Easington Colliery 1–3 Brandon United
The Colliers stumble to a third straight defeat, yet promotion hopes aren’t yet completely dashed
On what was one of the warmer Easter Saturdays in recent years and in the absence of a Shotton Colliery home game, I visited Ebac Northern League Division Two side Easington Colliery.
A ten minute drive closer to the north east coastline, Easington’s home ground located within the Welfare Park has some great views of the sea and countryside.
The Colliers promotion charge had faulted of late, albeit hindered by injuries, and had lost their previous two games.
Despite this, games in hand meant that they were still in a very decent position to seal a place in the top two.
Brandon were in the bottom half of the table but on a decent unbeaten run.
In front of over 100 people at a sun kissed Welfare Park, Easington’s recent wobble reared its ugly head early on.
An effort from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection, wrong footing Colliers keeper Aaron Steavans. A rapid start from the visitors.
The hosts never really got going in the first half, and this sluggish start was compiled when Brandon made it two.
A rapid counter attack saw the visitors beat the offside trap and a cool finish made it 2–0 with just 22 minutes on the clock.
Time for a pint, and the bar at the ground had dark fruit cider and lager on tap. £3 for a pint of cider on a sunny Easter Saturday went down a treat.
I returned from the bar to retake my seat on the wall near the entrance to the ground next to my dad just in time to see Brandon add to their tally.
Easington had several chances to clear their lines yet none were taken and a firm finish into the roof of the net made it 3–0 shortly before the half hour mark.
Despite the scoreline, the hosts created some good chances and a smart save from the Brandon keeper made sure that it would be 3–0 at the break.
Easington started the second half stronger and efforts to get back into the game came and went.
Drew Tapping headed wide from a James Cassidy cross on 50 minutes before the hosts came even closer to getting onto the score sheet.
With 20 minutes left Jack Pounder had an effort blocked by the Brandon keeper before Luke Pearn cracked an effort against the crossbar.
How Easington weren’t back in the match was beyond me, but the hosts’ failure to take chances combined with a composed defensive showing from Brandon resulted in the visitors navigating their way towards a well earned three points.
The Colliers did get on the score sheet late on and it was a goal that their earlier efforts deserved, but Brandon deserved the three points.
There are still twists and turns to be had in the league, but regardless of what happens, these two sides look to be both competitive and capable of big things this season or next.
Both of these sides are examples of how non league football in County Durham is stronger than ever.
for anyone in the region looking to ground hop to a match; you wouldn’t go far wrong with a trip to this corner of the county