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Author:  Interpol [ Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:52 am ]
Post subject:  TOWN 3 REDCAR ATHLETIC 1

Summers 60 Woodhouse 21
Lavan 70
Hutchinson 87

As the the old tv advert droned in the 1980’s...Ariston.... Town’s league unbeaten run goes on and on and on. Once again, they had to overpower the opposition in the second half, a trait that started against Northallerton and has since continued against Heaton Stannington, Willington and now Redcar Athletic. If last weeks antics were akin to the Great Escape - this week was a case of the Dambusters as Town attacked wave after wave. Even Barnes Wallis would have been impressed with the accuracy of Ash Lavan’s free kick that avoided Redcar’s wall to put Billingham 2-1 ahead. No bouncing shot - just power and precision! Town’s Teesside rivals, Redcar put up a plucky display and for long periods frustrated Billingham by defending in such large numbers, it was difficult to find a way through, particularly in the first half. And although their ‘in your face tactics’ worked to a point, there was ultimately, a gulf in class and fitness. Redcar were solid, shifting across in two backs of four and with another player sitting in front as Billingham attempted to move the ball to the wingers. To apply that approach for the whole ninety minutes is extremely difficult to implement and as Town started to find the cracks, Redcar lost the formation that had served them so well. Results on Saturday meant that Town stay at the top of the table, two points ahead of Thornaby with two games in hand.

Billingham were on the front foot straight away. Luke Hogan crossed from the left and Matty Robinson saw his header blocked. Robinson picked up the loose ball and curled a shot that was only inches off target. Town were dominating in terms of possession but Redcar looked dangerous on the counter attack. Sam Calvert tried his luck from twenty yards out and Lewis Macdonald had to to palm over the crossbar as the ball dipped at the last moment. At the other end, Craig Hutchinson blazed over the bar after superb distribution from Lavan. Redcar took the lead on twenty one minutes and it was a well worked goal. Gary Wood found a gap in Towns rearguard, releasing Michael WOODHOUSE on goal who finished with aplomb, rifling the ball into the bottom corner. On the half hour mark, there was a lengthy delay in proceedings due to the officials discussing what cause of action was required after Mattie Crossen had been late on Robinson who required treatment. Crossen was issued a yellow card, followed by cautions to Wood and Jamie Davis in the aftermath. Gary Redman soon followed into the notebook for persistent unsporting behaviour. Redcar slowed the game down at every opportunity and in the process upsetting Towns rhythm. The only other real chance of note in the half saw Davis drag his shot wide from the edge of the box.


The half time team talk must have been interesting because Billingham were in imperious form for the majority of the second half. However, Redcar did have a half chance of extending their lead on forty nine minutes. A looping ball dropped beautifully for Chris Dickinson but the former Town striker volleyed wide while under pressure. The home supporters were celebrating four minutes later when they thought Hutchinson had equalised but the goal was chalked off under highly controversial circumstances. Admittedly, there was possibly a case of two offside offences in the build up to the goal but the linesman had kept his flag down while the referee signalled for a goal. Outraged, several Redcar defenders and goalkeeper Will Lawrence protested to the linesman. After a discussion between the referee and the linesman the goal was disallowed. Credit to the Town lads because they soon recovered and finally broke through on the hour mark. Hogans far post cross was met by Lee Moore who headed across goal. Somehow the ball was kept out until Kris SUMMERS forced the ball over the line. Relief!! From that moment there was only going to be one winner. LAVAN capped off a magnificent second half performance by putting Town ahead with his free kick after Davis had been fouled. Redcar now had to throw their game plan out of the window by coming forward. Joe Bennett came close to catching McDonald off his line and Calvert saw his low shot saved. Town secured the points when HUTCHINSON tucked home from Lavan’s low cross from the right hand side. At times, Town were nervy but once their free flowing, confidence based play kicked in, they performed to a good level.


McDonald, Moore (c) (Kirkbride), Dixon, Connor, Flounders, Summers, Robinson (Hillerby), Davies, Hutchinson, Lavan, Hogan (Connelly).
Unused: Kenney, Maddison

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