key to their chances, a talented player indeed.

Over to the north side of the water,
Redhouse also have an eye on the league but cant afford to lose another game or drop silly points like they did against Houghton Town B when leading 4-1 with 20 minutes to go and ending up drawing 4-4. Those 2 points dropped could be crucial in the title run in. However, Redhouse are a workman like side and have the experience to mount a serious challenge.

Another side who could win it are
Hylton CW, although they have played more games than the teams around they will still pose a threat especially with the evergreen Barry Cook in their ranks whose goals might come in useful as goals can win you matches.

There are 4 teams who this season have not lived up to their potential.
Colonel Prior are having an indifferent season but on their day they are more than a match for anyone. Most recently they have struggled for players some of whom are taking the easy option of going to watch Sunderland AFC instead of braving the cold weather for their sides plight. David Sandersons men could have been in the title mix if he had his best available team at his disposal but success in the cups could put a smile on his face.

Chester BB are another side in a false position, after a nightmare start they put together an impressive run of results, most notably they handed the Jolly Potters their 1st defeat of the season. Mr King will expect his sides good form to continue in 2010 and to finish further up the table.

Houghton Town B need to find a level of consistency if they want to avoid a relegation battle, Lee Bogans men hope 2010 starts well and ends well for them. Its going to be a long slog for them but they have ability to get out of they rut they are in.

In the heart of the East End lies a team languishing in mid-table,
Hendon FC led by Michael Lynch are having by their own standards a less than average season. They too had a poor start to the season but their mercy mission of a trip to the Vatican seems to have benefitted them as they have started to put some decent results together as of late. They will almost certainly have a say who wins the title as all contenders have to face them a task not to relish for any side. Hendon can certainly improve and lets see if the talismanic Martin Jackson can repeat the form of last season which won him the League player of the year award.

Down at the bottom,
Dawdon CW need to start picking up points if they are to avoid the wooden spoon. Whilst fellow strugglers Hendon Grange Global Gym need some kind of miracle to avoid relegation, the league stalwarts are certainly having a season to forget but lets hope the new year brings them renewd optimism.

It looks like a three way battle for the First Division Championship,
Washington Cricket Club are hitting teams for six as they started the season on fire and have continued that good form as they remain unbeaten in the league. Whether they hold on to top spots remains to be seen as they need to improve their start to games, starting off slowly but finishing the stronger side. Remember a game lasts 90 minutes not 70.

Colliery Tavern look a stronger side this season as their results have shown and could get their just rewards if they continue this superb form. Strong performances from players like Shaun McGregor, Carl Chapman and goal machine Anthony Ross are vital in their title quest.

Arms City Coachworks are having an excellent season and like the Cricketers they too have an unbeaten league record this season. Along with this they also have 3 games in hand on the league leaders and if they are victorious in those they will find themselves at the summit, but to stay there they will have to keep winning as i see this going to the wire.

First Division is very tight this year as teams seem to be beating each other as teams struggle to find a level of consistency to make a push for promotion. Sassco UK are unbeaten in 5 games and hope to continue their good form into 2010. They also had a successful tour of Portugal and look forward to another tour in the summer.

Hylton CW Juniors are having a hitty missy season too, potentially they are a good side and have goal machine Dave Ward who has hit 29 goals so far this season. If only his goal exploits were matched by similar like performances of his teammates.

Three teams who are having good seasons as well are
Shiney Row Country Park Inn, their neighbours Travellers Rest and Usworth led by the inspirational Costa Lorraine. If they put a good run of results together they could well find themselves in the hunt for promotion.

Times Inn are another team on the up having improved massively after a couple of seasons being the whipping boys and the Southwick side have got together a good group of players and have churned out some impressive wins.

Cambridge Hotel are another side with good potential and hope the goals of Paul ‘Tyson’ Stoker can propel them up the table.

Park View need to pick up some wins if they want to avoid a battle for bottom spot, but the wooden spoon looks like it could be a 2 horse battle between The Cove and East Durham Spartans as both sides have yet to pick up a point this season.

The Spartans have a long season ahead of them as they have only just come into the league and will be playing catch up as they have at least 9 games in hand. The Cove meanwhile, are certainly improving after receiving a few maulings they have brought in more players and are now finding their feet and they seem to have turned the corner or as some might say they have seen the light.