Home sweet home for Darlington in play-offs

The Northern Echo: SUPPORT PLEA: Amar Purewal on the attack during Quakers’ game last Saturday, when the attendance was 1,133 – one of the lowest in the club’s 26 league games at Heritage Park

9:00am Monday 21st April 2014

Darlington will have home advantage in the play-off semi-final a week on Wednesday, plus the final if they get there, as second place is now secure with two league games to complete.

What Cooper said: the Hartlepool United manager's press conference in full

7:30am Monday 21st April 2014

COLIN Cooper emerged from the dressing room on Saturday at 5.25pm. He made it clear he was only talking about Monday’s game and would not discuss the performance at Burton. He took six questions from the club’s press officer for a video interview for the club website, turning down the opportunity to speak to The Northern Echo, Hartlepool Mail or BBC Tees, before leaving. Here is his interview in full.

Poyet admits Cardiff game will almost certainly decide Sunderland's Premier League fate

The Northern Echo: FOCUS: Sunderland chief Gus Poyet

7:00am Monday 21st April 2014

GUSTAVO POYET admits Sunday's game with Cardiff City will almost certainly decide Sunderland's Premier League fate, and has urged his players to recreate the spirit of Saturday's sensational win at Chelsea when they entertain their relegation rivals at the Stadium of Light.

Match Analysis: Newcastle United 1 Swansea City 2

The Northern Echo: NO LUCK: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

7:00am Monday 21st April 2014

SO the wait is finally over for a goal, but the wait for a win doesn’t look like ending anytime soon.

Top-ten failure would be damaging, admits Pardew

The Northern Echo: FACE IN THE CROWD: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew appears displeased as he watches his side lose 4-0 for the second game in a row

7:00am Monday 21st April 2014

NEWCASTLE UNITED manager Alan Pardew has admitted failure to secure a top-ten finish would be damaging for the club going into a summer of uncertainty.

Match Analysis: Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2

The Northern Echo: BIG WIN: Jack Colback tracks Ramires during Sunderland's 2-1 win over Chelsea

7:00am Monday 21st April 2014

WHEN Sunderland lost at Tottenham at the start of the month, Gustavo Poyet talked of needing a “miracle” to have any chance of Premier League survival. How apt then that his players chose the Easter weekend to enact the most remarkable of rebirths

Karanka looks to next season after admitting Boro's play-off dream has died

The Northern Echo: LATE AGONY: Two injury-time goals cost Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough side a point against Queens Park Rangers, the first coming after an error by goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos

7:00am Monday 21st April 2014

AITOR KARANKA has finally given up on a play-off place and has challenged his Middlesbrough players to gain strength from this season's inability to climb in to the top six.

Match analysis: Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2

The Northern Echo: SPANISH INFLUENCE: Jonathan Woodgate

6:00am Monday 21st April 2014

A QUICK glance towards the Championship table will leave Middlesbrough fans, players and coaching staff wondering what might have been.

Mowden set for a final day showdown

12:00am Monday 21st April 2014

DARLINGTON Mowden Park achieved all that could be asked of them in thrashing Sheffield Tigers 69-5 to set up an intriguing final day in the National Two North promotion battle.

Super Seaton are off to a flyer

12:00am Monday 21st April 2014

Newly-promoted Seaton Carew produced the perfect start to life at their highest level of cricket, joining the season's opening day winners in style and setting a new record high-scoring partnership to crown their display.

