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 Post subject: NORTH SHIELDS 0 BILLLINGHAM TOWN 0
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:13 pm 
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NORTH SHIELDS (0) 0 BILLINGHAM TOWN (0) 0

Towns unbeaten run now extends to ten matches untold after a spirited display against established opposition. Neutrals, and indeed home supporters will have left the Darren Persson stadium rather nonplussed but this was always going to be a tug-of-war affair; The Robins having only lost once at home to Hebburn Town and Billingham, still unbeaten on the road. Not much happened in the first half - the second had its moments but in the end a draw was a fair result. It could have been oh so different if Town had converted two glorious opportunities early on in the second half and it required a man of the match display from Greg Purvis in goal for the hosts to deny the visitors. Conversely, Town were clinging onto the draw as full-time approached so one can’t be too greedy. From Billlingham’s perspective - this was a disciplined, regimented display with the odd bit of sparkle that has been so evident on their return to the top flight. The back four were outstanding as a unit, protected by an industrious midfield as the likes of Jamie Davis, Dan Flounders and Jack Connor ran the yards in central arrears so that North Shields couldn’t gain any rhythm. There were some tired looking legs but it’s been an never ending fixture list, and the league may have to review the new League Cup format which is having a lasting affect. Still, it’s another point on the board as Town sit in seventh position in the table.

Billingham began the quarter of an hour in confident fashion, as they looked for an early opening that never came, followed by a similar pattern of play from Shields without any real clear cut chances. Denver Morris - recently signed from enigmatic Bishop Auckland fired high and wide from thirty yards. At the other end: Matty Robinson’s close range header was blocked on the line and cleared to safety. The hosts thought they had made the breakthrough when Paul Robinson’s lovely dinked effort required Jamie Poole to head over while backtracking towards his own goal-line. The Robins finished the half on the front foot but Town were getting numbers and bodies behind the ball. Ryan Carr was off target from twenty five yards while Town still looked dangerous going forward though and Elliott Beddow’s cross was met by a Jamie Davis header which glanced wide.

In some ways, the first half was about making sure Billlingham were solid and in relative comfort but the start of the second periods saw Town on the offensive and they should have been 2-0 up inside fifty five minutes. Craig Hutchinson played the through ball for Davis to run on goal but Purvis won the battle of wills to deny the attacking midfielder a certain strike. And Purvis was at it again as he scrambled across his line to keep out Flanders at the back post from a precise Beddow slide pass. Town had Shields on the ropes and they needed Gary Ormston to head behind, preventing Hutchinson a tap in from Luke Hogans cross. There were some jaded legs as the half wore on and it became clear Town needed to shore things up. Off came Hogan, Davis and Beddow for Mark Dixon, Kallum Hannah and Reece Kenney respectively. It took The Robins till the eighty seventh minute before they looked like stealing a winner; Morris headed down Cam Cunningham’s lofted ball into the box for Carr who rattled the crossbar and Brad Young had to be alert at his near post to keep out Cunninghams effort. And three minutes into added time - Morris sliced wide from outside the box. All in all, a fair result!

Town: Young, Moore (c), Robinson, Connor, Frazer, Poole, Beddow (Kenney), Flounders, Hutchinson, Davis (Hannah), Hogan (Dixon). Unused: Summers, Crainey.

North Shields: Purvis, Cassidy, Morris, Ormston, New, Williams, Patton (Cunningham), Forster (c), Campbell (McCarthy), Carr, Robinson: unused: Christensen, Buchanan, Van Zanvliet.







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