Billingham Town Football Club
A crowd close to a thousand fans braved the elements to witness a plucky display from Billingham Town against Hartlepool United's first team squad. Pools boss, Craig Hignett selected two separate sides for each half for their first pre season match of the new season. The away side benefitted from the workout before they jet sett to their training base in Tenerife.
Hartlepool took the lead on seventeen minutes when Lewis Alessandra scored from close range and a second soon followed. Carl Magnay cross found Billy Painter in space and his powerful downward header gave the goalkeeper no chance to react. Pools went 3.0 up when Mark Dixon diverted the ball into his own net from another testing cross from Magnay.
Town had two half chances midway through the half as they started to compose themselves. Lee Jones free kick was only half cleared to Stewart Bath but his speculative shot sailed over the crossbar and then Jones tried an ambitious lob from all of forty yards.
HT Billingham Town 0 Hartlepool United 3
Town reverted from a four-four-two formation to a Four-five-one and the tactic worked as Hartlepool struggled to create clear cut chances despite having plenty of possession. Centre halves, Jack Connor and Dan Rowbotham were in commanding form and Town looked more organised and the work rate from the players was immense. Elliott Beddow showed further promise on the wide right and up front despite some physical defending from the Pools back line. The final goal of the game came on fifty nine minutes with a simple tap in for new signing Padraig Amond.
Considering Hartlepool United are six divisions higher in the national pyramid, Town Manager Barry Oliver will be delighted with his squads performance as preparations continue for a return to Northern League Division One.
FT Billingham Town 0 Hartlepool United 4