First published in Sport

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  • Stoke City vs Sunderland (3pm) - Steph Clark
  • Middlesbrough vs Bolton (3pm) - Scott Wilson
  • Brentford vs Hartlepool (3pm) - Nick Loughlin
  • Billingham Synthonia vs Darlington (3pm) - Craig Stoddart


FULL-TIME: Middlesbrough 2 Bolton 1

They had to come from behind, but that's a thoroughly deserved win for Middlesbrough.

Scott McDonald's second-half double made the difference for Tony Mowbray's men, who have now won four games in a row.


FULL-TIME: Billingham Synthonia 1 (Johnson), #Darlington 4 (Brown, Emms, Thompson, Scott). Second-half fightback from Darlington. 


GOAL: 89 mins, Brentford 2 Hartlepool 2 - another OG this time from Craig, header into his own net.


Connection difficulties at Billingham Synthonia today, apolgies for the late updates. In injury time now, 4-1 to Darlington.


GOAL: Leon Scott his eighth goal in his last eight games after latching on to a through-ball (by Emms or Thompson, not sure). Darlington 4-1 up now.


GOAL: Middlesbrough 2 (McDonald 85) Bolton 1

No less than Boro deserve as they take the lead with five minutes left.

Substitute Emmanuel Ledesma crossed from the right-hand side and McDonald angled a glanced header into the bottom corner.

It was the Australian's second of the game and could be sending Boro to a fourth successive win.


Just before the goal there was a substitution for each side. For Quakers it was Shaun Reay for David Dowson while for Synners Aidan Cattermole – no relation to the Sunderland midfielder apparently – is on for Steven Huggins, whose sister used to work at The Northern Echo. Bit of trivia for you there.


GOAL: Darlington’s Stephen Thompson tucks home in the 76th minute after Darren Richardson had pulled the ball back. 3-1.


The 2-1 scoreline a fair reflection of the second half as Synners have been under the cosh while Darlington are looking good for another goal. 


GOAL: With his first touch Chris Emms taps into an empty net to put Darlington 2-1 up on 68 minutes at Billingham Synthonia.


GOAL: Middlesbrough 1 (McDonald 66) Bolton 1

Boro gain an equaliser through substituite Scott McDonald.

Miller shot from the left-hand side, and while Bogdan saved the low effort, McDonald was on hand to stab home the rebound from close range.


Second substitution for Darlington, former Synners winger Chris Emms on for Adam Nicholls in the 67th minute. Keltie has shown some nice touches since coming on after an hour. Still 1-1, though much of the game is being played in Billingham’s half.


Bolton sub against Middlesbrough - Afobe for Petrov. The visitors came close to doubling their lead there as Eagles broke clear but shot into the side netting. 0-1


Darlington’s first substitution of the day, Clark Keltie on for Adam Clough on 61 minutes. Still 1-1.


GOAL: Darlington level on 57th minute with a close-range goal by Gary Brown, his first goal for the club, after a free-kick on the right was headed on. 1-1.


GOAL: Brentford 2 Hartlepool 1 - simple header from eight yards from Hayes who met a lobbed ball into the area


We're under way in the second half here at the Riverside and Middlesbrough have made a half-time change - Emmanuel Ledesma for Adam Reach.


Darlington hit the woodwork again. After a poor touch by Synners’ Jordan Robinson, David Dowson took possession and although Robinson got a foot in, the ball rolled kindly to Stephen Thomson whose curling shot beat the keeper, but rebounded off the post. 55mins played, 1-0.


Attendance at Billingham Synthonia is 986. No changes at half-time. Ejiro Okosieme has just headed clear an Adam Clough free-kick and from the resulting corner Joe Tait hit the crossbar and then Stephen Thompson’s follow-up was blocked by a grounded Dan McWilliams.


HT: Brentford 1 Hartlepool 1 . Fell behind early on but since then it's been a positive repsonse from Pools. Created plenty of chances for the visitors and Noble could have had three


HT Stoke 0-0 Sunderland. 


Sunderland still lacking a creative spark. McClean and Johnson both working hard but have had a frustrating afternoon so far. Begovic hasn't been tested so far with Mignolet the busier keeper. Cattermole has had an impressive 45 mins sitting in front of the back four, though, and is spreading play well.


HALF-TIME: Billingham Synthonia 1 (Johnson 30), Darlington 0.


Last chance of the half saw Darlington right-back Stephen Harrison take a free-kick, but with Gary Brown and Joe Tait lurking at the far post, his cross was headed away by the lanky Ejiro Okosieme.



