Ryhope CW 2-0 Ashington AFC: Ryhope back on track with convincing win

Ryhope CW bounced back from the Consett defeat with their first home win of 2019, beating Ashington AFC 2-0 in the league at Recreation Ground.

Matty Weirs’ strike around the half hour mark put Ryhope in the lead.

James Ellis added a penalty five minutes before the break, giving Colliery Welfare a comfortable lead before the sides played out a goalless second-half.

There were two changes from the side that Consett defeated, Joe Atkinson returning to fitness and replacing Jonny Ball in goal and Jack Devlin back from suspension to replace Micky Rae.

The first real sight of goal came for Ryhope in the 7th minute, a one-two allowing Lewis King to get down the right and release a strike which was blocked.

Ashington had a dangerous attack a few minutes later, Atkinson doing well to keep out Ben Sampson’s effort after he was played through, the ball looked like it would run for Paul Antony but Ryhope managed to see out the danger.

Colliery Welfare put together a good move in the 24th minute before Matty Weirs released a through ball for Devlin, the attacker worked space to shoot and forced a save from Grant.

Both teams were getting forward, but largely restricted to half-chances. However, it wasn’t even half a chance that resulted in Ryhope’s opener.

Jon Weirs picked up the ball in midfield in the 33rd minute, before picking out his brother Matty who released a cross which somehow lobbed Grant and found its way into the back of the net. We’ll credit that as an assist from the wind.

Colliery Welfare were given the opportunity to double their lead when Devlin was brought down in the box after being played through in the 41st minute.

James Ellis stepped up and coolly put the penalty into the bottom left corner.

Jon Weirs had a fantastic chance to extend the lead further early in the second half, running through before looking for the back post but firing wide.

Substitute Joey Melvin looked lively and got into good positions in the second half, but failed to find a finish.

Jon Weirs played Melvin through in the 77th minute who rounded the ‘keeper but the angle narrowed for him and he failed to pick out Devlin at the back post.

Ashington got a cross into the box in the 87th minute, Channon North challenged Joe Atkinson and the ball bounced for Brandon Morrison, but Atkinson somehow saved his close range effort and managed to smother to see out the danger.

A last ditch tackle from Danni Lay on North late on helped preserve Ryhope’s clean sheet and a succession of resulting corners were eventually cleared to ensure the 2-0 victory.

A great result for Colliery Welfare with a win and a rare clean sheet, the lads will travel to Guisborough next time out ending a run of home games.

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Match Preview: Ryhope CW vs Hebburn Town

Ryhope CW welcome fifth placed Hebburn Town to Recreation Ground for a Northern League Division One encounter, our first home game since mid December.

Looking to extend our unbeaten start to 2019, we’re in for a tough test against a Hornets side enjoying a great first season in Division One.

However, Colliery Welfare will be hoping for a much better performance than they produced in the 1-1 draw away to Penrith last week.

Hebburn didn’t have a great time out last week either, taking a 3-2 defeat at Stockton Town.

After a very strong start to their league season, the Hornets have fallen a few points off the leading pack, but with a good run until the end of the season they could easily be in the promotion mix.

The South Tyneside club have also been going fantastically in the Vase and will face West Auckland, the only other Northern League club to have made the Fifth Round, in February.

A tough test, but there are some good omens for Ryhope. Colliery Welfare are unbeaten in their last three and have won their last two home league games.

Speaking ahead of the game, Colliery Welfare manager Gary Pearson said: “It’s nice to be back at home, the pitch should have had a rest.

“We have got a few decent teams coming up, people who are doing well in the league but on the other hand we are in a bit of form having been unbeaten in the last three games and we’ll look to take that into the next game and move on from there.

With the games at home we want to look to make it a bit of a fortress.”

This fixture is the first in a run of four home games and a win against a good side could possibly act as a springboard for this run of home fixtures.

Colliery Welfare’s visit to the Hornets this season ended in defeat.

The first-half was a deadlock, but James Ellis struck in the 50th minute to give Ryhope the lead.

However, Michael Richardson equalised and Graeme Armstrong gave Hebburn a 60th minute lead.

Armstrong bagged again, this time from the penalty spot, and Hebburn ran out 3-1 winners.

Hebburn were in Division Two last season, but we did meet once. Ryhope won 2-0 in the Northern League Cup thanks to a Joey Melvin double, however a lot has changed since then.

RCW’s squad is slightly depleted ahead of the game with injuries to Ollie Hotchkiss (knee), Elliott Woods (thigh), Chris Wallace (ankle), Nicky Kane (back).

Joe Atkinson was added to the injury list last week, taking a groin injury against Penrith. Corey Nicholson’s fitness test did not provide good news and he will be out long term.

Jack Devlin still has a four match ban.