MATCH ANALYSIS: It's a three-game relegation shoot-out for Hartlepool United

7:40am Monday 21st April 2014

THE last time Hartlepool United left Burton they were heading into one of their biggest games in many a year. This time around and they again exited the town with something else looming large on the horizon. Whereas on their last visit, their 2003 FA Cup win set up a third round tie at Sunderland, on this occasion they left with their tails between their legs, and walking headlong into a game that will go a long way to defining the entire future of the club. Cooper didn’t want to talk about the insipid nature of this defeat at one of the division’s more consistent teams. He was instead, albeit briefly, willing to offer up a taste of today’s game with Morecambe: “We have a game in two days time, which could turn out to be one of the biggest games we have all been involved in. Simple.’’ If only things were that simple. They aren’t doing the simple things well. In fact they aren’t doing them at all. This was their sixth successive defeat. A run which has taken them from play-off hopefuls to real relegation candidates. Two points is all that is keeping Pools out of the bottom two. Since relegation to the Conference was introduced in the late 1980s, they have never been in such a precarious position at this stage of the season. Teams in relegation battles have some fight about them, Pools don’t. Worringly, this team is in freefall. Only twice in the club’s history have they lost more than six games in a row and it’s 21 years since they last managed it. Make it seven this afternoon, or eight at Plymouth next weekend, and things could come down to desperate final day shootout at home to Exeter. To make matters worse, they look like having to complete their season without top scorer Luke James. He damaged his right ankle, losing his footing as he slipped on a water sprinkler while trying to keep the ball in play. After treatment, he tried to carry on, but it was instantly clear he couldn’t and the 16-goal top scorer was in some distress as he was helped off the pitch. Then his replacement, Marlon Harewood, had Pools first – and what proved only – chance. Andy Monkhouse weighted the ball into his path to get in behind the centre-halves. He homed in on goal and delayed his finish. His first goal for Pools, against Bristol Rovers, was finished similarly, but not this time. Goalkeeper Dean Lyness stood his ground and kept out Harewood’s finish. At least it was, of sorts, a shot on target which is more than they managed in recent away games. But they trailed when Billy Kee, a combative striker like his partner in crime Gary Alexander, turned in a clever delivery from deep by centre-half Ian Sharps. The second goal arrived after Kee was allowed too much time to set up Jimmy Phillips to neatly curl in from the edge of the penalty area. And number three came from a long-range raking Lee Bell free-kick. But, just like after falling behind to Chesterfield the week earlier, there was no response. James Poole flashed a header wide, Monkhouse had a shot charged down and a tame Jack Barmby shot from long range into the hands of Lyness brought ironic cheers from the travelling fans. Pools, to their credit, have pegged admission prices back today to five pounds, in the hope supporters will help the team. They are in need of some inspiration and, on a day when victory is imperative, patience is also required, even against a team with only two wins in 20 games. The game is too vital for anyone to turn edgy or negative. Cooper was adamant he wasn’t talking about this defeat in the aftermath. The concentrated nature of his words showed all that matters is Monday. He spoke last week of having plans he is ready and hoping to lay in front of the chairman and implement for next season. Which division they are in remains open to conjecture. It’s in the players’ hands, but are they capable of winning the battle?

World champion Hall fixes up June title defence in Newcastle

The Northern Echo: ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Stuart Hall after receiving the belt which confirmed him as IBF bantamweight world champion

4:30pm Sunday 20th April 2014

STUART HALL will return to the ring in Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena to make the second defence of his IBF World Bantamweight title against the unbeaten Paul Butler on Saturday, June 7.

Durham v Somerset (day one, lunch)

1:00pm Sunday 20th April 2014

DURHAM must have been salivating when Marcus Trescothick put them in on a good Chester-le-Street pitch today. But they would be kicking themselves for losing three wickets.

Live LIVE MATCH-DAY FOOTBALL BLOG

2:25pm Saturday 19th April 2014

Keep up to date with all of the action from the North-East's clubs this afternoon as it happens

Six of the worst for free-falling Pools

9:40pm Saturday 19th April 2014

Hartlepool United slumped to a sixth successive defeat - increasing fears of dropping out of the Football League.

Match Report: Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2

The Northern Echo: Football Team Logo for Sunderland

7:29pm Saturday 19th April 2014

SUNDERLAND'S survival bid received a massive boost as they became the first side to beat a Chelsea team managed by Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge

Quakers seal play-off home advantage

The Northern Echo: AT A STRETCH: Darlington’s Amar Purewal keeps the ball in play. The friendly with Sunderland at Heritage Park was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch

5:39pm Saturday 19th April 2014

Darlington 3 Farsley 0

Match Report: Newcastle 1 Swansea City 2

5:04pm Saturday 19th April 2014

NEWCASTLE UNITED’S losing streak stretched to five games after Wilfried Bony’s stoppage time penalty earned Swansea City a vital 2-1 win at St James’ Park.

Match report: Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2

4:59pm Saturday 19th April 2014

Full-time: Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2

Delighted Gray to build on Thompson’s new deal

The Northern Echo: TOP MAN: Stephen Thompson

9:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

Darlington intend to build a team around Stephen Thompson after the forward committed his future to the club by signing a new contract.

WSL preview: Sunderland and Durham ready for southern challengers

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

Sunderland head coach Clare Robinson admits tomorrow’s game with Reading could give an early indication of where the WSL 2 title could end up at the end of the season.