Major let off for Middlesbrough, who should have fallen two behind on the stroke of half-time.

Andre Bikey dawdled in possession and was robbed by Lee, but Bolton's goalscorer curled over from the edge of the area.

God knows what Bikey thought he was doing, but fortunately for the hosts, it's still 0-1.


Hartlepool on top here at Brentford. 

Sweeney charging forward at will and causing problems. Crossed for Noble at the near post who should have headed in, Noble then volleyed straight at keeper Moore from ten yards after the keeper earlier saved a one on one from the Sunderland loanee.


GOAL: Middlesbrough 0 Bolton 1 (Lee 42)

Against the run of play, Boro are a goal down. A clearance in the area ricocheted against Haroun and rebounded back towards the Boro goal.

Chung-Yong Lee reacted quickest and was left with the simple task of slotting a low shot past Jason Steele.


Chance for Darlington in the 39th minute. Adam Nicholls took the ball up the right flank and fed David Dowson who pulled the ball back from the byline, but from 18 yards Stephen Thompson blasted the ball high over Synners' bar.


Sammy Lee (Bolton assistant). Small man, big amount of bluster. Discuss.....


Middlesbrough still on top here, but can't force a breakthrough. Miller curled just over the crossbar from 20 yards and Reach also went close from a free-kick from the edge of the area.

Bolton not really offering too much at the other end, but still 0-0.


GOAL: Billingham Synthonia go 1-0 up with an individual goal by Danny Johnson in the 30th minute. From wide on the left he dribbed up the flank, bypassing Adam Clough, and sending over a cross that sailed over Jack Norton and into the far side of the net. He looked as shocked as anyone to have scored.
That’s the third game in a row in which Darlington have fallen behind.


STOKE 0-0 SAFC: Sunderland attack breaks down and Stoke almost score on the counter. Walters played in Kightly, who cut inside and shot but Cuellar heads it away.

Shawcross almost gets on the end of the resulting corner but Mignolet did well to punch it clear.


Darlington struggling to make headway. On 24 minutes Stephen Thompson dribbled through midfield, but progress was stopped as he reached the edge of Synners' penalty area where Jordan Robinson, formerly of Wigan Athletic, executed a strong challenge. Still 0-0.


Response from Hartlepool? It's 1-1. 

Walton slide rule pass in for Sweeney wide left position, low cross and deflected in off a defender, but the midfielder will take it. 



Chance for Synners on 22 minutes. Former Darlington player Nathan Jameson played in Nathan Wilson who pulled the trigger inside the penalty area, but centre-back Joe Tait made a decisive tackle. Still 0-0.


STOKE 0-0 SAFC: Better from the visitors. Gardner getting plenty of the ball down the right and advacnig forward. Colback almost gets on the end of his cross. Danny Rose has just been booked for a foul Geoff Cameron.

From the resulting free-kick, Stoke almost score but Danny Rose blocks Dean Whitehead's shot before Simon Mignolet saves Michael Kightly's follow-up.


Injury blow for Middlesbrough in the 22nd minute as Marvin Emnes is forced off with what appears to be a hamstring injury. He's replaced by Scott McDonald.


Even first 20 minutes at Central Avenue, 0-0 between Synners and Quakers. Leon Scott having a shot saved after intercepting a poor pass in Billingham’s defence is the closest we’ve come to a goal.

Billingham are clearly keen on playing passing football, knocking the ball around well with their 4-3-3 formation working well. Ejiro Okosieme, on loan from Middlesbrough, has impressed in midfield with his telescopic legs and has made two fine tackles already. Is a bit of a Patrick Vieria.


While in the bar before the game, enjoying a social drink, spotted former Darlington and Billingham Synthonia full-back Simon Shaw. 


Middlesbrough looking bright and inventive here. Bogdan has already produced two decent saves in the Bolton goal to thwart Leadbitter and Emnes. 0-0


GOAL: Pools one down , Baldwin and Horwood lost possession between them, Douglas flicked in for Hayes to knock in from close range


STOKE 0-0 SAFC: Just over 10mins gone at the Britannia Stadium. No clear chances for either side yet. Scrappy first quarter with neither side really taking control.


10mins gone and Middlesbrough have just missed a sitter. Friend whipped in a great cross from the left, and Miller somehow glanced a header wide from inside the six-yard box.

Awful miss means it's still 0-0.


Middlesbrough lining up with Adam Reach on the right of midfield and Faris Haroun on the opposite flank.

Bolton going 4-4-2, with Chris Eagles partnering veteran Kevin Davies in attack.


