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 Post subject: Willington AFC 0 Thornaby FC 1
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:05 pm
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Location: Willington
WILLINGTON A.F.C. 0 v 1 THORNABY F.C. Wednesday 13th April, KickOff 7.30pm ENL2

Team: J.Patton, I.Mohamad, S.Brassel (Iley 70m), A.Telfer, C.Storey, L.Milner (Capt), L.Black, J.Seymour (Comby 56m), W.Preston (Brown 70m), C.Hardy, R.Brown. Subs: A.Comby, M.Brown, K.Wilks, T.Iley.

Stats: Shots 7/7 ShotsonTarget 5/4 Corners 2/5 Offsides 2/4 Fouls 16/11

Report: a minute’s silence for Jack Snowdon – the last surviving member of Willington’s 1950 FA Amateur Cup winning team – was impeccably observed and kick-off was a few minutes late. On what was a wet and heavy pitch, the game got off to a slow start with little happening in the opening exchanges. With the first half chance, in the tenth minute, Willington’s Reece Brown sprinted down the wing looking to thread the ball through to the advancing Will Preston but Jason Honeyman cut the ball out and cleared. With the first real chance, Thornaby’s Lee Bythway played a quick free-kick to Tom Bligh. The former Norton and Stockton Ancients man cut in to send a low drive which was deflected behind for a corner. The resulting corner was headed behind for another and this time, it was cleared as far as Matthew Robinson whose original effort was spilled but Jack Patton was relieved to be able to recollect. Just before the quarter of an hour mark, Thornaby’s Tom Bligh crossed and Richard Walker and Gary Mitchell were both unmarked. Walker was the first the ball came towards and he jumped to send a glancing header wide. It looked to be a bit too high for Walker and had he left it for Gary Mitchell, he would have had a much better chance at directing the ball on target. Much of Thornaby’s play in the first half was coming through Tom Bligh and in the 20th minute, it was Bligh again creating the chance. He collected a pass from Stephen Morrison in a wide position before cutting in and dancing his way through a couple of Willington players. When in the penalty area, Bligh looked to find the near post with a shot but could only find the side-netting. With 21 minutes played, Willington’s Reece Brown played the ball out to Chris Hardy who looked to play the ball across the face of goal in the hope of picking out Will Preston but Stuart Browne cut the ball out and cleared. Two minutes later, Willington’s Lewis Milner created a chance but could only fire well wide. Meanwhile, at the other end, the same man was on defensive duties with a crucial last-ditch challenge to prevent Gary Mitchell from a one-on-one. With 28 minutes showing on the clock, Thornaby’s Richard Walker sent a low 20-yard drive which Jack Patton managed to get the slightest of touches on to turn it behind for a corner. The resulting corner came into the penalty area and Jack Patton was flapping but Willington managed to see the ball behind for a corner. With 13 minutes of the first half remaining, Willington’s Antony Telfer sent a shot-cum-cross which proved to be a routine save for Michael Duff. A minute later, as Thornaby attacked, Richard Walker looked to weave a way through but ran into trouble and some may say he was rather greedy. A pass to Gary Mitchell looked a good option. With just shy of ten minutes of the first half to play, Thornaby were hit by a sucker-punch. Stephen Morrison cut in from the corner to burst into the penalty area where he fell over. You could tell he was hurt and he wasn’t claiming a penalty. His hamstring had gone (see, my physio knowledge coming into play!) and he manged get the other side of the fence and limp around the path back towards the changing rooms. Anyway, this meant that Thornaby played with ten men for a minute or two but after this minute or two, they brought Michael Joseph on as a replacement and Lee Bythway took Stephen Morrison’s captain’s armband. Michael Joseph’s first touch came only seconds after coming on but it wasn’t great as he blasted the ball out of play. In the 40th minute, a clever Willington cross field ball found Luke Black and he cut in to fire an effort which sailed over the crossbar. A quiet few minutes followed and with 46 minutes and 15 seconds played, the referee blew to bring a goalless first half to an end.

Half-time: Willington 0-0 Thornaby

The start to the second half was brighter than the start to the opening 45 minutes. Only three minutes in, a Thornaby goal-kick was sent long and flicked on to play Gary Mitchell in but the ‘keeper was brave and saved Mitchell’s stabbed effort. And, seconds later at the other end, a fine Willington effort forced a good save from Michael Duff. He conceded a corner in the process and this went behind for another but this time, Thornaby cleared. In the 52nd minute, the Willington goalkeeper totally sliced a back pass giving the Teessiders an unexpected corner. However, they couldn’t make it count as Jack Patton punched clear. Ten minutes into the second period, James Seymour tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area for Willington but Michael Duff was equal to his effort and a minute later, Will Preston applied a lot of pressure on Stuart Browne and the visiting defender looked to be in a sticky situation inside his own penalty area until Preston fouled him. With 57 minutes played, Willington made a first substitution as Adam Comby replaced who I think was James Seymour. A minute later, Will Preston drove through the away sides defence for Willington but couldn’t find an end product as his shot was blocked. And, the same man curled wide just before the hour mark. With the next real chance, in the 63rd minute, Thornaby broke the deadlock. Richard Walker did very well to hold possession just outside the penalty area and he drifted into the ‘D’ before slotting a ball through to Gary Mitchell who had timed his run perfectly and Mitchell slotted beyond Jack Patton and into the far corner to give the Teessiders the lead.

Willington 0-1 Thornaby

A couple of minutes after taking the lead, Thornaby weren’t too far away from doubling their lead when a deep cross saw a looping header land just over the crossbar. Twenty minutes into the second half, Thornaby made a second substitution as Daniel Joseph took the place of Kai-Lewis Matthews. In the 70th minute, Thornaby’s Tom Bligh crossed and the ball bounced off a defender before bouncing behind for a corner. The resulting corner was headed over the crossbar. And, this was followed by a double substitution for Willington. Michael Brown took the place of Will Preston while Scott Brassell gave way for Tom Iley. With just short of eighteen minutes left, a wide Willington free-kick came into the penalty area where two shots were both blocked while two minutes later, Thornaby won a wide free-kick which was swung into the penalty area and went all the way through for Jack Patton to collect. In the 76th minute, Michael Brown looked to find the target for Willington with a first time effort but he caught it totally wrong and it bounced out for a throw in. A few quiet minutes were followed by Michael Brown trying his luck again. This time, he received a pass from Tom Iley before sending a powerful drive. Despite its power, it failed to trouble Michael Duff as it was straight at the Thornaby shot stopper. Inside the final seven minutes, Chris Storey lifted a deep free-kick into the Thornaby penalty area and a header at the back post could have caused some trouble had it not been blocked. In the 88th minute, another wide Willington free-kick looked to come into the penalty area but the first man headed clear. It came back to the taker who looked to lift it back into the penalty area but once again, the first man cleared. As Thornaby looked to kill the game off, a swift attack saw a ball over the top give Gary Mitchell a chase but he wasn’t quick enough to latch onto to ball as Jack Patton picked it up. When 90 minutes had been played, Thornaby took the ball to the corner in an attempt to run the clock down and this was quite successful. With 91 and a half minutes played, Thornaby made a third and final substitution as Gary Mitchell gave way for Luke Hallatt. Hallatt was on the pitch for around three minutes but in that time, no more action came and after 94 minutes and 30 seconds, the referee blew for full-time giving Thornaby a 0-1 win which lifts them to 8th in the league and takes their points tally to 60.
By Connor Lamb


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