Wickham's time has come, says Black Cats boss

The Northern Echo: BACK IN CONTENTION: After a loan at leeds United, striker Connor Wickham has been recalled to the Stadium of Light and he started Wednesday’s defeat to Liverpool

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

HE arrived as a 18-year-old with the expectation of an £8m price tag on his shoulders, but three years later Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet finally believes it is Connor Wickham’s time.

Pardew is aware of his unpopularity - but is determined to win the Newcastle supporters around

The Northern Echo: MAKING JANUARY PLANS: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew won't be as busy as he was 12 months ago

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

ALAN PARDEW is determined to rebuild his fractured relationship with Newcastle United supporters, even though he accepts that a majority of the home fans in St James' Park this afternoon want him removed from his position.

Poyet has every faith in Mannone

The Northern Echo: RETURN TO BRIGHTON? Gus Poyet

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

GUS POYET is confident Vito Mannone will bounce back from his error against Manchester City and insists the goalkeeper is in the right frame of mind going into this afternoon’s trip to Chelsea.

NEWCASTLE ANALYSIS: Pardew faces up to his critics as the discontent in the St James' Park stands continues to rise

The Northern Echo: NOT HAPPY: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew last night saw his defenders ship three first-half goals at Goodison Park – and he has had enough of mistakes in his back four

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

EARLIER this week, Alan Pardew stopped to allow a young boy to have his photograph taken standing next to his car. As he wound down his window to pose for a picture, he spotted a sticker on the youngster's jacket. It said, “Pardew Out”. Such is the current way of things at Newcastle United.

We've proven there was more to our good work than just luck says Boro boss

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

AITOR KARANKA thinks he has proven there was more to Middlesbrough's winning habit either side of the New Year than just the luck of the hamster.

End of season frustrations increases Cooper's desire to succeed at Pools

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

IT is hard to imagine that only three weeks ago Hartlepool United were sitting within touching distance of a play-off place and now Colin Cooper is searching for a Bank Holiday boost to eradicate relegation fears.

Richmondshire to face stiff competition for hat-trick of league titles

The Northern Echo: ON THE DEFENSIVE: Bishop Auckland’s Gary Pratt

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

RECORD BREAKING champions Richmondshire are gunning for a third consecutive title when the 2014 season opens this afternoon, but they are likely to face some serious challenges to their supremacy as several clubs look to have recruited well over the winter months.

Karanka satisfied with Boro progress under his watch

The Northern Echo: SMART MOVER: Aitor Karanka says Boro need to be intelligent when bringing player in

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

DURING the six months Aitor Karanka has been in charge, he has overseen 27 fixtures as Middlesbrough's head coach.

Saturday Spotlight: Flournoy had "no doubt" his Eagles would win

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

AFTER a season without silverware many people suggested Newcastle Eagles’ domination of British Basketball had come to an end.

Saturday Spotlight: Eagles' Fab has always defied the odds

7:00am Saturday 19th April 2014

THROUGHOUT his life, Fab Flournoy has always defied the odds.

Wickham: 'We're fighters not losers - and we haven't given up hope'

The Northern Echo: LEVELLING IT UP: Connor Wickham runs away to celebrate after making it 2-2 last night

7:00am Friday 18th April 2014

SUNDERLAND'S players continue to believe they can pull off an unlikely Premier League survival bid, with striker Connor Wickham insisting: “We are fighters, not losers.”

Pardew still upbeat on the prospects of signing Remy on a permanent deal

The Northern Echo: SALUTE: Newcastle United’s match-winner Loic Remy celebrates scoring in the 92nd minute against Aston Villa at St James’ Park

7:00am Friday 18th April 2014

ALAN PARDEW maintains there is still a “good chance” of Loic Remy making a permanent move to Newcastle United this summer.

Cooper wants to steer Pools to safety before focusing on next season

7:00am Friday 18th April 2014

COLIN COOPER believes his players can lift Hartlepool United away from relegation danger over Easter so he can press ahead with plans for next season.

Chelsea defender can be Premier League gem says Boro boss

The Northern Echo: ONE OF YOU: Jozsef Varga and Kenneth Omeruo go for the same ball during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Ipswich Town

7:00am Friday 18th April 2014

AITOR KARANKA thinks Kenneth Omeruo can be a Premier League star of the future, but the Middlesbrough boss is determined to have the Chelsea youngster back at the Riverside next season regardless of the division.

