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 Post subject: Billingham Town 4 Brandon United 4
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:50 pm 
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BILLINGHAM TOWN (1) 4 BRANDON UNITED (1) 4
Og, Hutchinson 2, Joyeux 2, Fingleton, Blades.
Robinson

The Christmas holidays are over, but there was plenty of Christian goodwill on offer, particularly by both defences. It took another biblical comeback of Lazarus proportions to maintain Town’s twenty four league game unbeaten run. Both sides looked incredibly shaky at the back though - Brandon not having the monopoly on calamitous moments. Talking of Monopoly, do Town have a secret stash of get out of jail cards?? 2-4 down, and seemingly dead on their feet, Matty Robinson & Craig Hutchinson struck back to earn Town a point. Get the ball forward, take a chance card - score a few goals, collect the reward as you go! Although Billingham missed a myriad of chances, It would take a hardened Town fan to say they deserved a point. Brandon made a mockery of their lowly league position by displaying an impressive attacking second half performance. Niall Fingleton, Lee Blades and Jordan Lee & Co found gaps galore, backed up by their nimble full-backs. Town were missing lynch pin Kris Summers, plus Dan Flounders and Mark Dixon while Lee Moore switched to left-back. Oliver Simpson returned in goal in place of Lewis McDonald; Stephen Jackson made his full debut at right back and Stephen Oakley & Brandon Kirkbride were also handed starts. At times, the back five looked like strangers and Brandon exploited it to full effect. As always, there were positives; the never say day attitude, right up to the final whistle deserves our respect but the performance was a shock to the system. Lost in the moment, was the fact that Craig’s double took him to the thirty goal mark - a fabulous achievement for him in another excellent season. Elsewhere, both Thornaby and Northallerton won their respective games, so the gap at the top has narrowed down to eight points.

Town dominated the first half in terms of chances created but surprisingly, the game was incredibly open. Goalkeeper Carl Robinson superbly palmed away our Robinson’s strike from the edge of the box as the ball deflected off Chris Spence’s heel. Robinson then got down low to keep out Joe Hillerby’s effort and followed that with a good save to deny Elliott Beddow. The right winger would also go on to strike the side netting from an acute angle and Robinson stopped Beddow again on the twenty third minute mark. The goal was coming and it finally arrived two minutes later. Beddow’ low cross from the right was unfortunately met by Jay Nicholson who struck the ball against his own post - the ball rebounding back off him and into the net. The lead only lasted for two minutes. A corner was met by former Durham City man Ben Joyeux who headed home. Town continued to press with two chances for Ashley Lavan missed and then Town had an almighty lucky escape on the stroke of half time when Joyeux bundled wide after a fine move involving Fingleton.

HT Billingham Town 1 Brandon United 1

More chances were created by Billingham that went begging. Lavan drove straight at Robinson and Jack Connor’s follow up was cleared off the line. Left-back Willis White almost replicated Nicholson’s own goal but luckily for him his clearance went wide for a corner. Town regained the lead on fifty six minutes. Connor’s excellent cross-field ball found HUTCHINSON on the right and the striker cut inside onto his favoured left foot and finished with aplomb. Further good work from Hutchinson released Robinson on the left but the winger blazed over the crossbar. During the next twenty minutes, Town inexplicably imploded. Admittedly, Brandon’s equaliser came from some excellent play as White found FINGLETON who fired into the top corner. If Fingleton could play Town every week he would be top of the goal charts. For the first time in the game, Brandon took the lead and the goal came from another corner. Goals from set pieces are becoming Town’s Achilles Heel. Goals conceded against Washington & Ryton didn’t effect the outcome of those games but it did today. Another corner wasn’t dealt with and Joyeux tucked home the loose ball. For the first time in the league, Town then found themselves two goals behind. Lee, who was a constant menace raced away on the right and laid the ball across to Blades for a simple finish. With thirteen minutes left on the clock, Town looked jaded and shell shocked but they recovered and showed sheer grit on the eighty six minute mark. Hutchinson had the opportunity to take a shot with his right foot but instead held up play before finding the onrushing Jamie Davis who had been introduced to the fray. Davis’s one touch pass to Robinson, while on the move was sublime, and so too was ROBINSON’s finish to reduce the deficit. The momentum was with Town. Beddow dragged wide from the edge of the box and then Michael Hayley brought down Hutchinson inside the box as the forward moved the ball away from the centre back. HUTCHINSON nonchalantly finished from the spot to earn Town an unlikely point. Or had they? Because Brandon still had time for a winner and it should have been. Luke Bailey’s pass allowed Lee to race away on the left and the ‘one to watch’ had been in excellent scoring form but he could only fire wide when it looked easier to score. An unbelievable match, and a point Town should cherish. Surely the season of goodwill ‘will’ come to end next week at Bedlington Terriers!

FT Billingham Town 4 Brandon United 4

Town:
Simpson, Jackson, Moore, Connor, Oakley, Kirkbride, Beddow, Hillerby (Davis), Hutchinson, Lavan, Robinson.
Unused: Mcphillips, McDonald, Cranston.



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