Northern League Division One

Venue: Ryhope Recreation Park, Sunderland, SR2 0AB

Kick-Off: 3:00PM

Date: Saturday, January 19th


Match Preview: Penrith AFC vs Ryhope CW

Colliery Welfare make the long journey to Frenchfields Stadium this Saturday as they face a Penrith side still yet to win in the league.

The Cumbrian side currently sit bottom of Northern League Division One with four points.

However, things won’t be plain sailing for Ryhope. The struggling side gave us a very tough test at Recreation Park and came back from 2-0 down to level the score before Welfare managed to find a winner.

Micky Rae in action against Penrith

Colliery Welfare got their 2019 off to a flyer, doubles from James Ellis and former Shildon man Micky Rae giving Ryhope an excellent 4-3 away win in Dean Street.

Ryhope’s form has picked up recently, with three wins and a draw in their last five games.

Andy Coyles’ side have lost their last three but have two draws in their last six games against against Shildon and Sunderland RCA.

The spoils were shared in our games against the Cumbrian side last season, Ryhope winning all three points with a 5-3 scoreline at Frenchfields Stadium but taking a 1-0 defeat at home.

On this weekend’s game, manager Gary Pearson said: “We can’t afford to take this game lightly.

“Despite their league standing, if we go in expecting an easy game it could undo all the hard work we’ve done over previous weeks.”

Ryhope are not far off a full complement, Jack Devlin is still suspended following his red card in the fixture against West Auckland. Ollie Hotchkiss is still injured and Corey Nicholson will be assessed with a fitness test.

Northern League Division One

Venue: Frenchfields Stadium, Carleton, Penrith, CA11 8UA

Date: Saturday, January 12th

Kick-Off: 15:00

penrith ground
Penrith FC’s Frenchfields Stadium

Match Preview: Ryhope CW vs Newcastle Benfield

It could be a close encounter at Recreation Ground this weekend, two teams with very similar starts to their seasons coming up against each other.

Added to that is the fact it is a Wear-Tyne game, Colliery Welfare coming up against Newcastle Benfield in a Northern League Division One clash.

Benfield sit a place above us on goal difference, the two sides occupying 11th and 12th after taking 16 points from 14 games.

Ryhope will have the home advantage, and Benfield’s main struggles have been away from home having taken just five points from six games compared to 11 from eight at home.

That will hopefully play a part, however they may be spurred on by last week’s FA Vase second round victory over 1874 Northwich who were semi-finalists last season.

Their recent form has been much improved under the guidance of new manager Tom Wade, and they have some very strong players in their squad, the obvious example being attack Paul Brayson who has been a top striker at this level for many years.


Ryhope’s form has been up and down, having gone from four league wins in six to winless in our last two. Last week we were held to a point at home against Newton Aycliffe.

Colliery Welfare did the league double over Benfield last season, winning both games 2-1.

Both games were fiery, entertaining encounters, Colliery Welfare edging Benfield away from home when goals from Joey Melvin and Kyle Davis gave us a 2-0 lead heading into half-time. Benfield came out stronger after the break and got a goal back through Joe Hailes in the 47th minute, but RCW held out for the win.

A 90th minute Corey Nicholson winner gave Ryhope a home win earlier in the season. Nat Skidmore gave RCW the lead with a thunderous effort, before Paul Brayson cancelled it out in the 70th minute. A Kyle Davis cross set-up Nicholson at the back post to win it for Welfare in dramatic circumstances.

It wasn’t all joy against Benfield last season, the Newcastle side knocked us out of the Northern League Cup at the quarter-final stage, goals from Jack Devlin and Paul Brayson cancelling out Joey Melvin’s first-half goal.

It was always a tense, narrow encounter between these two last season, and the signs all point to another fantastic game of football on Saturday. Hopefully, with Sunderland playing away from home on Sunday, we can get a few more people through the gates to watch a Wear-Tyne clash.

Northern League Division One

Venue: Ryhope Recreation Park, Sunderland, SR2 0AB

Date: Saturday, November 10th

Kick-Off: 3:00PM


Match Preview: The Ryhope Derby

Tomorrow we welcome our neighbours Sunderland RCA to Recreation Park for a Northern League Division One encounter.

We come into the game off the back of our first league victory since opening day, beating Whickham FC 4-2.

We will hope for an improvement on the game against RCA earlier this season when they knocked us out of the FA Cup at Meadow Park.

A goal from Michael Charlton, and doubles from Mark Davison and Colin Larkin meant RCA ran out 5-2 winners, both our goals coming due to own goals.

This extended the run to five winless Ryhope Derbies for CW, last season’s meeting at Recreation Park ending in a 3-1 victory for CA.

