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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 724
Wednesday 1st March, Ainderby Road, 7.30pm k.o

The first of two difficult away fixtures; Town make a rare journey southwards to face bogey club Northallerton Town and then on Saturday, Billingham will be hoping for third time lucky against Stockton Town after a draw and a cup defeat this season. March is a pivotal month; Promotion cannot be achieved but it could certainly be tarnished by a couple of negative results (Ryton case in point!) If Town can take four points from these two games, then part of the hard work will of already been done. In the coming weeks, Town face an inform Heaton Stannington and Durham City at Bedford Terrace, plus an awkward fixture awaits at Bedlington Terriers. All winnable, but all equally trappy affairs!

Ex Town manager, Darren Trotter has enjoyed a 100% winning record against the blues since he jumped ship and left Town for Northallerton. Last seasons victories were deserved but the 2-3 reversal back in September was a massive sucker punch for all concerned at Town. Northallerton were the only club to have taken all three points from Bedford Terrace this season until Ryton caused shockwaves by beling their lowly league position with a 1-0 win on Saturday. Trotter's side have suffered from inconsistency and have been found wanting against the elite clubs within the division; Durham City, Synthonia and Blyth Town all won at Ainderby Road while Stockton were held to a 0-0 draw (Team Northumbria to play). Both Northallerton and Town have something in common; They have conceded too many goals from aerial balls into the box. Max Craggs scored both of Stockton's goals with his head and Danny Brunskill did the same for Thornaby at the weekend. A recent out of sorts Northallerton beat an even more out of sorts Easington 6.0 a few weeks back, proof that they are more than capable on any given day. The current squad contains at least seven ex Billingham Town players; Marcus Laing is a holding midfielder, Stephen Jackson a waspish fullback who can also play in midfield and Michael Thackeray who impressed in goal under Trotter's regime. Elsewhere, captain Stuart Owen provides the engine and craft in the middle of the park and centre half, Daniel Jones will be remembered for his wonder goal at Bedford Terrace.

Fans who have followed Town for some time will not need an introduction! For those who never witnessed our days in division one, Martin was a workhorse with a heart of a lion. For someone who is lacking height for a striker, he has an incredible leap on him and never gives defenders a moments rest. Spent the last three or four seasons at Norton & Stockton Ancients but moved onto Northallerton when The Ancients folded.

Northallerton 3-3 Thornaby (Laing, Owen, Cheeseman)
Stockton 2-0 Northallerton
Billingham Synthonia 7-1 Northallerton (Atkinson)
Northallerton 6-0 Easington (Jones2, Martin2, Simms, Hudson)
Willington 2-3 Northallerton (EA Cup...Proctor, Kerr, Hewitt)
Heaton Stannington 2-0 Northallerton


Last Season: Northallerton 6-2 Billingham Town Billingham Town 0-2 Northallerton
This Season: Billingham Town 2 (Hutchinson, Hogan) Northallerton 3

The major news revolves around the disappointing departure of Thomas Dawson who has returned to his former club Bishop Auckland. Barry Oliver worked hard behind the scenes to keep Dawson and the timing of it couldn't have been any worse with Town facing a hectic March fixture list. However, on Monday night, Oliver signed 20 year old Alex Leeds who had previously played for Spennymoor Town reserves; Leeds goes straight into the squad. Josh Keogh will be eager to start against his former club; The tenacious midfielder left Northallerton over a month ago and made his debut in the 4.1 win at Darlington R.A. However, competition for places in central midfield continues to intrigue; Clayton Macdonald, Jack Connor and Jamie Davis all merit a start but four doesn't fit into two. Ashley Lavan has ostensibly been used as cover on the right wing while Matty Osmond looks set for another spell at left back. Mark Dixon's suspension begins on the 4th March and will miss the Stockton, Thornaby and Bedlington matches. Skipper Stephen Oakley faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines, suffering from a reoccurrence of the knee injury sustained on Boxing Day.

Leeds, (Morris), Moore, Dixon, Redman, Rowbotham, Osmond, Ridley, Crossen, Connor, Macdonald, Lavan, Keogh, Davis, Dunlavey, Hogan, Beddow, Dickinson, Hutchinson.


Our next home game against Thornaby has been moved back from Friday night to Saturday afternoon (11th March), with a 3.00pm kick off.

WEATHER: Part Cloudy 3c

Graham Hutchinson
Press Officer

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