Friday, February 26
Chester-le-Street, UK



Chester Town v Durham City


The Reverend Ron ‘Jesus’ Surrey had once again made wine from water, fishes from famine…

The 13 amp plug was flicked on,

the dial set to Gas Mark 9…

would Ron’s million pound state of the art under turf heating save the day at La Segrada de Moor Park,

as he declared in a broad northern accent…  ‘Game On!!’ 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

I felt transported back to The Lakeside Darts world champs 1985 with Bristow and Lowe smashing each other to pieces on the dart board🤔 Halcyon days man.

A cold Moor Park welcomed ‘The Citizens’ for an afternoon of Footballing Frolics…

Durham City, 101 years old😳

and one of the oldest clubs in the Northern League, were formed at the end of The Great War and played in the main Football league in 1921-1928.

History lesson over🤨

I could feel the visceral positivity vibrating through the stands, the belief was tangible and hope was shining brightly in the eyes of all Cestrian Bretheren.

We gathered at The Church of Moor Park to worship at the feet of The Cestrian Gladiators🙌

Caesar Wake, although croaky of voice like a Joe Cocker after 40 tabs,

was prepared for Anything…

He had an ace up his sleeve today🤔,

and even with the talismanic Captain Mazzinator missing, due to his red card last week at Northallerton we had hope of good things today.

I would possibly have the esteemed company of the Mazzinator at pitch side.. although he is normally all consumed during the minutes of play, and rightly so.

He cut an intense figure on the railings, passionate and driven with a headstrong desire to give everything of himself, whether on or off the pitch..

His big footballing heart pumps adrenaline thru every one of The Cestrians…

a more loyal, professional and dedicated Footballer you will not see around these here parts.

Captain Crouchy McBan was captain for the first time and had some big boots to fill.

The Cestrians were determined to build on a very decent start to the season, unbeaten in league and cup nonetheless🤔

The whistle blew and the battle began..

As I walked into the hallowed turf that is Moor Park Colloseum I was aware of the presence of greatness, as The Undertaker ran to take the first Throw-in on the left wing, I helpfully bellowed

‘Come on The Undertaker’ to which the mighty Graver kindly smiled and others around me looked on quizzically with furrowed brows…

Warmed by the acknowledgment of The Undertaker I strode on not caring a jot for the others who did not second my emotion….

One only needs to have the confidence of ones Convictions to follow through with such joyous literary activities.

I have a hundred names for each Cestrian Gladiator, but there is always one bold name which will step forward, brazen and full of pride, as if having been chosen first for ‘British Bulldog’ in the school yard🤔

To have an influence is to be living large-

to be vibrant-

It gives reason to all things good in the universe🤔

The  Undertaker made a great cross to The Flying Scotsman whose Header was close to opening the scoring..

the hordes cooooed in quiet recognition of the quality on display.

Grantinio must have been missing his home town and the warmer climate of Copacabana Beach,

but you couldn’t tell as his sublimely timed pass to Olaf was smashed into the box with an aggression not seen since The Karate Kid kicked that blonde youngun’ in the stotts!!

The City keeper made a great save, but Olaf had tattooed his intentions on the hands of The Citizen Keeper..

there was ‘no love or hate’ on the knuckles just pure lust for goals!

The Flying Scotsman was like a Dodgem car from The Hoppings, fast and erratic, causing the City defenders huge consternation as he ploughed the ball into Olaf, Whallop and over the bar!

A horrible Bobble or Timmy Toblerone boots😳

I think the former🤔

All Haile The King sprinted forward with a  great running, jinkin dribble into City territory.. we were looking dangerous.

20 minutes In and 0-0,

but at least 80-20 possession to us made me feel like leaning confidently back into my plush, heavily cushioned emotional armchair whilst we lashed in a few goals.

