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 Post subject: Billingham Town 0 Team Northumbria 0
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:13 pm 
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BILLINGHAM TOWN (0) 0 TEAM NORTHUMBRIA (0) 0

On paper, Today's fixture had Match Of The Day potential. In reality, the game was a tactical affair between two evenly matched sides that inevitably ended in a goalless draw. The point was enough for the students to secure promotion and the celebrations could be heard in the away dressing room as I interviewed Matty Osmond, leaving me with a sense of 'what if?' For if Town had won today, promotion could still have been a viable task with only three games to go because Synthonia lost 2-0 at Whickham and surprisingly, Heaton Stannington were beaten 1-0 at home to Hebburn Town. In all fairness, Town battled away with a degree of steeliness about them but were unable to penetrate an efficient Northumbrian back line that had clearly done their homework beforehand. Team North are a strong, mobile side that have similar characteristics to fellow promoted club, Stockton Town. And the two of them will go head to head for the championship trophy next Saturday at Coach Lane but the students have it all to do with an inferior goal difference and sit three points behind The Anchors. Meanwhile, Town have another significant fixture next week at Esh Winning who urgently require all three points in a valiant attempt to avoid relegation. A win at Waterhouses could still see Town in the promotion picture but are relying on further slip ups from Synners and The Stan whom appear to be suffering with the jitters.

The sun was out and the early play had a pre-season flow to it as both sides came to terms with the unseasonal conditions. First chance of note came after ten minutes when Ben Dibb-fuller's corner was only half cleared to Heywood who volleyed over the bar from twenty yards. The away side looked the more composed, giving Town little time or space on the ball and although there was plenty of endeavour on show, neither side had a shot on target inside the opening half hour. Alex Leeds was eventually called into action six minutes later, superbly diving to his left to deny Heywood from twenty five yards and that chance caused Town to up the gears after playing with caution for the majority of the half. Chances were still limited though, the best of which came on the stroke of half-time, Craig Hutchinson with a shot on the turn saved by students skipper, Steven Mundy.

HT Billingham Town 0 Team Northumbria 0

Team Northumbria should have opened the scoring on forty eight minutes. For the first time in the game, Dibb-Fuller found space outside the box and played the ball across to Nick Hay out on the right side; Hay pulled it back to Liam McNamara but the full-back sliced his shot wide of goal. If that was a let-off for Town, then Team North were equally fortunate three minutes later; McNamara may have been dwelling on his miss moments early when he sliced horribly over his own crossbar from Chris Dickinson's corner. The game became a midfield battle with Jack Connor and Matty Osmond going toe-to-toe against Nick Hay and Robert Spence. The purists and the entertainers may not have enjoyed it but those of a psychological persuasion would of admired the way both sides never gave an inch. The final five minutes did see end to end action but in keeping with the overall game, neither Town nor Team North could muster a clear cut chance.

FT Billingham Town 0 Team Northumbria 0

Graham Hutchinson
Press Officer

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