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 Post subject: Billingham Town 3 Thornaby 1
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:27 pm 
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BILLINGHAM TOWN (1) 3 THORNABY (0) 1
Connor 38, Davis 68 Clark 47
Lavan 82

Billingham Town saved their most indomitable performance of the season when it mattered against local and promotional rivals Thornaby on Tuesday night. A stunning crowd of 293 witnessed a fuel injected display from the blues, no doubt spurred on by the mischievous comments before the game by Thornaby Chairman Apollo Ouedraogo, claiming his club had the best team and fans in the division! Harmless fun but perfect fodder for the Town players to chew over!! This was a fixture Thornaby could ill afford to lose, having already lost three games in the league thus far. For Town, a win would have put them in a perfect position with two games in hand over Chester Le Street and three over their North Riding rivals. Town knew that Thornaby, invariably lose when they go behind and although they did manage to get back on level terms, they couldn’t muster a response after Jamie Davis wonder strike and then were later reduced to ten men. Thornaby are a good side, no doubt about it but Billingham had too much pace, craft and guile despite suffering from long term injuries and suspensions. Former Thornaby goalkeeper Michael Duff impressed against his old club on his debut - not that he had many saves to make - more to do with his handling and counter attacking distribution skills. Town’s back four were also superb tonight, particularly Lee Moore who was up against Kurtis Howes while Town’s central midfield dominated matters in the second half. It was one of those games where all the lads were at least 8/10’s! The challenge now for this Town squad is to go to places like Crook on Saturday, who are no mugs by the way, and come home with three further points after some indifferent displays on the road of late.

After a quiet opening, Thornaby had the first chance on goal. Joe Scaife-Wheatley played a ball in behind Town’s defence allowing Kyran Clark a shot from a narrow angle but the strike was at a perfect height for Duff. Town’s first foray came via some fine individual skill from Ash Lavan. Although playing in a deep role, in behind Craig Hutchinson, Lavan found himself clear on the right hand side; Lavan managed to continue his run into the middle and James Dawson did well to deny the striker with an outstretched leg. Thornaby had several half chances blocked by Town’s resolute defence but the better opportunities were coming at the other end. Charlie Graham sliced horribly against his own goal post and was fortunate to see the ball rebound directly back to himself so he could clear his lines at the second attempt. Luke Hogan, Mark Dixon and Moore all created enticing balls into the box but Town couldn’t get anybody on the end of them. Town’s pressure finally told on thirty eight minutes of entertaining football. Dawson could only manage a weak punch from Stephen Oakley’s free kick allowing Jamie Davis the chance to get his shot away. His effort was blocked but Jack CONNOR somehow picked up the loose ball, bamboozled his way through a wall of maroon shirts and fired home from close range. Back at the other end, Clark glanced a header wide from Jordan Wilson’s cross but Town had the final chance of the half. Hutchinson left Graham on the floor through sheer skill and found Lavan lurking in the box; Dawson came rushing out of his goal-mouth and kept his side in the game with a point blank save.

HT BILLINGHAM TOWN 1 THORNABY 0

Two minutes into the second half, Thornaby equalised. Scaife-Wheatley had time in central midfield to pick out Wilson. Mark Dixon's outstretched leg managed to guide the ball across goal but lacked the weight in reaching either a fellow defender or Duff. The keeper raced out to block CLARK but the striker won the loose ball and fired into an empty net. There was a moment of ill discipline within both sides after Hutchinson and Graham went into the referees notebook. Amongst the melee Jamie Poole went down clutching his face rather dramatically. Connor took exception to the antics which irked Joshua Simpson who was already on a yellow card. There probably should and could have been three further yellows resulting in Simpson’s dismissal. A messy incident although it did liven up the half! Again Thornaby had shots blocked but it was the hosts that regained the lead and what a cracker it was too! Joe Hillerby’s flighted free kick into the box was only partially cleared by Simpson to DAVIS who struck the ball on the half volley and found the bottom corner. You will not see a better technically scored goal all season! The goal left Thornaby stunned and they never recovered from it. Graham ended a difficult night with a second yellow followed by a red for a handball that looked to be on the edge of the box but Mr Watson decided to award a free-kick after consulting the near linesman. With Town now having the numerical advantage and were already in the ascendancy after the goal, the blues wrapped up matters with eight minutes remaining. Dawson dwelt too long on the ball allowing Lavan to charge down his clearance; LAVAN was quickest to react and stroked the ball home from six yards. Substitute Ben Hugill did head the ball against the outside of the post in added on time but in the end, Billingham won a tad comfortably. Town are now six games unbeaten against Thornaby but this one will live long in the memory!

FT BILLINGHAM TOWN 3 THORNABY 1

TOWN:
Duff, Moore, Dixon, Hillerby (Connelly), Oakley (c), Summers, Davis, Connor, Hutchinson, Lavan, Hogan (Flounders).
Unused: Maddison, Morris, Kirkbride.

Sent from my iPad

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