It will be tough to break the streak, RCA currently sit 2nd in the league on 18 points after 9 games. This follows a good season last time out when they finished 4th.

RCA have plenty of familiar faces in the likes of former CW manager Martin Swales, as well as a number of former Welfare players.

Added to the list of former CW players in the CA squad is former Welfare captain Kyle Davis.

Ryhope will be without current captain Ben Riding, who serves his last game of a two match ban.

Jonny Ball, Joey Melvin, Corey Barnes, Josh Home-Jackson, and Davey Gordon are the other players currently unavailable for selection

Northern League Division One

Venue: Ryhope Recreation Park, Ryhope, Sunderland, SR2 0AB

Date: Tuesday, September 25th

Kick-Off: 19:30

Match Preview: Crook Town vs Ryhope CW

Colliery Welfare take on Crook Town in the Durham Challenge Cup tomorrow evening.

Looking to bounceback from our FA Vase exit at the hands of Dunston UTS at the weekend, RCW will be hoping for a good run in the Durham Cup.

Unfortunately, our bad luck with unavailability issues continues. Joey Melvin, Corey Barnes and Josh Home-Jackson are all unavailable, adding to Davey Gordon who is out long term.

Our opponents, a former club of Gary Pearson and Stuey Gooden, currently sit 9th in Northern League Division Two.

The four time Durham Cup winners have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 3 in their 9 league games this season, and went out of the FA Vase in the Second Qualifying Round.

Hopefully we won’t see a repeat of last season in this competition when we were knocked out by Division Two opponents Chester-Le-street.

Durham Challenge Cup

Venue: Sir Tom Cowie Millfield, DL15 9PW

Kick-Off: 19:30

Date: Wednesday, September 18th

FA Vase preview: Ryhope CW vs Dunston UTS

Ryhope take on Dunston UTS this Saturday in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round.

We welcome the fellow Northern League Division One side to Recreation Park, as the clubs look to progress to the First Round Proper of this season’s Vase.

Colliery Welfare got this season’s Vase campaign underway with a 5-1 demolition of Division Two high-flyers Chester-le-Street, our goals coming from Micky Rae and James Ellis with doubles and Nat Skidmore with one.

Our opponents achieved a 2-0 home victory over Heaton Stannington in their First Qualifying Round.

Dunston UTS have had a great start to their Northern League campaign, sitting sixth, unbeaten with 13 points after five games.

The 2012 FA Vase champions finished three points above us last season in 10th.

In their Vase campaign last season, Dunston UTS reached the Second Round proper where they lost 1-0 at home to Worksop Town.

We exited at the same stage, with a 2-1 defeat at home to City of Liverpool, which followed victories over Guisborough (7-1), Northallerton (2-0 AET) and Harrogate Railway (10-1).

Colliery Welfare faced Dunston away in our final game of the 2017-18 season.

It was a perfect end to the season at the UTS stadium, Ryhope winning 4-2 thanks to goals from Ben Riding, Matty Weirs, and a Thomas Bott double.

However, in last season’s game at Recreation Park, Dunston ran out 3-0 winners.

FA Vase

Venue: Ryhope Recreation Park, SR2 0AB

Kick-Off: 3:00PM

Date: Saturday, September 15th

Match Preview: Hebburn Town vs Ryhope CW

Colliery Welfare’s run of away games continues with a trip to Hebburn Sports and Social Ground on Saturday.

Ryhope are looking to put a run of four straight away defeats behind them, but face a tough test away at unbeaten Hebburn.

The performances in the last two games against Bishop Auckland and Whitley Bay haven’t been bad, Welfare creating plenty of chances in both games.

But the club now have a bigger issue of an extensive injury list which includes Carl Jones, Chris Trewick, Davey Gordon and Elliott Woods. Micky Rae came off early against Whitley Bay and may be another addition to this list.

Ben Riding is also unavailable. To deal with this issue, Ryhope recruited Shaun Pickford, Craig Ellison and Stephen Francis to cover.

The two sides met last year in the Northern League Cup, Colliery Welfare running away 2-0 winners both goals coming from Joey Melvin.

However, Scott Oliver’s side strengthened a lot over the summer follwing promotion from Northern League Division Two after finishing 2nd.

They have had a great start to  life in Division One and currently sit 5th on 11 points after five games, winning three and drawing two.

A tough test is expected, but hopefully if Ryhope can show the same ability in creating chances, and take advantage of more then we can get something out of it.

With Sunderland away in Wimbledon and Newcastle playing on the Sunday, it would be great to see as many there as possible.

Northern League Division One

Venue: Hebburn Sports and Social Ground, Hebburn, NE31 1UN

Kick-Off: 3:00PM

Date: Saturday, August 25

Match Preview: Ryhope CW vs Shildon AFC

Colliery Welfare face Shildon AFC in the Ebac Northern League tonight, in their second home match of the season.

