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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:22 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 74

After a hectic week, Town host their penultimate home game of the season on Saturday against ‘The Stan’. A gutsy win against Chester-Le-Street was followed by two determined draws at Durham and AFC Blyth. The Town supporters who travelled up to Ashington on Thursday night felt Billingham could have beaten the champions elect. It was only a week ago that Town put in an insipid display at Crook but the squad have clearly responded and battled for Manager James Hunter since then. Heaton Stannington, come into the game with another late rattle for promotion, but like last season, appear to have left it too late. It was this time last year, they beat Town 1-0 at Bedford Terrace to overtake Billingham in 4th position and may have to settle for a similar position this time around.

Manager James Hunter, who was reluctant to overreact after the Chester win, must have been delighted with the squad during the last seven days. I caught up with Jama on Friday afternoon to assess the week and look forward to this weekends fixture against another side who like to keep the ball on the floor!

Tuesday was a weird one, before the game with the squad we had I'd have took a point but when you go up 1-0 in the 91st minute you expect to win. Similarly with Thursday I would have took a point against top of the league before but looking at the game throughout and reflecting I believe we could have won. Regardless of what the crazy stats the Blyth twitter churned up we had more of the clear cut chances and would have won the game but for an unbelievable block on the line.

One things that has returned is the togetherness, hard work, encouragement and willingness to fight as a team and once that starts to come back we see what the boys are really capable of which has been prevalent this week. When we have the squad back together which has been tough over the last couple of months it shows and the quality of our football improves. Any fan or spectator who has watched us this week would say we were a totally different team than that of a month ago when things weren't going well. The performances of late are testament to the boys sticking together and hopefully we will cap off a more positive week with a win on Saturday at home for the fans and the club. A last comment is that we are still not content with draws, yes they are okay after the run we have had but I want 3 points from such games and know we have the players to do so.

James Hunter will assess the squad on Friday night to see who is fit and available. Defensively, Mark Dixon is unlikely to figure but Stephen Oakley should return. In midfield arrears, Glen Hargrave will be looking to get more game time and It is hoped Jack Connor can also play after figuring last Saturday. Both Jake Fenton and Daniel Maloney returned to the starting eleven on Tuesday night after lengthy absences. Elliott Beddow will need a fitness test and Jason Blackburn’s suspension has come to an end. Hunter is hoping to have a near enough full squad available despite Fridays caution.

*There will be a minutes applause before kick off to celebrate the memory of Harry Taylor Snr who sadly passed away on Tuesday night. My personal memory of Mr Taylor would be the moment my horse beat his, the favourite, and tried to use the infamous Hutchinson cheek to celebrate. I thought I was going to see the end of his stick for my impudence but instead he showed me what it said.....’Coldstream Guards’ No words were exchanged!! My horse may have won, but I had been put, well and truly in my place! RIP Mr Taylor.....I salute you sir!

Sent from my iPad



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