Over-40s League: Seven-up Oddies off the bottom in super style as Simpson stars

Oddfellows Arms (blue) battle against Hartlepool Vets last week. Pictures by Kevin Brady
Oddfellows Arms (blue) battle against Hartlepool Vets last week. Pictures by Kevin Brady
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Oddies climbed off the foot of Division Three on a day to savour as they overwhelmed fellow strugglers Shildon Grey Horse.

While two-thirds of the scheduled games were postponed because of waterlogged pitches, Oddies were relieved to get their game on, as they ran out magnificent 7-1 winners to leapfrog their visitors.

Oddfellows fight for the ball at Hartlepool Vets

Oddfellows fight for the ball at Hartlepool Vets

Oddies piled the pressure on from the kick-off and were soon in front, as Darren Simpson collected the ball on the edge of the box, turned smartly and shot past of the keeper’s full-length stretch.

Shildon had to clear off the line as they came under intense pressure, but the lead was doubled when Martin Simms went on a mazy run from the centre circle, got lucky with a deflection and coolly fired into the bottom corner.

Shildon missed a good chance, and Oddies capitalised to go 3-0 up as Simpson got on the end of a defence-splitting pass and fired home.

Simpson was denied a hat-trick by a smart one-on-one save, before Shildon’s winger cut in to curl a delightful effort into the top corner to cut the deficit.

Simpson tapped in for his treble after Ralph Dodds’ rasping shot went under the keeper, then Oddies’ subs soon get in on the action with Raymond McCabe crossing for John Davison to beat the keeper with a low drive. Oddies added a sixth, before Dodds capped a fine performance with a superb individual goal from a good passing move.

Shildon had a late penalty easily saved by Oddies’ keeper.

The only other game saw Woodhorn Lane win 3-1 at Redcar Old Boys.

Washington Victoria Inn completed a Premier Division double over Wearmouth CW with a hard-fought 1-0 win in very poor conditions.

The only goal came when old Wearmouth boy Justin Kirtley lobbed home after a headed flick-on from Gary Allison.

The two teams tried very hard to add to the scoreline, but both goalkeepers were in fine form and made good saves. Victoria’s star man was Mark Robson, while Dave Hoey shone for Wearmouth.

Referee Ashley Cooper was praised for his handling of the game.

Penshaw Catholic Club consolidated fourth place with a 2-1 victory at relegation battlers Hebburn Town.

Easington CIU climbed to second place in Division One after a 2-0 victory against Grindon Broadway at Herrington CW.

Grindon played a lot of good football and, for most of the first half, they did enough to be at least two goals up.

It was a different matter after the interval , though, as Easington started to dominate and got their reward when Stockport made the breakthrough.

Grindon kept battling and should have equalised when Cliff and Griffiths played some good football down the left and Cliff centred, giving Richie Blands a great opportunity. But, with the Easington goalkeeper out of position, he blasted it well over the bar.

Easington increased their lead after 70 minutes with Cragg’s penalty. Grindon had more chances late on, but poor finishing denied them the chance of a draw.

Elsewhere, South Shields lost 3-1 to second-bottom St Mary’s College, and third-bottom Consett ran out surprise 4-0 victors at Dormans.

The Philladelphia secured only their seventh point of the season in Division Two after a hard-fought 1-1 derby draw against John Hogg Funerals.

The visitors had the better of the first half, but both defences grafted hard to keep the game goalless.

Five minutes into the second half, Phili’s Mark Nixon latched onto a through ball and was bundled over as he entered the penalty box, and Paul Russell coolly converted the resulting spot-kick.

The lead did not last long, though, as Jimmy Cooney cut in from the right and his shot looped over the keeper.

Both sides pushed for a winner, with John Hogg having their better opportunities, but it ended 1-1.

South Shields Catholic Club drew 3-3 with North Shields Pineapple in a thriller which kept both sides in the bottom three.

Oddfellows Arms put up a great fight before succumbing 3-2 to promotion-chasing Hartlepool Vets in Division Four.

Second-bottom Oddfellows, full of confidence after beating Boldon Colliery Tavern the week before, bossed the first 20 minutes, but, in a half of very few chances, the hosts gradually got on top.

Hartlepool went 2-0 up with a penalty and a nice turn and shot in the box, but Oddfellows pulled one back. The hosts regained their two-goal advantage with another penalty, but the Wearsiders kept scrapping and ensured a nervy finale when they made it 3-2 in a goalmouth melee with five minutes to go.

Wearmouth Old Boys secured a second successive victory, beating bottom club Trimdon Veterans 3-1 to move within a point of eighth place.

Billingham Vets drew 3-3 at Hartlepool Tech in a thriller.

Mill View SC made First Division Ferryhill Greyhound fight all the way before exiting the Kenny Ball Cup 4-2 after extra time.

Mill had a strong wind at their backs and made a dream start when Anthony Hodgson lobbed the keeper after just 47 seconds.

Mill doubled their lead after a fine sweeping move when Ashley Hodgson played an inch-perfect pass for Anthony Lavery to drill the ball into the top corner from 20 yards.

Ferryhill, with wind advantage on the restart, applied real pressure which eventually paid off when they scored when a shot-cross was turned into Mill’s goal.

Mill defended resolutely, but, with five minutes remaining, a Ferryhill corner was headed into his own goal by a luckless Mill defender.

That ensured extra time, but Mill couldn’t find a third goal with the wind behind them. Ferryhill went 3-2 up five minutes into the second period, then hit a last-gasp clincher.

Seaham Marlborough turned on the style to hand out a 6-2 beating to Hartlepool Gillen Arms.

Seaham scored twice early on, with their pacy forward line causing huge problems, and it was 3-0 when a static defence failed to deal with a corner.

Gillen got a couple of goals back, but Marlborough’s counter-attacking play kept them in charge and they finished convincing winners.