Looking to put the disappointment of the weekend’s FA Cup exit behind them, Ryhope will hope for better luck against Shildon than they had in their games last season.

Last season’s games against Shildon came within two days of each other due to postponements. The home tie was a 3-1 loss for RCW. James Ellis put Colliery Welfare in the lead after 16 minutes, but Shildon responded with three before the break and the sides played out a goalless second-half.

The away tie was another Shildon win, Stephen Ramsey scoring two for Ryhope as we slipped to a 3-2 defeat. It was an entertaining late season encounter that saw Jonny Ball have a cameo appearance up front. He put himself about a bit to be fair.

We currently sit on three points in Division One of the Northern League, an opening day victory over Newton Aycliffe followed up by a 1-3 home loss to West Auckland.

Our opponents have had an unbeaten start, drawing 1-1 at home to Stockton on opening day before beating Guisborough 4-1 away in midweek.

Northern League Division One

Venue: Ryhope Recreation Park, Ryhope, Sunderland, SR2 0AB

Date: Tuesday, August 14

Kick-Off: 7:30PM

The opposition

Daniel Moore’s men finished 3rd in Division One last season, the closest challengers to the rampant Marske and Morpeth. They finished on 80 points, 17 back on Morpeth Town in 2nd.

Our opponents boast a young squad, the average age of registered players coming in at around 26 years-old.

Among them is former Hartlepool and Carlisle man Matty Robson, who scored in the fixture at Dean Street last season, young defender Dominic Curl who won the club’s player of the season award and Billy Greulich-Smith, a hard-working forward who caused us problems in both fixtures last season and is a former Northern League player of the year.

They also strengthened a fair bit in the summer, including the signing of Marske United’s Danny Earl who scored over 30 goals last season.


FA Cup preview: Sunderland RCA vs Ryhope CW

“Only now do you realise how much it means to the lower level league clubs like ourselves and C.A.”

Those are the words of our manager Gary Pearson, as we prepare for the first Ryhope Derby of the season, in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

Waiting for the winners of the derby is an away day at Clitheroe F.C., of the Evo-Stik League Division One West, in the preliminary round on the 25th of August.

Colliery Welfare have had bad luck in games against neighbours RCA, availability issues hitting us in both games last season as RCA did the double over us, beating us 3-1 at Recreation Park and 4-1 at Meadow Park.

The lads will hope for a little bit of the magic of the FA Cup as they look to end a run of four winless Ryhope derbies since promotion to Division One of the Northern League.

FA Cup extra preliminary round

Venue: Meadow Park, Ryhope, Sunderland, SR2 0NZ

Date: Saturday, August 11

Kick-Off: 3:00pm

Speaking ahead of the derby, Pearson said: “Growing up I didn’t realise the FA Cup started at this level. I’ve had a taste of the magic on numerous occasions at various levels as a player, all very enjoyable (apart from the defeats).”

“But only now as a non-league manager do you realise how much it means to the lower level league clubs like ourselves and the C.A.”

On the importance of the FA Cup to our season, Pearson added: “The progressive prize funding can really make a difference to the rest of your season, helping the financial burden on owners/chairmen/committee/fans etc.”

“All the best to all involved, enjoy the game and may the best team win (hopefully us),” the gaffer finished.

The opposition:

RCA took a narrow away defeat to Newcastle Benfield in their opening game of the season.

However, they followed that up with a midweek win over Whickham to get their first 3 points of the season, and in emphatic fashion with a 3-0 overhaul of the newly-promoted side.

Mixed signs from a side that had a very good campaign last time out where they finished 4th in Division One on 79 points.

Despite the lack of competitive Ryhope derbies, there’s plenty of history between the two sides.

RCA are managed by Martin Swales, who had a long spell in charge of Colliery Welfare, while their captain Greg Swansbury also had a successful spell with us.

Other former CW players on the books at the C.A. include forward Nathan O’Neill and midfielders Clayton and Jonathan Davis.

Meanwhile our squad also boasts former RCA players in Joey Melvin, Danni Lay and Josh Home-Jackson.

Views from the lads:

Captain Ben Riding is relishing the chance to play in the FA Cup, saying: “It’s a massive privilege to be involved in a massive competition like the FA Cup.”

“As a kid growing up watching the competition, to be playing in it is kind of a dream come true.”

“Let’s just hope we can have a good little run this year as it’s massive for the club as well as the players.”

Goalkeeper Jonny Ball is also looking forward to the competition, particularly with the added incentive of the Ryhope Derby: “There’s something special about playing in the FA Cup”

“It’s a great derby to be involved in, and even more so as it’s the FA Cup.”