I proceeded to speak in tongues,

The language of Cestrian Rubrics often heard during such a one sided game…

As my good friend Woffy stood patiently next to me listening to such words as


‘only a matter of time’

‘Well it could have been 5’….😳

Just as the words had left my mouth,

a City counterattack rose up like a Bondi Beach rogue wave….

the tsunami of Cestrian domination ignored for a moment as a shock midfield breakaway transpired from nowhere,

an Unlucky bounce off a Cestrian defender, and the City attacker was thru on goal…

Coomberaggio did well and got his body down and in the way, but the ball bobbled Annoyingly in.. 1-0😳

From the restart we were different,

as Olaf won another free kick we could sense the change of mood.. we seemed more cerebral on the pitch.

‘Brave as a Lyon’ took control and crossed the ball into the box as The Flying Scotsman got involved in some distractions, cue Olaf as he stepped up and slotted from close range with aplomb and 1-1.

Olaf The great had restored parity and belief at the same time!

Euphoria ensued 🙌🙌🙌🙌

We had the bit between our teeth as Grantinio was taken down old school method… ‘Av it!’

A Free kick awaited us as The Undertaker curled a lovely ball in and found Elvis The King….

but the connection from him was more ‘77 than ‘59 as he didn’t swivel his hips as cleanly as we had first hoped..

Another Cestrian attack promised much as All Haile The King smashed his boot across the ball, arcing a beauty just passed the post! Ooouuffff!

Then The Flying Scotsman sprinted hopefully into the box as he received an incoming missile from Grantinio,

his head balanced the ball like a sea lion

as he looked on course to notch, unfortunately the mischievous ball bounded on without the spritely Scotty in Tow…. unlucky!!

The Undertaker again delivered a great corner to Dirk Hepp who rose majestically to head firmly towards goal but the City keeper saved well at full stretch.

The half time refreshments beckoned us,

The Golden Girls lavished us with pies, Keith pulling the frothy pints as we gravitated to the warmth of the clubhouse once more.

The second half whistle blew.

We were looking for openings, we were dangerous, as The Hepp jumped twice his height to glance on a lovely midfield header to Olaf The Great who was in his element, eyes on fire and showing the leaping legs of a gazelle.

He fired a shot calmly goal-ward from the outside of his boot  just 18yards out but with so much to do still…

It was Bergkamp, Best and Messi all rolled into one… 🙌

As the ball nestled in the City goal we realised at 2-1 we were back in the ascendancy!! 

Mentally, the crowd were rejuvenated 😊 as Ronnie raised a rosy cheeked smile. 

Olaf The Great had achieved a classy brace in the game and double figures for the season, stealing away the injured Cam’s title as the top scorer.(sorry Cam)😚

10 beautiful goals!

The Hordes bounced up and down as we tried to contain ourselves…

I wanted to chant🤨 but resisted.

Again Olaf was on his spritely Kawasaki 125 once again, accelerating onto goal like a young juvenile from Pelton Fell Woods,

a full 5 yards behind the last defender he selected top gear, slip streamed him like Tom Cruise in ‘Days of Thunder’ and slid passed the distraught City Defender,

He had no option than to haul down Olaf, with a full on body slammer…

red card, city down to 10…

We were feeling more relaxed

But was it the 2nd pint of Carling 🤔 or just The crowd feeling galvanised with the team, 🤔

as they strode on with a confidence not seen since Michael Owen slotted that beauty in ‘98…

The free kick came to nothing, but we sensed blood now.

The Candyman came on for ‘All Haile The King’ and was formidable in distribution, running and all round energy levels…

Elvis was clearing headers left and right and centre.. he wasn’t caught in a trap and he could walk out🤔 quite easily.

In the middle of this intensity, a chance for some hilarity as a wayward ball came ballooning into the stands ricocheting all over the place until

Rocky ‘el deano’ balboa took charge and headed the wayward missile back onto the pitch whilst shouting

‘Yo Adrienne, I did it!!’

game on 😉

The Undertaker covered play very well at the back and sheltered a ball out of harms way for a calming Cestrian goal kick.

Coomberaggio didn’t have much to do, but what he did he did well…

‘Brave as a Lyon’ smashed a shot just passed the post after a Scotty lay off.

