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 Post subject: Northallerton 0 Billingham Town 3
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:21 am 
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NORTHALLERTON TOWN (0) 0 BILLINGHAM TOWN (0) 3
Hutchinson 58, Dixon85, Crossen 90

The pressure was on tonight after Saturday's shock defeat to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion. Another defeat would have put a serious dent in Town's aspirations for promotion. Where as on Saturday, Town chased the game to no avail; here they were patient and resolute when Northallerton decided to come out of their shells inside the final ten minutes. The home side approached the game as if a point would be a good result and they appeared to lack ambition which came as a surprise. The tactic seemed to work in the first half but once Town got their noses in front, the result was never in doubt at a ground that hasn't been kind to them in the past. The grass was long, the pitch was heavy and the ball bobbled but Town showed their metal when it mattered! Craig Hutchinson scored his 40th league goal of the season, followed by a Mark Dixon rocket.. "I had to do something because of that red card" as he mused afterwards. And Mattie Crossen got in on the act, with a well taken goal that even Hutchy would have been proud of. The back four of Moore, Dixon, Crossen and an imperious Davis, impressed throughout; Davis evinced his adaptability by marking Nicky Martin out of the game and bringing the ball forward, turning defence into attack. New boy, Alex Leeds had little to do but did command his area and showed some good handling skills; He resembles German international goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer and does have uncanny technical similarities, particularly with his ball distribution. It was a promising debut and the potential was clearly on view but the real test for him comes this Saturday when Billingham face Stockton Town. Patience and poise is the key; they had it tonight.....and they will need it in abundance come Saturday afternoon!

As previously mentioned, Davis started at centre half meaning Jack Connor could play in his natural position. Matty Osmond joined Connor in the middle of the park while Elliott Beddow made a return, out on the right wing. New signing, Alex Leeds became the fifth and hopefully the final Goalkeeper of an eventful season! Billingham had the better chances in the opening exchanges; Crossen tried his luck with a looping shot from forty five yards out which dipped at the last moment, causing slight concern for Michael Thackeray. Connor had an effort on the edge of the box but the ball rolled harmlessly wide. The game became a scrappy affair although Town had plenty of possession but struggled in the creativity department. As for Northallerton, they were content with how the game was going and only Martin had a half chance with a header that didn't trouble Leeds. Town dominated the final ten minutes of an uneventful half, searching for a way through and Davis was the man who went on a rampaging run but he shanked his shot high and wide.

HT Northallerton 0 Billingham Town 0

The opening couple of minutes in the second half produced a bit of excitement from both sides. Ex Town man Stephen Jackson saw his twenty yard drive strike the top of the crossbar and then Town went straight down the other end with a quick counter attack. Luke Hogan found Hutchinson in space but the leagues top marksman was off target with a delicate chip over Thackeray and then the bar. Town's patience paid off and they took a deserved lead on fifty eight minutes; Davis superbly headed the ball forward, while Hutchinson lost his man and when the ball found its way to him his initial shot was blocked. HUTCHINSON showed good composure to pick up the rebound and roll the ball into the back of the net. The goal meant the home side had to change their plan but there was little evidence of them doing so. Billingham continued to look the better side and Chris Dickinson played an exquisite pass out to Beddow but the youngster fired over the bar. Finally with ten minutes remaining, Northallerton had a go which suited Town perfectly and The blues sealed the game with two terrific goals. On eighty five minutes, DIXON couldn't have struck the ball any better and although Thackeray got a hand to it, the power of the strike beat him fair and square. And into added time, Thackeray did well to keep out Osmond's piledriver but CROSSEN was in the right place to follow up with a neat finish. The lads showed great character and maturity, especially after the weekends defeat and now go into Saturdays blockbuster full of confidence.

FT Northallerton 0 Billingham Town 3

Graham Hutchinson
Press Officer



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