Monday, February 01, 2010

Durham City’s young guns lose out to United

Source: Newcastle Evening Chronicle

Feb 1 2010 Evening Chronicle

DURHAM City were rewarded off the pitch, if not on it, after they pulled out all the stops to get their game against fans’ club FC United of Manchester on.

One of only two senior non-league games in the region to survive the overnight snowfall, Shildon was the other, cash-strapped City were rewarded at the turnstiles.

A bumper 606-strong crowd, three times the previous best this season, saw City’s young guns go down 2-1, but takings in the region of £4,000 softened the blow of yet another defeat.

Around 50 volunteers, including Durham players and officials, took part in the snow clearing operation, which lasted five hours.

Newcastle-based referee Darren Wellington, who had a good game in the middle, also got in on the act with a two-hour shift to make the pitch playable.

But the charity does not extend to the pitch, as Durham’s losing league run extended to 22 games.

The first half was goalless, though striker Josh Home-Jackson put an eight-yard free header wide from Marc Hollingsworth’s surging run and cross.

Durham manager Lee Collings said: “He should have scored and the goal would have given us something to defend and we could have been more compact and tight.

“We gifted FC United both goals and no-one grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. We didn’t get out of second gear and didn’t express ourselves or have a go.

“The players had lost a bit of belief after the hammering at Boston last week, though we kept going and were rewarded with a late goal.”

A poor Gareth Ayers pass just outside the City penalty area saw Joe Yoffe flick home Phil Marsh’s 50th-minute cross and then Marsh beat Richard Heiniger from distance late on to delight the 400-plus Reds support.

Heiniger’s brother, Carl, then powered home a 25-yard free kick in the sixth minute of injury time.