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 Post subject: BIRTLEY TOWN 0 BILLINGHAM TOWN 4
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:25 pm 
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BIRTLEY TOWN (0) 0 BILLINGHAM TOWN (2) 4
Hutchinson 26, 33
Summers 56, Hogan 81

Billingham Town extended their unbeaten league run to seventeen games and they did it in great style to boot! There have been far more important victories this season, such as against Thornaby and Willington but this win was perhaps the performance of the season so far. Town were in peremptory form from start to finish and if wasn’t for Graeme Pickering’s heroics in goal, the scoreline would have looked far more comprehensive. And when goal difference could prove pivotal come the end of the season: Town are well placed if it came down to mathematics alone. Birtley began the season in good form but were the shadow of the side that contributed to a good cup tie in the FA Vase back in September. They weren’t helped when their talisman Mattie Soulsby limped off after only twenty two minutes of action. Although the score was still goalless at the time, even Soulsby alone couldn’t of stemmed the tidal wave that was to come. For Billingham, Manager Paul Edwards and Barry Oliver who was away, have a nice headache to deal with on the horizon. Reece Kenney, Elliott Beddow and Stephen Oakley are approaching match fitness but with the squad in such imperious form, they don’t need to be risked back into action. And then when one takes into account the new arrivals in Stephen Jackson and Liam McPhillips - it puts everybody on their toes! Town have Jarrow to come next week - a game that reeks of revenge after Jarrow’s win at Bedford Terrace recently and then two derbies against Synthonia before December ends. Elsewhere, Thornaby continue to benefit from a run of fixtures at home while Northallerton seem to have turned a corner after some insipid results. Town remain two points clear at the top with two games in hand on Thornaby.

Right from the off, Billingham took control of the game, especially in central midfield areas. Six minutes in, Jack Connor found Luke Hogan on the left hand side and the wingers cross was met by a glancing header from Craig Hutchinson that went wide. At the other end, a galloping run by Rick Tanoh required Kris Summers to put in a crucial block to deny the former Hebburn Town attacker. Town continued to press and were looking to bring Hogan into play as often as they could while Matty Robinson was also seeing plenty of the ball on the right wing. Birtley’s best move of the game came on the nineteen minute mark. Veteran Anthony Smith played a simple ball to Tanoh who then laid it off to Joe Barwick who fired wide from the edge of the box. Not long afterwards, Town took the lead from the penalty spot. Robinson was in the process of getting his shot away but Connor Lane tripped Robinson from behind. Many observers thought it was a soft decision but anywhere else on the field, it would be given as a foul. Up stepped HUTCHINSON who put the ball to the keepers right. Two minutes later, Hutchinson was somehow denied a second goal. Robinson, who had switched to the left, played a delightful ball to the back post where Hutchinson was lurking but the striker didn’t make a full connection, allowing Pickering to take the sting out of the ball and then Lane cleared off his line. Hutchinson didn’t have long to wait for redemption. The second strike was the goal of the season so far. Robinson, back on the right had little on so he sprayed the ball to the left for Mark Dixon; the full back linked up with Hogan who duly returned the ball back to Dixon. The left backs cross was nonchalantly met by HUTCHINSON, who turned his marker and fired home from close range. Exquisite stuff!

HT BIRTLEY TOWN 0 BILLINGHAM TOWN 2

In recent weeks, Billingham had played well in half’s only but they maintained their dominance throughput the second half. Town effectively put the game to bed on fifty six minutes. Another superb move ended with Lee Moore producing a looping cross to the back post where SUMMERS headed home. From then on it was a case of damage limitation as Pickering pulled off save after save. The keeper denied Hogan and then Hutchinson on two separate occasions before Hogan finally capped off a magnificent performance with a breakaway goal. Jamie Davis prodded the ball in HOGAN’s direction and the winger rounded Pickering and stroked the ball into an empty net. There was still time for Pickering to keep out Arthur Connelly’s strike before the full time whistle went.

FT BIRTLEY TOWN 0 BILLINGHAM TOWN 4

Town:
McDonald, Moore (c) (Jackson), Dixon, Davis, Flounders, Summers, Robinson (Connelly), Hutchinson, Lavan (Hillerby), Hogan.
Unused: Kirkbride, Kenney.




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