Mixed bag this weekend. Newcastle United unsurprisingly thrashed by Liverpool escaping lightly, in all honesty, by only shipping three goals. The mackem filth, thankfully, failed to score at home against Everton who ran out 0-2 winners. Both of us are now hoping for Hull to maintain their poor run of form while we’ve got a game against Middlesbrough next week that we simply must take three points from.
Better news in the lower tiers, though. Newcastle Blue Star (not Brown Star as reported by the BBC – that’s… not quite right) secured promotion to the Unibond Premier League. And Gateshead played out a 1-1 draw at home against Southport to win their playoff 2-1 on aggregate and now have home advantage against AFC Telford in the one-legged final. With luck this will get them into the Conference. This game on May 8th, and my fingers are heartily crossed for them!
So I start following Gateshead FC… and they lose a large leading margin at the top of the Blue Square North, allowing Tamworth to clinch automatic promotion. Gateshead will now find themselves in the playoffs at the end of the season. Congratulations to Tamworth, though.
Let’s not even go near the subject of Newcastle United‘s run-in for the end of the Premiership season. I really, really hope I’m wrong but deep down I just know we’re ******.
Thanks to the wonders of the interwebnetsupermegahighway it’s now easier to get details of even the smaller football teams. While you’ll almost never see a team below the second division (or whatever it’s called this week) on TV unless they get into a decent cup tie, they all have web pages that are well updated by fans or club members.
As such, I’m turning my attention to my home side of the River Tyne and checking out my real “home town” team of Gateshead FC. Currently they sit at the top of the Blue Square North division, a point clear of Tamworth, but have just squandered what should have been an easy three points against bottom-half opposition.
They’re certainly doing well this season, and I can check all the information on their web site without having to pay anyone any money – unlike the upper divisions with their pay-per-view or subscription-based websites which all look the bloody same.
Will I ever get the Gateshead FC logo tattooed on my arm to go with my Newcastle United one? I doubt it. But it’s great being able to follow another local team and should I ever be home at the right time I’ll likely pick up a ticket and go to watch them. It’s Â£9 compared to Newcastle’s Â£26 upwards, and the parking’s easier. Plus, it’s good to support the lower levels of the football leagues.
The best thing is I don’t feel “guilty” about having a second team as I’ve got connections to both. In fact, if anything, I should be more of a Gateshead than a Newcastle fan given that I was born and raised on the south side of the Tyne.
With the costs of supporting a Premiership team, if you’ve given up a season ticket or regular match attendance for financial reasons, why not look around your area for another team that would welcome your support? You still get live football, most of the lower leagues still kick off at 3pm on a Saturday so you’ll still be able to watch the Premiership games on the telly courtesy of their frequently buggered-about kick-off times and you’ll be pumping cash into football where it’s needed.