Groundhopper: Sunderland West End 2 Hordon CW 1  (1/10/16). (Malcolm Stephenson)

Sunderland West End 2 Hordon CW 1  (1/10/16).

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

I had a free Saturday as Blyth had been knocked out the FA cup and they had no game re-arranged. I am still gutted by that defeat by Morpeth Town but that’s it now for another year. Despite Blyth not playing I was certainly not going to the shops with the wife today and it was football as usual.
There are not many grounds in the North East I have not been to but at least there are some left for me to go to. I had in fact tried to get to Sunderland West End previously this year but the ‘bloomin’ Sat Nav took me all over the shop and i missed the game. I do not really know Sunderland so I had to rely on it again to get me to the Ford Quarry complex. I could not believe it but the Sat Nav took me to a side street somewhere in Sunderland. I was cursing to myself that the same thing had happened again and I was trying to find somewhere to ask directions. Then lo and behold out the corner of my eye I spotted a pitch getting ready for a game on my right hand side. I had found it at last and my going home in a man grump was aborted. I got there just in time for kick off.
There was no admission gate/turnstile as such but a bloke collected £5 on the entrance to the car park. There was no match day programme as I guessed there would not be at this level. Something i have come to accept over the years.
From what I can research the club were first known as Sunderland South and played in the Durham Alliance but changed their name to Houghton Town when they joined the Wearside league in 2009. In 2011 the club changed the name gain to Sunderland West End. The ford quarry complex is in the Hyton area of Sunderland, south of the river and near the end of the metro line.
The ground has one main block behind the goal which incorporates everything. There was no social club inside but only changing rooms, toilets, and office space etc. The pitch is fully surrounded by a concrete and metal fence typical of many grounds at this level. There is no hard standing, seats, cover or floodlights. It’s as basic as it gets at this level of football but that’s what it is. To me it does not matter. You could have offered me the best seats at a top Premier league game today and i would still prefer to be at a match such as Sunderland West End. Lads out there playing the game, because they love it.
Sunderland West End play in a strip a bit like the Senior club of the City. However the back of West End strips are all red while the red and white strips only extend to the front. The game today was Durham Cup tie and they were playing Horden CW who played in all green strips. I felt a degree of sorrow for Horden as they have not had much luck these days. Horden were a Northern league team for many years from 1975 before relegation in 2013. The club has unfortunately also just lost their Horden Welfare ground earlier this year and now play at Greyfields in Hartlepool. The local council gave the club the heave ‘Ho’ for no reason.
The match was arranged for a 1.30 pm kick off and assumed thus was due in case extra time was required. The game kicked off and there was some chances created by either side in a fairly even game. Despite being a sunny day there was a nip in the air and i wore my jacket for a game for the first time in months. The Ford Quarry complex has a few other adjoining pitches and i imagined the icy wind sweeping across this hillside ground in the depths of winter.
It was 0-0 at half time and the game continued to flow after the break. With about 20 minutes left the hosts took the lead and not long after doubled it with a penalty. With the pen the keeper managed to get a hand to it but was unable to stop it hitting the back of the net. For me that second goal seemed to finish the game but Horden were not giving up. Late in the game they pulled one back but it was not enough. Horden will have to wait another year for another go at Durham cup glory.
Att- approx 30



  1. Little did i know when attending this game that days later the name Hordon CW would cease to exist in the following days. The club is now called Darlington 1883 reserves. They will be playing one game in Hartlepool and ,moving to Darlington.fior their next game.

  2. It was the parish council in Horen who made them leave the ground not the Town council. If ia ma correct they might be going to whene now defunct darlington Cleveland Bridge used to play at.

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