The Tyne-Wear Derby Chronicles: Part Two


In covering five different leagues and spanning over a century of football, the era of amateurism and the reserves adds additional spice to the derby stigma. Amateur football itself is where that of professionalism began, and can be mostly classed as being similar to either the Reserves or the non-league scene in the modern game.

It all began way back in 1892, in that of the Northern Alliance, and has took in that of the Northern League (1902-1906), the North-eastern League (1906-1933), the Central League (1933-1999) and the current FA Premier Reserve League (1999 – present). Both of these clubs began with ‘A’ teams with Newcastle reverting to Reserves status first in 1907, and Sunderland following suit four years later, in 1911.

Taking it back to the beginning and the first amateur match between the East End ‘A’ and Sunderland ‘A’ on 22nd October 1892 at home, the East Enders emerging as the 4-1 victors with that of Dodds, Couper, Wilde and Simon scoring the required goals.  However, Sunderland would go on to win six of the next seven matches before the 1896-97 season saw no games played as there was no Sunderland side in the league that season. In returning the following season though Newcastle would go on to win seven and draw three of the following ten Alliance matches, including, in 1901, a 3-0 Christmas Day victory for United’s ‘A’ side with Colin Veitch scoring twice.

The 1902-03 season  saw that of Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough enter ‘A’ teams into the fledgling Northern League , where previously Newcastle’s East and West End sides had resided between 1889 (the leagues inception) and 1893, and Sunderland Albion between 1890 and 1892. Whilst playing in the Northern League Newcastle United ‘A’ would win three consecutive championships, in 1903, 1904 and 1905, whilst Sunderland ‘A’ would win the 1906 championship. During that four year spell there were eight matches contested between the rivals, and some thirty goals netted, twelve of which came in the first two matches. Christmas Day of 1902 saw Sunderland win 3-2 in front of 5,000 at Roker Park, but in the return fixture just three weeks later, Newcastle would edge a seven-goal thriller, when, in front of a 9,000 crowd, Veitch would again score twice, this in a 4-3 win.  Of those eight matches Newcastle would win but three of them, and there was also a tasty 3-3 draw played out on the 16th January 1903 at Roker Park as Roberts, McIntyre and Fraser scored.

(There have been many scorers for both Newcastle & Sunderland in the Reserves/Amateurs; for Newcastle Colin Veitch in 1901)


(Brazilian Mirandinha netted in 1988)


(Michael Copra did the same in 2003)


From 1906, the next quarter of a century would be spent playing in the North Eastern League, where derbies would be quite plentiful. But it began badly for Newcastle, losing 5-1 on Boxing Day 1906. Both sides though would be seen to have their day, and the joy of the supporters of both sides would be tested, especially during the 1907-08 season where five derbies were played out. On league duty both sides won their respective home matches 3-1, and in April 1908 the Newcastle Infirmary Cup final went to three matches, all finishing in a 1-1 draw and meaning the cup would be shared between them. April the following year would see a Metcalfe hat-trick set Newcastle on their way to a 5-1 home win, and then went on a goal spree the following season, Randall netting three in a 5-2 win at Roker Park and then, on October 16th, four goals in each half saw Newcastle romp to an 8-0 victory with Allan and Randall both scoring three, along with a brace from Metcalfe.

Four years later and United’s Reserves were at it again, having been 2-1 up at the interval, finishing as 5-1 victors at home with George Pyke scoring all Newcastle’s goals. Another time-jump, this time some thirteen years, and Newcastle faced Sunderland at home in the semi-final of the North-Eastern League Cup on 4th April. The home side would emerge victorious as goals from Loughlin, Clark, Long and Low would seal an impressive 4-0 victory. Deja-vu arrived during the 1928-29 season as the clubs faced each other on four occasions, Sunderland winning both league matches, but the League Challenge Cup would go to a replay. After a 1-1 draw at Roker Park, the replay at home saw William Chalmers score twice in a 3-1 victory and earn a place in the competitions fifth round. New Years Day of 1930 and there would be a nine-goal thriller as Sunderland managed a 5-4 win at their place, however, in the return, the result of 1909 was again recorded, but this time United were six up at the interval before winning 8-0 as both Hutchison and McDonald scored three apiece.

In 1933 Newcastle would leave the North-Eastern League for the Central League and it would be half a century before Sunderland joined them, in 1983. That first encounter resulted in a 1-0 away win for Newcastle, Wesley Saunders scoring the only goal. The period between 1984 and 1986 and the 1989-90 seasons saw the clubs in different divisions, the Magpies in the higher, Division One. In 1986, Newcastle lost 3-1 with their goal coming from former Gateshead manager, Ian Bogie. Two years later and the Brazilian, Mirandinha, would net in a 3-2 defeat, and finally, 1993 would see the only goalless draw of these fixtures.

Of the Premier Reserve League years, from 1999 onwards, Michael Chopra and Nikos Dabizas scored in a 3-1 away win in 2003, and in 2005 Andy Carroll would score, alongside strikes from Finnigan and Smylie, in a 3-2 home win.


About petermannwriter

Freelance (Sports/Music) Journalist

Posted on 22/10/2015, in Football, Newcastle United and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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