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 Post subject: Billingham Town 4 Tow Law Town 1
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:36 pm 
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BILLINGHAM TOWN (2) 4 Flounders 19, 45, 61 Robinson 71
TOW LAW TOWN (1) 1 Soulsby 43

If today’s result and performance are anything to go by, Thornaby could bump into a Billingham Town side next week, hungry for further success! The defeats to West Allotment Celtic and Durham City seem an age ago now. Essentially, Town needed a result today; they got it with a magnificent display of attacking football to boot. There were several stories to this game. The first half was decided by corners. Three goals from central defender Dan Flounders who doubled his tally of the season to six, and although Flounders deserved the match ball, the star of the show was Elliott Beddow. For two seasons in a row, Beddow’s player profile had hinted at a change of position and today the youngster came of age. When Barry Oliver brought Beddow to the club from Hartlepool FC’s reserve side, the plan was to steadily introduce him to the rough and tumble of the Northern League. His blistering speed meant he was used as a winger but in pre season, Carl Jarrett, Manager of Evo-Stik league side Marske United wanted to bring him into the club in an attacking number ten role. Injuries have hindered his progress but finally, the secret weapon was unleashed on a bewildered an bemused Tow Law rearguard to such an extent that skipper Dan Kirkup cynically scythed him down which should have resulted in a red card. Beddow will have to get used to such boisterous attention and no doubt about it, he will take it in his stride. Videos of him as a child show incredible similarities to Michael Owen: the short burst of speed and the dip of the shoulder. In the past, Beddow had a tendency to run into trouble, the obvious signs of rawness. Today, we saw a performance of maturity - full of bums off seats moments for the fans! And credit has to go to Barry Oliver & Paul Edwards for imbuing Beddow the confidence to play him in such a pivotal position in a pivotal match! Billingham were out to prove a point and they did it with such aplomb. The vibrancy was back, so too the endeavour and efficiency even though they did make things difficult for themselves during the first half. Next week’s stellar fixture against promotion and local rivals Thornaby will be a different task altogether but Town had a steeliness about them and they will require such qualities once again in seven days time.

As expected, Flounders joined Kris Summers in central defence and in attack, Matty Robinson started on the left wing while Joe Carter was handed a debut on the right. It was the visitors who had the first chance of the game. Callum Oldfield’s free kick was met be a looping Kirkup header that went wide. Billingham had a golden opportunity to take the lead on the quarter of an hour mark. Craig Hutchinson flicked the ball in an attempt to go past Sam Aiston but the forward left a trailing hand for a clear penalty. Having missed a penalty last week against Durham, Hutchinson decided to put his foot through the ball but blazed over the crossbar. The miss didn’t put Town off their stride as they continued to press forward. A fine individual run by Jamie Davis set up Beddow who had his back to the goal; he managed to shrug off his marker and get a shot away which resulted in a corner. Robinson flighted the ball to the back post and both Hutchinson and FLOUNDERS got on the end of it with Flounders credited as the goalscorer. Beddow should have added a second but fired high and wide and then after a strong burst forward, Beddow set up Robinson on the edge of the box and Alex Curran got down low to make the save. When Town didn’t have possession the midfield were forcing the Lawyers into making errors or playing blind passes upfield. Mark Dixon tried his luck from thirty yards - testing Curran due to the late swerve on the ball. Carter’s cross was only partially cleared to Beddow but the Hartlepool youngster didn’t have his shooting boots on during the first half. Up to this point, Tow Law hadn’t mustered a shot on target. However, they equalised with two minutes remaining before half-time. Dale Milburn’s in-swinging corner appeared to hit the back of Summers head but Matty Soulsby claimed the goal. On the stroke of half-time, Billingham regained the lead with an identical goal to their first one. Robinson repeated the trick from a corner kick and FLOUNDERS was scandalously left unmarked at the back post to score.

HT BILLINGHAM TOWN 2 TOW LAW TOWN 1

The second half was Billingham at their ebullient best. Hutchinson thought he had extended Town’s lead although the strike was chalked off for a Carter handball in the build up to the goal. Not to be unperturbed, Hutchinson was unlucky to see his close range effort kept out by Curran and the keeper pulled off a quick double save to deny the forward once again. The third goal finally came on sixty one minutes of one way football. Beddow appeared to overrun the ball but bravely slid into a 50/50 challenge and won the battle; the ball rolled nicely to Hutchinson who released FLOUNDERS to grab his hat-trick. The best goal of the game was yet to come. Beddow deep in his own half and facing towards his own goal had great foresight to turn and pick out Robinson with total freedom out on the left. ROBINSON interchanged passes with Hutchinson allowing the winger time and space to pick his spot with a cool finish. Dixon had another pile-driver which winded Curran and Ash Lavan had two efforts that the keeper was equal too. It will be interesting to see if Billingham can replicate a similar performance next week. The build up to the game will be fascinating in itself. Today required a universally strong mental approach - none showed that more than Elliott Beddow.

FT BILLINGHAM TOWN 4 TOW LAW TOWN 1

Town:
Macdonald, Moore (c), Dixon, Connor, Summers, Flounders, Carter (Hogan), Davis (Hillerby), Hutchinson (Lavan), Beddow, Robinson.
Unused: Kirkbride, Lam.

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