Sunday, 26 September 2021

Sherburn Village WMC - Sherburn Sports Centre

Sherburn Village WMC FC
Sherburn Sports Centre
Durham City Gymnastic Club
Off Gray Avenue
Sherburn Village

Ground Number: 1002
Saturday 25th September 2021
Sherburn Village WMC 4-1 Hartlepool FC Blues
Sunderland Over 40s League


The formation date of the club is unclear, but their full name is Sherburn Village Working Mans Club. They were promoted to the Premier Division in the summer following their Division 1 title during the 2020/21 season, remaining unbeaten all season. Records only go back as far as 2008/09 but they were originally in Division 1 before being relegated after finishing bottom in Division 1. They spent five seasons in Division 2 before they won promotion back in 2017 after a 5th place finish. The village of Sherburn has a population of around 9,000. The former fishing village has a population of 3,500.


When I decided to extend my trip in the northeast by a couple of days, the Sunderland Over 40s League was a huge factor in this. It was one of those rare things in a Saturday morning game. The only other league that I know that operates at these times is the Midland U21 League and it is always welcome to see a couple of games in one day. The question was, where to go.  To do this, I plotted all the possible games on a map - that was ones that were played on at least a railed pitch. The I did the same with the afternoon fixtures in the FA Vase and picked out some potential doubles. In the end, it came down to what was nearest to my hotel in Darlington and that was Sherburn Village in the morning and Willington in the afternoon. I discovered that I could do the whole trip on a North East Explorer bus ticket for £10.90 and this included getting back to Newcastle for my overnight coach too - even if it did take a bit longer than the train.

The day of the game came and I woke up at 7.15, fifteen minutes ahead of my alarm. I had a shower, got dressed and got my things together. Wary of the unreliable buses, I jogged into town and typically, I saw my bus go past. At least I made the stop for the bus to Durham which arrived as scheduled. I was going to charge my power bank on board, but typically the sockets weren't working. The bus was in Durham just before 10 and as I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, I got myself a meal deal from Tesco. The Hoisin Duck Wrap, Thornton's brownie and juice drink were excellent value for £3. I then got the 24 bus towards Hartlepool which got me to near the ground at 10.20. I met John from the club, who was a great bloke, as were several of their members who made me feel very welcome. He told me that they'd been oversubscribed for the game, 22 players wanted to play and so he had to turn four away to assemble a squad of 18. There was also a guy at the club who liked groundhopping. He had been to over 150 following Sunderland home and away as well as some great grounds such as the Maracana in Brazil. 

In their six games so far, Sherburn had done fairly well. Last week they won 3-1 at Blyth Masons Arms and had also beaten Penshaw Catholic Club 3-0 and won 4-2 at Killingworth YPC. On the flip side, they'd drawn 2-2 at Easington Colliery CIC and had lost 1-0 to Ferryhill Greyhound Vaux and 1-0 at Pelton Crown Inn. They sat 6th with visitors Hartlepool FC Blues in 2nd. They had been in brilliant form with wins over Sunderland The Times Inn (5-3 & 4-1), Penshaw Catholic Club (2-1), Marden (4-0) and Easington Colliery CIU (2-1). Their only defeat had come on the opening day against Pelton Crown Inn as they lost 2-1. Sherburn were in a Barcelona style red and blue striped kit, whilst Hartlepool were in the green. The hosts were quick out of the traps and they were ahead within five minutes when a cross from the left was bundled home. It was 1-1 five minutes later, a well-worked move, a ball from the left and a finish from ten yards. Sherburn retook the lead on 17 minutes when a ball into the box was finished from around the penalty spot. After 28 minutes, it was 3-1, this time it was another cross into the box which the visiting keeper missed and a Sherburn man powered the overhead kick home. A 40 minute half and a quick turnaround resulted in the second half kicking off at 11.15. The game was sealed on 15 minutes when a cross from the left was headed home. It could have been 5-1 a few minutes from time, the ball hit the bar and bounced down on the line but the goal was not given. It had been a good game of football, witnessed by 25 although the number swelled later on. The Sunderland Over 40's League is an excellent Saturday morning competition, providing good opportunities for seeing two games in one day. I couldn't have wished to do it with a better club than Sherburn.


SHERBURN PARK is a great venue to watch a game ar. The pitch is fully railed and is on a couple of bus routes out of Durham. There's plenty of parking too and it's a pleasant place to watch a game. I'm not sure about food and drink places nearby though, so it might be better to bring your own.

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