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 Post subject: BILLINGHAM TOWN 1 HEATON STANNINGTON 0
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:44 pm 
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BILLINGHAM TOWN (0) 1 HEATON STANNINGTON (0) 0
Hogan 60

‘What a difference a day makes.....24 little hours...’, as the song goes, eloquently sang by Dinah Washington. Last Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Chester-le- Street Town led to three further improved performance culminating in this win - a win that was far more convincing than the score-line suggests. Town were literally seconds away from winning at Durham on Tuesday night and a goal-line clearance away from another win at all but promoted AFC Blyth on Thursday. ‘What a difference a week makes..... 168 big..big hours! Yes, the season is more or less over in terms of league position but tell that to the fans and coaching staff!! Sometimes in football, players need a collective nadir moment for them to realise the predicament they were in, forced by a run of disappointing results and that moment came at Crook Town. Despite playing four games in a week, the squad have looked noticeably sharper, particularly when the other sides had possession. Conceding only three goals, including a much deserved clean sheet here, indicates a team that doesn’t want the season to end. The manner of the resolute and spirited win, against a side who still had aspirations of promotion, was in keeping on a day of mourning, or was it a day of celebration? Committee member, and father of Assistant Manager Harry Taylor - Taylor Senior sadly passed away on Tuesday night and the players did the old soldier and Taylor Junior proud. On the 68 minute mark, the same number as Taylor Senior’s age, supporter Steve Palmieri bellowed out ‘there’s only one Harry Taylor’ followed by applause from the fans.. a nice touch for a quiet, unassuming gentleman who garnered much respect from those who knew him; RIP Mr Taylor, it won’t be the same seeing your empty seat.

Back to the game and the opening ten minutes belonged to Joe Kerridge and ‘Stan’s’ Jonathan Wright. Matthew Smith saved two low shots from Town’s winger and Wright skewed over, followed by another effort that went way off target. Both sides were showing respect to each other until a minor altercation between Luke Hogan and Joshua Holland - the two smallest players on the pitch livened up matters. More vocals from the stand followed ‘Luke’s bigger than you’ although Holland indicated he was several inches taller; however it would be Hogan who would have the final say, when it mattered! The game lacked rhythm, mainly down to forced substitutions, fouls, and both sides cancelling each other out. The last piece of action came from Town when Hogan’s cross found Beddow at the back post but the ‘little’ winger put too much height on the ball.

HT BILLINGHAM TOWN 0 HEATON STANNINGTON 0

Considering Stannington needed a win to keep in touch with the top three, with several games in hand, they lacked creativity and energy. Town controlled the second half and the home side should have taken the lead on forty seven minutes. Beddow outwitted his marker and pulled the ball back for Ashley Lavan but the forward placed his shot straight at Smith rather than using his famous firepower. Reece Kenney, who was industrious in midfield allowing Jack Connor to roam forward began the next move; his quickly taken free kick sent Hogan away on the left and this time, the cross was met by Connor’s close range header which was well read by Smith. On the other wing, Kerridge found Beddow but the striker bundled his effort straight at Smith. Town made the breakthrough their play warranted on the hour mark; Kerridge’s far ball cross to HOGAN enabled the ‘diminutive’ winger time and space to rifle his shot into the top corner (I’ve never seen the sub bench staff jump with such elation). Hogan followed his goal with a winding run into the box and was unlucky to see his effort deflected wide for a corner. The away side did have a golden opportunity to equalise when Hogan’s attempted clearance ricocheted off his own man allowing Wright a run on goal but in keeping with previous efforts, the striker dragged his shot wide. Town had defended superbly and if they can keep Stephen Oakley and Kris Summers injury free next season, then strikers will become persistently frustrated...just ask Wright for proof, a striker that had punished Town in the past! As the game came to a close, Glen Hargrave powered his way into the box but eventually faced a crowded goalmouth and saw his effort roll wide of goal. Pre-match kick off began with applause for Harry Taylor Senior....the final whistle ended with grandiose applause for the team, coaching staff and Harry Taylor Junior. Undoubtedly, it was a day of celebration!

FT BILLINGHAM TOWN 1 HEATON STANNINGTON 0



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