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 Post subject: DARLINGTON R.A PREVIEW
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:57 pm 
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DARLINGTON RAILWAY ATHLETIC v BILLINGHAM TOWN PREVIEW
Saturday 18th February, Brinkburn Road, 3.00 k.o

After two victories against potential promotion hopefuls, Town now must see off two potential relegation candidates in Darlington RA and Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, during the next two weeks! Manager, Barry Oliver often speaks about keeping people's feet on the ground and keeping expectations to a minimum which is understandable but the fact remains Town have put themselves in a commanding position. The outstanding run of form has imbued confidence, right throughout the club from top to bottom and momentum is clearly with Billingham Town. The only caveat is the time of year when the pitches become heavy and can cut up quite badly which won't suit Oliver but Town showed at Hebburn and Easington last week that they can overcome such conditions and still produce the goods!

THE OPPOSITION:
The railwaymen sit in a precarious position in the league table, only avoiding bottom place on goal difference. With Esh Winning performing their regular resurgence at this time of year, R.A drastically need wins....and they need them now! You will have to go all the way back to September to find their last home victory against a Blyth Town side that were adjusting to Northern League football. Strikers Daniel Pigg and Chris Tarn began the season in cracking form but since that Blyth win, the goals have dried up while goals continue to fly in at the other end. Ex Town manager Peter Mulcaster has had limited options in terms of transfers so he has turned to local football in search of youngsters who want to prove themselves at a higher level. With Norton & Stockton Ancients folding, they did manage to snap up two experienced players in Winger Lewis Murphy and tenacious midfielder Glen Donaldson. Indeed, Donaldson was their stand out player when Norton ran out 2.1 winners at Bedford Terrace, a game remembered for a Jamie Davis wonder goal that never was!! Box to box midfielder, Andrew Lonsdale has had a promising first season in the Northern League having spent most of his playing time in the Wearside League and recently scored a brace in a rare 4.1 away win at Ryton & Crawcrook.

PLAYER TO WATCH: ISAM MOHAMMED
Town fans will remember Mohammed from last season when the unfortunate full back conceded a debatable penalty in the last minute while playing for Willington. And the full back had another torrid time up against Luke Hogan back in August when Town ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. A few weeks later, Mohammed was benched for the FA Vase tie and has since moved on to Darlington R.A.

RECENT RESULTS/HOME FORM/HEAD TO HEAD:
Easington 1-1 Darlington R.A (o.g)
Esh Winning 4-2 Darlington R.A (Tarn, Pigg)
Blyth Town 4-0 Darlington R.A
Ryton & Crawcrook 1-4 Darlington R.A (Pigg, Lonsdale 2, Tarn)
Darlington R.A 2-0 Northallerton
Heaton Stannington 8-0 Darlington R.A

WLWLLLWDLLDLLL W3 D2 L9 F20 A40

This Season: BILLINGHAM TOWN 2-0 DARLINGTON R.A (DICKINSON, CONNOR)
Last Season: DARLINGTON R.A 0-2 BILLINGHAM T / BILLINGHAM T 1-4 DARLINGTON R.A

SQUAD NEWS:
Chris Dickinson still needs time for his stitches to heal so Jamie Davis should carry on from where he left off with an impressive performance against Easington last weekend, as long as he recovers from illness. Oliver suggested there could be up to six changes to the starting eleven from last week; That could mean starts for Osmond, Lavan, Keogh, Dunlavey, Rowbotham and Redman respectively. Star striker, Craig Hutchinson is only two short of forty league goals and five short of his half century including all cup competitions. Daniel Rowbotham helped out the reserves last week and Elliott Beddow looks set to do the same on Saturday.

SQUAD FROM:
Dawson, Moore, Redman, Dixon, Rowbotham, Oakley, Crossen, Connor, Macdonald, Lavan, Keogh, Osmond, Davis, Dunlavey, Hogan, Hutchinson.

TOWN FACT:
Town have lost only three games from eighteen fixtures on the road this season including cup competitions. The last defeat came in the Durham Challenge Cup against Ryhope C.W; Town were somewhat unlucky on the night, exiting the competition but they got their revenge several weeks later with a convincing 5.2 victory in the FA Vase.

POPPS POINTERS:
We will go into this game with the same attitude as we do for every game and will go there to win but this could also be a tough game with them needing to win to try and move out of the bottom three. This could be a possible banana skin so as long as we move the ball about as well as we possible can on their poor pitch then we should be okay but we can also dig deep and win ugly as well. UTT!!

WEATHER: Light Cloud 11c

GRAHAM HUTCHINSON
PRESS OFFICER

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