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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:23 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 90
Gordon 4 Lavan 6
Morris pen 45

I’m not entirely sure which was worse - the blaring 70’s rock pre match music or the after match feeling of another defeat. Highway To Hell ringing in the ears added to the despondent return journey to Teesside - a loss that sees Town with the unenviable record of one win in their last nine matches. Tonight was undoubtedly a low point of the season and on this evidence, Town are in danger of a losing culture becoming the norm. This second half stat puts the performance into perspective: shots on target: 0. Crook deservedly took all three points - the small home support clearly elated with the result but a better side than Crook would have put this game to bed much earlier. The home side’s final ball or wayward shooting was indicative of the quality on show but at least they could string a few passes together, unlike Town who continually wasted possession in central areas. The game certainly had an end of season feel to it and for Town the finale on the 5th May against Alnwick can’t come quick enough. Billingham went with a 3-5-2 formation but it quickly became apparent the system left gaping holes. And it only took four minutes for the home side to exploit the situation. Town were caught out by a throw-in on the right hand side giving Isam Mohamad time and space for a cross - Peter Parvin picked up the ball on the left, pulled it back for Joel GORDON on the edge of the box who found the bottom corner with a low strike. Much to their credit, Billingham responded within minutes to equalise with a well worked goal. Luke Hogan powered down the left wing and delivered a superb cross for Ashley LAVAN who attacked the ball with a fine header, leaving keeper no time to react. Unsurprisingly, in the heat, the game began to settle down and it wasn’t until the thirty first minute before another notable chance arrived. Clayton McDonald had claims for a penalty turned down but he soon responded with a twenty five yard strike that struck the top side of the crossbar. And the turning point of the game came seconds before half time when Crook were awarded a penalty. Amongst a crowded box, a Crook attacker had his heels clipped and Kyle MORRIS sent Lewis Shaw the wrong way with a clinical finish


Apologies for the lack of content in the second half - nothing really happened apart from a handful of half chances for Crook. Calum Johnston caught the eye with his trickery and speed of thought while Morris & Daniel Smith were by far the best players on the night. Morris fired over after further good work from Johnston and Smith pulled his effort wide, yards from outside the box. And Town’s night can be best summed up by Reece Kenney’s enticing cross-field ball where four blue shirts all decided to leave it for each other to get on the end of it. With twenty minutes to go, Elliott Beddow joined Lavan upfront as Billingham went with the more conventional 4-4-2 but despite forcing the game, they couldn’t muster a meaningful opportunity to equalise. Further woes were added with Mark Dixon managing only forty five minutes and Brandon Kirkbride limping off, clearly in discomfort and both are unlikely to figure on Saturday against Chester-Le-Street Town. However, a win against the Moors would certainly be music to the ears for the Town supporters in attempt to maintain a top half finish!


Sent from my iPad



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