Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:40 am
EASINGTON COLLIERY (0) 1 BILLINGHAM TOWN (0) 0
Last weekend, Town turned victory into defeat in the closing stages and the denouement of this match, had similarities to Saturdays loss against Darlington R.A. As the game entered the final ten minutes of an uneventful nights entertainment, Town appeared to be finishing the stronger of the two sides. And Easington have keeper Kyle Donaldson to thank, making two excellent saves, particularly the first one as he somehow got a hand on Ashley Lavan’s goal-bound strike. Donaldson, has previous - impressing in past encounters and he followed that majestic save to deny Jack Connor with a low dive to his right, leaving Connor crestfallen. Almost immediately, Easington went down the other end, punishing Town for not clearing their lines as Jack Pounder finished from close range. It was harsh on Town, who deserved at least a point for their endeavours, showing plenty of grit and determination although they lacked a creative spark. Manager James Hunter made several changes to the line-up, handing debuts to Jamie Bellamy and Mark Ward and there was a pleasant surprise to see Jack Connor and Elliott Beddow back in the fold after previous unavailability due to work commitments. You know your lucks not going to be in your favour when the goalpost keeps out a fierce drive from Lavan after only ten seconds of action! On this occasion, Donaldson was left stranded and probably didn’t even see the ball, such was the power of the strike! Easington soon took command after that early scare but Town were well organised, marshalled by Kris Summers who was another player making a welcome return to the side in Stephen Oakley’s absence. The home side’s best effort in the opening twenty five minutes came via a breakaway that ended in Wood shooting straight at Liam Gibbs. Opportunities continued to be at a premium - for Town, Lavan evaded five green shirts inside the box but dragged his shot wide and just before halftime, Easington’s O’Brien blazed over from the edge of the box.
HT EASINGTON COLLIERY 0 BILLINGHAM TOWN 0
Considering the abysmal weather of late, the ground staff had done an excellent job on the playing surface and the quality of the football in the second half was in juxtaposition with that of the pitch. Town had several half chances early on - Beddow hooked across goal and Lavan had two efforts within a minute, heading wide and shooting into the side netting from a narrow angle. Easington regained the initiative with Pounder’s strike rising over the crossbar and quickly followed by Green firing wide from eight yards. The match seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until the final ten minutes. With the Spring weather on the horizon, the game came to life. Donaldson denied Lavan and substitute Joe Kerridge, who made an impact on introduction was unfortunate to see his angled drive swerve away from Donaldson’s right hand post. And is often the case when chances go a begging, the opposition took full advantage and and all three points. Town had the opportunity to clear their lines but when Easington regained possession in a dangerous area, Adamson found his way into the box, pulled the ball back for POUNDER who made up for his earlier miss with a close range finish. However, Town didn’t down tools with minutes remaining; further good work from Kerridge allowed Lavan to get a shot away but ended a frustrating night without a goal. And it was Donaldson who had the final say, keeping out Connor’s strike from the edge of the box. To add insult to injury, we had some minor difficulty leaving the car park due to a personal works van.... yes you guessed it... belonged to Kyle Donaldson. It appears the man has many skills!
FT EASINGTON COLLIERY 1 BILLINGHAM TOWN 0
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