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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 90
In Memory Of Harry Taylor Senior

DURHAM CITY (0) 1 BILLINGHAM TOWN (0) 1 *first goal-scorer
Smith 90 Lavan 90 pen *

Down to the bare bones, and in Daniel Maloney’s case, a spine that was in danger of becoming ossified, Town’ depleted squad dug deep to earn a well deserved point but came agonisingly close to taking all three back to Teesside. Manager James Hunter was forced into making three changes from the side that defeated Chester-Le- Street on Saturday, also requiring three others to change their positions to accommodate Jake Fenton and Maloney. Considering Maloney hadn’t completed ninety minutes in two years was testament to the players character and there were one or two others who shouldn’t of played due to injury but put in a shift. Although Town named a full substitute’s bench, it was only a token gesture and if there was any doubt that the squad hadn’t been giving their all of late, then it certainly wasn’t in evidence here. Approaching added on time, the game appeared to be heading for a goalless draw, thanks in part, down to two excellent goalkeeping displays and yet an error of judgement by both Nathan Armin & Liam Gibbs would influence the final outcome. When Ashley Lavan fired home from the spot after Armin’s rush of blood in pole axing Elliott Beddow inside the box, Town thought they had won the game with seconds remaining. How the referee, Tom Wilson found seven minutes of added on time will be a mystery that even Kate Bush would find difficult to comprehend. Town orchestrated their own downfall though by needlessly conceding two free-kicks in dangerous areas. Billingham got away with the first one but the second one proved fatal as Gibbs misjudged the power of the strike - the ball rolling forlornly over the goal-line. It was incredibly harsh on the ex Thornaby man who had made numerous saves to keep his side in the game. And of course - then came the obligatory full-time whistle! The point meant that Town had kept Durham at bay in the league table with a daunting task ahead of them on Thursday night when the squad travel up to Ashington to face champions elect, AFC Blyth.

Both sides had early sighters on goal, however, the best chance of them all, ended up being off target - Durham’s Chris Pattinson lofted the ball past Gibbs but bounced wide. The hosts should have opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark - Ben Joyeux left unmarked inside the box but headed wide. Another glorious chance went begging when the ball fell kindly for Kieran McWaters after rebounding off Kris Summers but Gibbs was alert to the danger and closed down the angles. Town soon settled into the game and Armin kept out Kenney’s free-kick despite being unsighted and then got down low to save Ashley Lavan’s powerful strike. Durham were back on the offensive before half time - Gibbs blocked a Craig Hennis shot and Pattinson fired wide while under pressure from Town’s rearguard.


Town had performed admirably during the first period and the second had more of the same attributes with plenty of chances for both sides. Nicky Allen volleyed wide from outside the box and Kenney saw his deflected shot strike the outside of the post (deja vu from Saturday). After two miss kicked clearances from his defenders, Gibbs prevented Callum Smith from scoring and he followed that with the save of the match to turn over Allen’s strike over the bar as the ball headed for the top corner. At the other end, Joe Kerridge’s shot on the turn rebounded off Armin with nobody in the vicinity to follow up and both Lavan & Kenney had pile-drivers pushed away by the keeper. Allen, who volleyed wide earlier in the second half, replicated that effort with a similar outcome while Hennis blazed over with five minutes remaining. Then came the edge of the seats moment, although yours truly couldn’t stand the intensity so decided to stand instead!!! LAVAN won the game from the spot, only he didn’t - that was the fairytale version! The real-life version ended up in a draw but it was entertaining in a macabre kind of fashion! Still, a good nights work under difficult conditions; Hopefully, Hunter & Harry Taylor will have a few absentees back in the squad by Thursday, giving the likes of Maloney, who performed heroically on the night, time for some well earned RnR!! Some backbone that Maloney!


Sent from my iPad



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