Billingham Synthonia: Moody, Burton, McWilliams, Robinson, Abel, Wilson, Huggins, Liddle, Jameson, Johnson, Okosieme. Subs: Jennings, Blyth, Cattermole, Crossen, Newby

Darlington(4-4-2): Norton; Harrison, Brown, Tait, Richardson; Nicholls, Scott, Clough, Amar Purewal; Dowson, Thompson. Subs: Turns (gk), Smith, Reay, Keltie, Emms


Synners lost their most recent home game 1-0 to Guisborough Town, who remain the only side to have taken points off Darlington in their first 16 league games. Andrew Jennings is their leading scorer with seven goals.

Billingham Synthonia midfielder Nathan Jameson was with Darlington at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, making a handful of appearances. Brought in by David Hodgson, he was used as a sub on seven occasions and made one start.

Today’s hosts, whose assistant manager is Lee Tucker, who played for Darlington in the early 1990s, lost 4-2 at Spennymoor Town on Wednesday, becoming the first side this season to score two past the league champions.

Spennymoor, eight points behind Darlington, are just two miles away today as they play at Norton.


Darlington are unchanged for today’s game at Billingham Synthonia.

The same XI plus substitutes that defeated Bedlington Terriers 3-1 seven days ago are selected by manager Martin Gray.

Midfielder Craig Gott serves the last of a three-game ban following a red card sustained in his final match for Synners before moving to Darlington.

Synthonia today welcome back first choice keeper Josh Moody, a former Quakers youth team keeper, who has missed the last two matches, and full back Andy Burton.

The game is Quakers’ first away game since visiting Billingham on October 6, for the match at Billingham Town when they won 7-1.


Here are the full line-ups from a predictably parky Riverside:

Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Steele; Parnaby, Hines, Bikey, Friend; Haroun, McEachran, Leadbitter, Reach; Emnes, Miller.

Subs: Leutwiler (gk), Hoyte, Bailey, Ledesma, Smallwood, Halliday, McDonald.

Bolton (4-3-3): Bogdan; Mears, Ricketts, Ream, Warnock; M Davies, Spearing, Lee; Eagles, K Davies, Petrov.

Subs: Lynch (gk), Mills, Andrews, Ngog, Afobe, Pratley, Riley.


Welcome to the Britannia Stadium where Stoke host Sunderland.

Martin O'Neill has recalled captain Lee Cattermole straight back in to the side after serving a three-match ban. Craig Gardner stays at right-back with Cattermole joining Jack Colback in centre midfield.

The Black Cats boss has also kept faith in James McClean and Adam Johnson despite their recent dip in form.

SAFC: SAFC: Mignolet; Gardner, O'Shea, Cuellar, Rose; Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, McClean, Johnson; Fletcher.

Subs: Bardsley, Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Saha, Sessegnon, Westwood

STOKE: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Walters, Whitehead, N'Zonzi, Adam, Kightly, Crouch

Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Owen, Upson, Etherington, Wilkinson, Palacios



Greetings from Brentford, where the press box is rather cosy. Or tight. 

Micky Barron's start as caretaker sees Collins and Holden dropped, with Murray and Horwood starting. Baldwin goes to centre-half.

BRENTFORD: Moore; Logan, Craig, Dean, Bidwell; Forshaw, Diagourage, Douglas, Forrester; Hayes, Donaldson. Subs: Lee (gk), O’Connor, Barron, Spencer, Adeyeemi, Dallas, Legge.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders; Austin, Baldwin, Hartley, Horwood; Sweeney, Murray, Walton, Humphreys; Noble, Howard. Subs: Collins, Franks, Poole, Luscombe, Richards, Holden, McHugh (gk).
Referee: David Phillips (Chichester)


There's currently a samba band playing at the Riverside. That's right, a samba band. Don't these people know it's two degrees above freezing.....



Here at the Riverside, Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray has named an unchanged starting line-up for the first time this season.

So Boro will line up as follows: Steele; Parnaby, Hines, Bikey, Friend; Haroun, McEachran, Leadbitter, Reach; Emnes, Miller.

The Boro subs are: Leutwiler (gk), Smallwood, Bailey, McDonald, Ledesma, Hoyte, Halliday.


Welcome to The Northern Echo's live blog on another big day of football.

We've across four live matches this afternoon, with the pick coming in the Premier League where Sunderland travel to Stoke looking for only their second league win of the season.

At the Riverside, Boro will attempt to make it four wins on the bounce when they entertain Bolton.

In League One, managerless Hartlepool United travel to Brentford, while top-of-the-table Darlington travel to Billingham Synthonia in the Northern League.

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