The Bomber came on for Elvis.. as he left the pitch you could hear him shout to the crowd…

‘Thank you very much 😂 aha-hon’

A weak Cestrian free kick caused ructions as City bolted towards our half with a 4 on 3 power play…

The Yellow card was well accepted as Dirk Hepp lunged and made an imperative tackle.

He had No choice he took one for the team..

The Candyman can and did,

as Olaf picked it up and ran like the wind winning another corner..

the lad was obviously on 3 shredded wheat today🤔

Olaf broke thru the City backline and lobbed The Keeper, we were singing hatrick boy before it bounced off the post

and out, Ooohh!! So Unlucky!!

The Brazilian Grantinio came off for Harry ‘The Woodsman’

the no.12 was the new signing of the week and an exciting prospect for The Cestrians…. the Cestrian crowd welcomed him like any family welcomes a new addition.

A Corner came in like a howitzer from The Almighty Undertaker straight to

The lively Debutant Woodsman who’s volley travelled just over the bar!!

Dr Hayls was required once again, with a bottle of superglue, a bag full of potions and the magic sponge, she worked tirelessly to fix The City players….

The Bomber set away The Candyman who hit a Low cross from the left to find Scotty bravely sliding into the keeper

Who was pummelled into the shape of a calzone 😳

Mamma Mia!! bontà gentile!!

The rebound kindly rolled invitingly towards The Woodsman who was only 8 yards out in perfect position..

he connected perfectly,

head over it,

this ain’t going into the trees mate,

the net bulged as the ball whizzed off the keeper’s chin 3-1!!

Euphoria ensued 🙌🙌

No last minute sweat please😳

Dr Hayls had to come on the pitch for the 4th time to put humpty together again….

Her lightest touch commanded respect 😌

I was worried Injury time would take us beyond 5pm at this rate …. 😳

Then a bit of interplay in what Peter Kay would refer to as ‘a bit of blue for the Dad’s’ as the ‘blue hooped’ Crouchy McBan rode into the box like it was high noon…

the ball was laid on a platter for him from the left wing as it hovered at waist height(which is head height for most👀) diagonally flashing across the 6 yard box, only for the phantom ball to pass thru the foot of McBan😳

Satoshi Nakafoto-Smith, Family McBan and The Jester all took a sharp Intake of breath simultaneously as we stared at each other with a look of incredulity🙄 as the chance went begging…

The Candyman played a lovely ball to The Woodsman who had chances up front.

He was like The Wolf, he looked hungry and dangerous.

The Candyman was now on the left driving the ball Into City territory and winnng a great corner, he was everywhere, he was super sub!

Then another opportunity for Crouchy McBan appeared before our eyes, a chance to redeem himself, we all collectively thought….🤨

A perfect cross at 33,000 feet, Newcastle AirTraffic control had given clearance as Crouchy lifted off the turf to connect with the ball…

The Thump of leather and the creak of knees as The Cestrian Masses levitated with anticipation but ooohhh nooooo

The City keeper saved well from the BFG, it Could have been 10-1 😳…

In the dying seconds I saw The Flying Scotsman having a few words with the mouthy City player who was unhappy with himself and probably the result,

(Who can blame him)

or maybe he was just intimidated by the Flying Scotsman’s skills and Hollywood boyband good looks🤔

I’m a believer🤔

(Singalong-The Monkees)

‘And I saw his pace…
Now I’m a believer,
Not a case,
of Scot-ty  offside…
I’m in love
I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave here if I tried’
The final whistle blew!

3 points, happy days…




  1. David Marshall says:

    Quality as per Sharpey lad. I await next weekends offering with baited breath 👏👏

    • Michael Sharp says:

      Toon kind Musha😌
      It’s a pleasure to write for such a wonderful club, what a great bunch of folks man.
      From the Chairman to the Groundsman, and from the youth teams to the senior teams, each and everyone cares so much for the club🙌 That’s who I do it for my friend.

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