Billingham Town FC
Craig Hutchinson (68)
Craig Hutchinson (72)
Luke Hogan (85)
With the new campaign only four days away, Town completed their preparations with an intriguing encounter against the National North and former Football League club York City. The Minstermen brought their ‘elder’ youth side to Bedford Terrace in what promised to be another unique test for Paul Edwards & Barry Oliver’s exciting squad. So far, Town had come up against Step 1,3,4 & 7 opposition without defeat, and beforehand, this was a difficult fixture to put into context. Last Thursday night, the Town management had used the second half against Marske United as an opportunity to give several trialists a chance to impress but tonight, the squad was predominantly made up of registered players. Goalkeeper, Samuel Naylor who impressed against Marske was handed another start having come from Coventry City while little was known of York’s youngsters whom all appeared to be around eighteen years of age.
With the heavens opening at the weekend, giving the pitch much needed rainfall, the surface looked superb from the stands in readiness for Saturday’s League game. As the match got under way, York looked the more settled of the two sides and took the lead on the quarter hour mark when the forward dispossessed Dan Flounders and beat Naylor with a low finish. Town, steadily worked their way into the game and could of equalised on two separate occasions. Elliott Beddow raced away on the right hand side but couldn’t guide the ball past the goalkeeper and Joe Hillerby volleyed over inside the box. York were well drilled and limited Billingham time and space but Town’s superior fitness levels proved to be the key. Hutchinson scored a fine individual goal, creating that vital space for himself to finish with aplomb from the edge of the box and then doubled his tally with a bundled effort that went in off the post. Luke Hogan, who got the assist for Town’s second goal wrapped up matters with the third after superb individual play by Danny Maddison.
All in all, another satisfying performance but the task now for this evolving squad is to carry their magnificent pre-season into the new campaign which kicks off against Ryton this Saturday. Look out for our thorough match preview on Friday where we gather the thoughts of the management and get all the latest team news.
Naylor, Moore, Dixon, Kirkbride (Grier), Flounders (Summers), Kenney (Hughes), Beddow, Connor (Maddison), Hutchinson, Hillerby (Hogan), Joynes (Davies).
Saturday 23rd February
Tow Law Town
Ebac Northern League