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 Post subject: GATESHEAD 4 BILLINGHAM TOWN 0
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:02 pm 
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GATESHEAD (1) 4 BILLINGHAM TOWN (0) 0
McGeoch 36, 54
Thomson 79
O’Donnell 84

Town exited the Durham Challenge Cup on Wednesday night to a stronger Gateshead side than was initially expected. The Gateshead team-sheet showed no less than eight first team squad players mixed along with lads from their Academy. For Town, the management made eight changes from the side that had previously defeated Thornaby and Crook Town in the league. Barry Oliver* handed debuts to York City loanee Harry Thompson and sixteen year old Nick Cranston started in goal due to a late suspension sanctioned to Michael Duff while Oliver Simpson also failed a late fitness test. Cranston would go on to perform admirably in challenging circumstances. In fact, Cranston had little time for any nerves as he pulled off a fine reactionary save inside the first two minutes to deny Lewis McGeoch from close range. Gateshead had plenty of the early possession but Town looked dangerous on the counter attack. Kyle Morris drove over from twenty five yards and Arthur Connelly was also off target after cutting inside from the left. The pace offered from Gateshead’s wingers, particularly from Cameron Salkeld was a constant thorn throughout and it was the speed of Connor Thomson that led to the opening goal. Thomson breezed into the box and Cranston did well to keep out the strike but MCGEOCH was well placed to fire in the rebound. Gateshead continued to use the flanks but Town’s defence held firm.

HT GATESHEAD 1 BILLINGHAM TOWN 0

On resumption, Cranston got down low at his near post to keep out JJ O’Donnell’s stinging drive and the home side doubled their lead on fifty four minutes. A ball in behind Town’s defence forced Cranston off his line allowing MCGEOCH the opportunity to go past him and to double his tally for the night. O’Donnell then struck the side netting before Town had two good chances to pull a goal back. Joe Hillerby found Connelly on the left and the winger struck his shot into the ground but Mark Foden did well to palm away the ball that had bounced towards him at an awkward height. Connelly then had another sight on goal and again Foden managed to make the save. McGeoch came close to his hat-trick - firing wide from ten yards out while Cranston made another good save to keep out Tom Devitt’s strike from inside the box. Gateshead finished the game as a contest with two outstanding goals. THOMSON added a third from all of twenty five yards out and the goal of the game belonged to O’DONNELL who netted from the halfway line with an audacious chip. Foden proved eager to keep a clean sheet and once again, he managed to palm the ball behind, keeping out Danny Maddison’s diving header.

FT GATESHEAD 4 BILLINGHAM TOWN 0

Town:
Cranston, Davis, Dixon (c), Hillerby, Kirkbride, Flounders, Thompson (Lavan), Hughes, Maddison, Morris, Connelly (Hutchinson).
Unused: Hogan, Oakley, Summers.
*Paul Edwards was away.



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