Two defeats in a row for Fenham

After the sweet taste of victory last time out, Fenham went two games without sampling it again. Losing 1-0 away to Tyne View on Valentine’s Day, the Dynamo had a home game against Seghill to put things right a week later. They would be all set for three points, but inexplicably threw the game away; conceding three goals in the last five minutes to go down 2-4.

With a weekend off, there’ll be plenty of wounds to lick between now and when they welcome The Haal to Coxlodge, on the first Saturday of March.


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Newburn FC 3-5 Dynamo Fenham

Fenham returned to winning ways with a strong win away to the side directly above them in the table. After losing to top of the league Rutherford last time out, by the odd goal in five, Dynamo were keen to make amends and they do so in confident fashion.

Starting with a few changes, including a new strike force of full débutante Andy Pritchard and man of the moment Chris Thirlwell. Cliff Lyall dropped back into midfield with Jim Ellis and Marc Miller both unavailable, Adam Kennedy started wide on the left with Player-Manager Greeves on the right. The defence also required a reshuffle when skipper Mark Harrison failed a pre-match fitness test; this promoted usual winger Steven Smith from the bench, to start at left back. Mark Orkney made a welcome return at right back, with Tunesi and Skelton continuing at centre back.

Fenham were out of the blocks from the word ‘go’ and raced into an early lead when Thirlwell found the bottom left corner after some good work from Greeves and Pritchard. Once more Thirlwell found the back of the net, linking up with his new strike partner, Pritchard, he forced home a second and the away side were two up inside the opening 15 minutes.

But Newburn came back and levelled the game up just before half time. It’s often said that 2-0 is an uneasy score in football and this proved to the be the case, once more. Through a combination of unforced errors and the wind, the home side brought the game all square on the stroke of half time. The first had a distinct look of offside about it, but the second was a fine effort from the edge of the box, that gave Farndale no chance.

After the break, Fenham were in no mood to give up the three points and despite having two goals ruled out in the first half and seeing an effort hit the bar, Pritchard made it 3-2 with a cool finish after some great work from Lyall.

Again the home side came back and following a scramble in the Fenham area, the ball struck the arm of Orkney and the ref pointed to the spot. The Newburn forward made no mistake and we were back to all square.

Eager to get back in front, Arkle was found down the right, he in turn found Thirlwell, who cut inside on his left foot and picked out the opposite corner; a great finish to seal the hat-trick and to win the game.

There was still time for Steven Smith to add a fifth goal. Pushed forward after injured had forced Kennedy off – Hewitson replacing him at left back and Smith took his chance, finishing the match off as a contest, by finding the top corner from the centre of the area.

Another great win and the Fenham recovery continues, 7 points from the last 4 games and with the new signings starting to gel with the current squad, it’s encouraging for the rest of the season. This was exemplified by the man of the match award going to one of those new acquisitions, Andy Pritchard.

Goals: Thirlwell x3, Pritchard, Smith

Assists: Greeves x2, Lyall x2, Arkle

MotM: Pritchard

Forza Dynamo

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Dynamo Fenham 6-5 Newcastle City

Fenham made it four points from the last two games, with a hard fought win at home to a Newcastle City side who sat directly below them in the Division 1 table. The game began with City racing into a 3-0 lead, which was no more than they deserved. The Dynamo were at sixes & sevens right across the pitch and the visitors were more than happy to exploit this.

Cliff Lyall managed to stem the tide slightly, when he chased down a City defender and forced an error near the corner flag. The Fenham leading scorer brought the ball to the edge of the box before crossing, where Jim Ellis was arriving; somehow the ball found it’s way in to the net. Lyall was credited with the goal by the officials, but who got the final touch is anyone’s guess.

City came back once more and reinforced the three goal deficit with another defensive mix-up allowing an easy finish to make the game 4-1 at the break. Some serious home truths were told at half time and with those words ringing in their ears, Fenham decided to ditch the 3-5-2 system that had been so lacking in the first half, in favour of a more conventional 4-4-2. The switch resulted in Tunesi moving to left back, with Miller dropping in at right back, from his midfield role.

The change in system seemed to give the home side a much needed shot in the arm, as Ellis and Arkle in the centre of midfield had greater passing options; with player-manager Greeves wide on the right and new signing Bradley Smith on the left. Mark Harrison would have another new signing with him at centre back, as Scott Skelton made his début alongside the Fenham skipper.

If the front two of Lyall and Chris Thirlwell had been quiet in the first half, it would be a different matter after the restart. Within minutes of change, a poor kick out from the opposing keeper dropped to Thirlwell and with his weaker foot, he found the back of the net from a good 25/30 yards out. The ball fell perfectly for a strike to catch out the keeper and the DFFC striker found the back of the net with ease. The Dynamo could feel the tide turning and when Greeves was upended in the box, Thirlwell stepped up from the penalty spot to shorten the gap to 4-3. Game on.

Sensing that the away keeper may be susceptible to a long range strike, Lyall smashed a great effort from the left angle of the box to find the back of the net to level the game at 4-4. Fenham well and truly had their tails up, with the game all square, the referee awarded a free kick around 25 yards out. Seeing his chance for a hat-trick, Thirlwell wasn’t going to let anyone take this one from him and he duly delivered. He bent a superb left footed strike around the wall, which gave the keeper no chance. It was a goal of the highest quality and one which would have deserved to win any match.

But this still wasn’t over as a contest. Substitute Chris Hewitson made it 6-4 with a fine volley from the edge of the area. With only his second touch of the ball after coming on, it all came from a weak punch from the City keeper that fell perfectly for the Fenham man to find the top corner with his right foot. At 6-4, the game seemed won, but Farndale would be picking the ball out of his net once more as the away side refused to stay down. The final 10 minutes saw the home side keep tight and with the pitch getting more sticky as the game went on, the heavy legs following the winter break were starting to tell.

In the end, the reshaped back four of Fenham stood strong and held out for what had seemed a most unlikely win at 4-1 down. Michael Greeves was named Man of the Match for his industry down the right and two assists. Special mentions also go to the tireless Jim Ellis in the centre of the park, and to hattrick hero Chris Thirlwell.

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