3-1

Alnwick

Town

Billingham

Town

 

 

(48) Ryan Douglas

 

Jamie Davis (38)

Chris Dickinson (43)

 

Craig Hutchinson (87)

1. Tom Dawson

2. Daniel Rowbotham

3. Lee Moore

4. Chris Dickinson

5. Stephen Oakley (C)

6. Jack Connor

7. Jamie Davis

8. Ashley Lavan

9. Craig Hutchinson

10. Elliott Beddow

11. Luke Hogan

 

12. Harry Taylor

14. Aaron Foley

15. Connor Dunlavey

16. Matthew Hawkins

17. John Oliver

Dominic McMahon .1

Ryan Douglas .2

Chris Graham .3

Jordan Giles .4

(C) Tom McPherson .5

Matthew Graham .6

Darren Riddell .7

Tony Brown .8

Joshua Hay .9

Liam Brooks .10

Dominic Schiavetta.11

 

Lee Dundas .12

Smual Boutell .14

Jake Morrison .15

.16

.17

Match Report

 

While today might not have had the magic of last week's FA Vase win, or indeed the romance of the cup but nevertheless, Town earned a welcome three points against a much improved Alnwick side from the one that exited the EA Trophy so meekly eleven days ago. On Friday night, Assistant manager Graham Popple stated he was expecting a much closer game this time around but Town's extra quality should be enough and he was right on both counts. Alnwick were organised and surprisingly more disciplined than the eleven that turned up for the cup game but they still had an element of naivety about their play and it proved to be their undoing. It's another measure how far Billingham Town have developed in recent months when they can win like this without playing particularly well. Going in at half time two goals to the good felt a bit like daylight robbery but such is the firepower in this squad that even an under par Town, can still be a dangerous Town! Goals from Jamie Davis, Chris Dickinson and Craig Hutchinson were enough to see off a spirited Alnwick side but the downside of the result was another red card for skipper Stephen Oakley. His third red card of the season means he will miss The FA Vase game against Ryhope CW and could face a five match ban. With Harry Taylor suffering another injury setback that will almost certainly curtail his season and Clayton MacDonald already suspended for the Vase; defensive options now look rather sparse. Danny Rowbotham and Mattie Crossen will probably be the first choice pairing at centre back with the option of Jack Connor reverting back from midfield but his creativity will be required alongside Jamie Davis unless Manager Barry Oliver decides to select Ashley Lavan instead. The Town squad now have an opportunity to rest up and regroup in training with only Team Northumbria to face before the big one!!

The opening exchanges were fairly even with Joshua Hay, who once again looked lively for Alnwick. One such effort took a wicked deflection and Thomas Dawson did well to react. Luke Hogan and Elliott Beddow weren't seeing much of the ball out on the wings as Town's better play came through the middle from Dickinson and Hutchinson. As is often the case with Town, they came to life inside the final ten minutes of the half. A four man move that started with Hogan, then to Hutchinson and a superb through ball by Dickinson set up the onrushing DAVIS to fire home with a sweet left footed shot. Almost immediately, Alnwick should have levelled the scoring. Dominic McMahon's pump forward evaded Connor which left Liam Brooks with a one on one situation against Dawson but the keeper cleverly took a couple of steps backwards giving Brooks more time to think and in the end the striker shot tamely at Dawson. And on forty three minutes Town punished Alnwick with a second goal when DICKINSON fired home after both Hutchinson and Davis had shots blocked.

 

HT Billingham Town 2 Alnwick Town 0

 

Three minutes after the restart, Alnwick pulled a goal back after some sloppy marking inside Towns box. Ryan Douglas right wing cross dropped between two blue shirts and was headed home by Tony Brown. Although Hutchinson had a couple of efforts on goal, Town hadnt got going in a scrappy second half, not helped by numerous stoppages for both sides. Harry Taylor who had replaced Dickinson could only manage seventeen minutes and needed a stretcher and we can only hope the injury is not too serious. Town dominated the final fifteen minutes and were guilty of overplaying in the final third but on eighty seven minutes, HUTCHINSON put the game to bed with a simple tap in after Hogan's shot was palmed into the path of Town's top scorer. With the game won, Stephen Oakley received a second yellow card followed by a red for a touchline altercation. The majority of the crowd were surprised to see a second yellow but by all accounts, Stockton referee Thomas Bainbridge had already issued a yellow in the first half for kicking the ball away. Town managed to see out the remaining time added on but it was a sour ending to an otherwise pleasing victory.

 

FT Billingham Town 3 Alnwick Town 1

Graham Hutchinson

Press Officer