SCOTT WILSON COLUMN: Sunderland hit the ground running on landmark night for North-East women's football

The Northern Echo: SCOTT WILSON COLUMN: Sunderland hit the ground running on landmark night for North-East women's football

10:22pm Thursday 17th April 2014

WHAT do Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs have in common?

Durham play waiting game with Sangakkara

The Northern Echo: Sangakkara takes top honours

6:34pm Thursday 17th April 2014

AS they wait to hear when Kumar Sangakkara will arrive, Durham will also keep an eye on the Indian Premier League to see whether their chief overseas signing, John Hastings, is in the Chennai Superkings line-up on Friday.

Good signs, despite opening-game draw - Around the Wicket

The Northern Echo: (5491066)

4:02pm Thursday 17th April 2014

SO near and yet so far.

Newcastle Press Conference Update: Pardew insists Ben Arfa has a St James' Park future

The Northern Echo: COME IN NUMBER TEN: Newcastle fans are clamouring for the return of Hatem Ben Arfa to the team but manager Alan Pardew is far from convinced that the midfielder deserves a starting berth

1:50pm Thursday 17th April 2014

ALAN PARDEW insists Hatem Ben Arfa still has a future at Newcastle United, and claims his recent talks with the French midfielder have been nothing out of the ordinary.

Pools hoping bumper crowd can cheer team to safety

The Northern Echo: NO PANIC: Colin Cooper

8:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

HARTLEPOOL UNITED and Colin Cooper are hoping Victoria Park on Monday will be a happy and content place.

Durham and Sunderland ready for WSL kick-off

The Northern Echo: Durham Women players in training at Graham Sports Centre, Maiden Castle, Durham

7:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

SUNDERLAND and Durham make their long-awaited Women’s Super League debuts tonight when they go head-to-head in a North-East derby at New Ferens Park.

Taylor determined to end season in the side as decisions over his Newcastle United future loom

The Northern Echo: BACK IN ACTION: Steven Taylor is determined to remain in the Newcastle side after returning to the starting line-up at Stoke City last weekend

7:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

WITH four games of the season remaining, it feels as though some Newcastle United players have already switched off for the summer. For Steven Taylor, however, it could be argued that the campaign has only really just begun.

Onions hails Durham's efforts in Northants draw

The Northern Echo: MAXIMUM EFFORT: Durham’s Graham Onions strives for a wicket at Wantage Road

7:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

DURHAM paceman Graham Onions hailed the “tremendous effort” put in by his team-mates after they failed agonisingly to clinch victory in the opening match of their title defence at Northampton.

Smallwood confident he still has a Riverside future after Middlesbrough extend his deal

The Northern Echo:

7:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

RICHIE SMALLWOOD is ready to fight for a place in Middlesbrough's first team next season after revealing the club have taken up the option of extending his contract to 2015.

Martinez and Everton are hurting after Palace loss

The Northern Echo: PUSH OVERS: Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis, right, alongside Everton boss Roberto Martinez

10:55am Thursday 17th April 2014

Final score: Everton 2 Crystal Palace 3

Westwood is looking to build on Augusta form

The Northern Echo: SPLASHING OUT: Lee Westwood is hoping to follow his best Augusta finish with success in Malaysia

10:58am Thursday 17th April 2014

LEE WESTWOOD will look to shake off the disappointment of another missed major opportunity – not to mention the jet-lag – in an event which provided one of his earliest professional victories.

Hamilton hopes he has edge over team-mate

The Northern Echo: CONTENDER: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton

10:57am Thursday 17th April 2014

LEWIS HAMILTON is hoping his recent victory in Bahrain has delivered a psychological blow to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg as they scrap over this year’s Formula One world title.

Hamza’s chance to shine

The Northern Echo: JUMPING FOR JOY: Frankie Dettori makes his trademark dismount from Sandiva after winning the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket

11:01am Thursday 17th April 2014

HAMZA’S claims of becoming one of the leading sprinters in the land can be bolstered by victory in the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes at Newmarket.

Happy end for Story

10:59am Thursday 17th April 2014

TRUE STORY looked a horse with a bright future when landing the Listed ebm-papst Feilden Stakes at Newmarket in good style yesterday.

Poyet hopes Sunderland's Etihad spirit propels them to an unlikely great escape

The Northern Echo: Gus Poyet could be returning to te Amex

11:05pm Wednesday 16th April 2014

IT might have ended in the heartbreak of an 89th-minute concession, but Gustavo Poyet is hoping last night's 2-2 draw at Manchester City inspires a rousing revival that could yet carry Sunderland to safety.




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