Billingham Town Football Club
It may have been a win against lower league opposition, but in this mood, Town will be a match for anyone in division two this season. If recent friendlies against superior opposition have highlighted weaknesses, then this performance equally showed the quality that Barry Oliver and Graham Popple have at their disposal. We already knew the firepower was there but today was a victory based on basics, organisation and most saliently, a vocalised team that cajoled, encouraged and battled for one another. Today's performance should be a template for the rest of the season and the fact that Town learned from the first half of Wednesday night's match and carried it forward into today's game will please everyone connected with the club.
Victory was more or less assured after twenty eight minutes of one way traffic! Gary Redman and Luke Hogan had half chances before Town took the lead after twelve minutes.Craig Hutchinson evaded the Coxhoe back line and finished with aplomb after some fine link up play. Hutchinson doubled his tally with a tap in; once again from superb football involving Jamie Davis and Hogan. Hutchy looked to have sealed his hat trick with a dinked lob over the goalkeeper but Daniel Lambert, cheekily got a touch on the ball before it crossed the line! As half time approached, Lambert looked certain to score after rounding the keeper but a recovering defender cleared off the line.
HT Billingham Town 3 Coxhoe 0
The second half belonged to Luke Hogan. The speed of this boy is simply breathtaking and left Popple gleaming afterwards 'hes a real find isn't he?'. Yes he is and his overall performance reminded me of a conversation I had with Barry Oliver in June. The boss felt that the Northern League is now a young man's game and he was looking for certain criteria to improve the squad. Pace on the wings!! Hogan put Town four up, receiving a through ball and coolly rounding the goalkeeper to score. The fifth arrived on seventy six minutes which involved Ashley Lavan, Mark Dixon and Matty Hawkins finishing the move. The best of the lot came dead on ninety minutes and the effervescent Hogan was at it again with a peach of a strike from twenty five yards. Afterwards I asked Popple if everybody was registered for next week's seasonal opener against Tow Law.....'just this lad here' as he pointed to Hogan...... Sign him up..... We may have a gem on our hands!!
FT Billingham Town 6 Coxhoe 0