MEN IN THE MASKS: Under new regulations, Bowes FC’s substitutes must wear masks when they are on the touchline
MEN IN THE MASKS: Under new regulations, Bowes FC’s substitutes must wear masks when they are on the touchline

IT says something for the strange times we currently live in that football clubs in the dale are appealing for spectators to stay away from games.
In order for park football matches to continue during the current Covid-19 conditions, a new set of regulations were agreed last week between the seven North East local authorities currently subject to stricter local lockdown regulations and officials from Durham County FA and Northumberland FA.
These include a ban on all spectators from grounds, changing rooms out of bounds except for toilets and the wearing of face masks for all substitutes and coaching staff.
No friendly or charity matches are allowed and tournament football is shelved for the time being.
Any club or participant breaching the new rules – which will be reviewed on October 7 – will be charged under FA regulations and may have their matches suspended and use of facilities withdrawn.
All of which made for a historic occasion of sorts at Tens Field on Saturday, when Bowes FC welcomed Willington for a Crook and District League first division encounter.
Surely, there can never have been another day when the spectators watched the unfolding action from the footpath linking Kalafat and Bartlemere?
The game itself ended with Bowes taking all three points having held the upper hand throughout. Two goals from Adam Lee-Shield and one from the ever-dependable Rob Dixon gave Bowes a 3-1 lead at the interval.
With the wind behind them, Willington score a second from the penalty spot to make it 3-2 and came perilously close to grabbing a point when Bowes were forced to clear off the line.
Elsewhere, Shildon Railway held sway at home to Glaxo Rangers, recording a 3-1 win, with Luke Robson on target for Rangers.
Evenwood keeper Mark Tyrie was the hero for Evenwood Town, who progressed in the Durham Minor Cup after winning a penalty shoot-out 2-1 at Gateshead Redheugh after the game finished 2-2.
The veteran stopper saved four spot kicks in a row to see his side through.
This Saturday, all three teams are in cup action as the first round of the South Durham Charity Bowl takes place. Glaxo Rangers have the chance for revenge when they welcome Shildon Railway to Manor Farm, while Bowes are at home to Heighington and Evenwood head to Wolsingham.

Wear Valley Sunday League
TOFT Hill Three Tuns were involved in an amazing nine-goal thriller in the Durham FA Sunday Cup.
Heading to Wearside, they ran out 5-4 winners thanks to goals from Allan Jones, Tim Wilkinson, Matthew Tryie, Nigel Beckley and Chris Murphy.
No such luck for Gainford Cross Keys, who were also on the road, taking on Ouston at Chester-le-Street.
The hosts took the tie 4-2, with Alan haycock and Kieren Kirkby on the scoresheet for Gainford.
It’s cup action again for the two dale sides this weekend.
Toft Hill host Seaham Parkside while Gainford head to Witton Park Rose and Crown in the preliminary round of the Hearty Foundation Cup.
Other results
Durham FA Sunday Cup: Middlestone Moor Mason's Arms 2, Sunderland Pennywell 2 (Middlestone Moor won 6-5 penalties); Red Lion 6, Middleton Rangers 5; NA Sports 2, Consett Top House 4; Stillington Royal 2, Bay Horse Blues 5; Coundon WMC 6, Houghton Wild Boar 1.
Division 2: BA Sports 8, Black Horse 2; Leeholme WMC 7, NA Roundhouse 3.