I’m not sure what I like about football - pretty certain it’s not what most people like about it. But I do rather love non-league (and lower league) football, maybe because, as a Wimbledon fan, most of my football watching has been on sparsely populated terraces.

I had been to very few matches in the years before we moved North, just the odd Wimbledon match when Adam could talk me into it, but arriving in the North East seemed to fire something unexpected and found me spending a few weekends and evenings standing on sparsely populated terraces… here’s a very quick round up.

Whitley Bay FC

Hillheads, Whitley Bay
Hillheads, Whitley Bay

So… this lot will probably be my North East team because they’ll be my local team and that’s who you should support. So I guess it’s appropriate that they have treated me to a rather uninspired season.

Date H - A
20th August West Allotment Celtic 4 - 2 Whitley Bay FA Cup (preliminary round)
11th September Whitley Bay 3 - 4 Billingham Sythonia FA Vase (Q1)
15th April Whitley Bay 1 - 3 North Shields Northern League 1

My Whitley Bay FC record 2021/2 - three matches, three defeats

Gateshead FC

Gateshead International Stadium
Gateshead International Stadium

I love the FA Cup, particularly the early rounds - there’s something beautiful about lowly teams having dreams of cup glory. A lot of the games I went to this season were cup games, and Gateshead had a good run in the cup so I saw them quite a few times.

Gateshead reached the second round and put up a decent showing against Charlton

Date H - A
18th September Gateshead 6 - 2 Bradford Park Avenue FA Cup (Q2)
19th October Gateshead 3 - 2 Marske FA Cup (Q4R)
6th November Gateshead 2 - 2 Altrincham FA Cup (1)
3rd December Gateshead 0 - 2 Charlton Athletic FA Cup (2)

My Gateshead FC record 2021/2 - four matches, two wins, one draw, one defeat

North Shields FC

Daren Persson Stadium a.k.a. _The Morgue_, North Shields
Daren Persson Stadium a.k.a. _The Morgue_, North Shields

I guess if I were a glory hunter I would have chosen North Shields as my North East team but that’s not how it works, also their ground The Morgue is a charmless field whereas Whitley Bay’s Hillheads feels like it’s been lived in.

I headed down to the south coast to see The Robins play Littlehampton

Date H - A
7th August North Shields 3 - 1 West Auckland FA Cup (Q1)
12th March Littlehampton 1 - 0 North Shields FA Vase (QF)
15th April Whitley Bay 1 - 3 North Shields Northern League 1

My North Shields FC record 2021/2 - three matches, two wins, one defeat

The others

Purvis Park, Percy Main
Purvis Park, Percy Main

We went to Spennymoor Town becuase it was the FA Cup - turns out that was a mistake as it was a truly dreadful 0-0 draw - and annoyingly, becuase of that, it was the most memorable day!

I went to Percy Main Amateurs becuase … because why wouldn’t I want to see a team called Percy Main Amateurs.

Date H - A
2nd October Spennymoor Town 0 - 0 Southport FA Cup (Q3)
11th December Percy Main Amateurs 1 - 2 Newcastle Blue Star Northen Alliance Premier

There was one more match … Wimbledon’s first defeat of the season at Sunderland - things went badly downhill for The Dons after this - and they’re headed for League Two … and some sparsely populated terraces.

The Stadium of Light, Sunderland
The Stadium of Light, Sunderland