Football returns to village after 14 years
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
LEAGUE football has returned to Middleton-in-Teesdale after an absence of 14 years.
The village lost its Saturday league team in the year of the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 and Sunday league folded in 2005.
But the village football pitch has seen a lot more action in recent weeks as newly formed Middleton-in-Teesdale Football Club gets in friendly matches ahead of the start of the Darlington Sunday Invitation League season.
Manager Dave Short said the team are going from strength to strength thanks to support from the village.
The club also recently took sponsorship of a new strip from the Stephen Mitchell Memorial Fund.
Mr Short said: “The cricket club have been really supportive and locally all the people have been amazing. The kit looks fantastic and we are very grateful for that.”
The team took on Crook Athletic FC in a friendly on Sunday with the team showing resilience by going into half time tied on three goals each, after being 3-0 down after 30 minutes.
A number of Crook team are former Northern League players.
The match ended 5-3 in Crook's favour. Goals were scored for Middleton by Robbie Lavin, Liam Lapham and “Joey”.
Mr Short said: “I was really proud of the boys. It was a good match to watch.”
Man of the match went to goalkeeper Jon Lucas who made some “incredible” saves.
The team are now based at the football pitch next to Middleton Cricket Club and they will be sharing facilities such as the pavilion.
Nigel Mitchell, of the Stephen Mitchell Memorial Fund, welcomed the return of football to the village.
He said: “It is good for the village to get people down here. It is a good pitch, it just needs to be used.”