Billingham

Town

 

 

 

Jamie Davis (82)

1-2

Norton &

Stockton

Ancients

(14) Phillip Caley

(39) Phillip Caley

1. Robbie Stockburn

2. Lee Moore

3. Mark Dixon

4. Jack Connor

5. Stephenson Oakley (C)

6. Daniel Rowbotham

7. Jamie Davis

8. Chris Dickinson

9. Caig Hutchinson

10. Ashley Lavan

11. Luke Hogan

 

12. Harry Taylor

14. Gary Redman

15. Daniel Lambert

16. Matthew Hawkins

17. Clayton McDonals

Carl Robinson .1

Liam Browne .2

Jamie Tunstall .3

(C) Marcus Laing .4

Grant Hickman .5

David Mitchell .6

Lewis Murphy .7

Glenn Donaldson .8

Nicholas Martin .9

Phillip Cally .10

Lewis Walton .11

 

James Wilson .12

Ryan Braithwate .14

Lewis Rees .15

Tyler Scarth .16

James Marley .17

Match Report

 

The beauty of the Northern League is the unpredictable nature of the football and the ensuing results. Did I expect a win at Easington...no!! Did I expect defeat tonight...no!! Maybe expectations in general are rather pointless....it just sets you up for disappointment in the long run....but then again, the win at Easington was such a high then surely you have to take the lows on the way... Predictability is just another word for boring....and Town should never be boring!! Norton effectively won the game in the first half and although Town dominated possession in the second half, they huffed and puffed but were unable to blow away a resolute Ancients back line. It just goes to show that results don't always paint a clear picture. Town came into the game with three wins on the bounce and Norton with three defeats but it was Norton who looked the more confident side and deservedly took the three points.

 

There was one change to the line up that did ever so well at Easington. Craig Hutchinson replaced Danny Lambert and Matty Hawkins took Stuart Bath's place on the bench.

I had an ominous feeling at the start when referee, Jack Stephenson decided to have a lengthy chat with the respective captains which seemed draconian where I was sitting in the stand. Lo and behold, Jamie Davis and Jamie Tunstall both received soft yellow cards within three minutes of play; even then I had a feeling we wouldn't have twenty two players left on the pitch at full time.... A prescient prediction that proved sadly to be correct.

 

Norton looked tidy and dangerous on the ball in the opening fifteen minutes and Town were struggling to cope with the extra man in the middle. David Mitchell, who suspiciously looked and played like Mark Noble, was that spare man with Marcus Laing and the spritely Glen Donaldson ahead of him. And there was no surprise when the Ancients took the lead on fifteen minutes. Top scorer, Phil Caley got behind Dan Rowbotham and coolly placed the ball past the onrushing Robbie Stockburn.

 

Town looked rather lethargic and too many misplaced passes and loose balls fell to Norton players. Nicky Martin tried an audacious overhead kick and Liam Browne headed wide from Donaldson's corner. Frustration set in amongst the Town ranks, partly down to their own poor start and partly down to a fussy ref and shouts of 'we haven't come to watch you ref' from the stands summed things up perfectly.

 

Chris Dickinson tried his luck from twenty five yards but Carl Robinson did well to get down and make the save. Further disruption followed when Mark Dixon was cautioned then Lee Moore couldn't continue the game, feeling the effects from the knock he took at Easington.

 

Norton searched for the second goal with only fifteen minutes to go before half time. Laing headed wide from another Donaldson corner and the second goal came via calamitous circumstances. Stockburn's disastrous goalkick dropped to Caley's feet and he was left with a simple tap in to score. On reflection the scoreline was deserved but the second goal stunned the Town faithful. The blues did end the half with a fine move involving, Jamie Davis, Ashley Lavan, and Hutchinson getting the shot away but Robinson pushed the ball behind for a corner.

 

HT Billingham Town 0 Norton 2

 

Luke Hogan and Davis swapped wings as neither had much joy in the first half. The switch nearly reaped an instant reward with Grant Hickman clearing over his own crossbar from Hogan's low drive. On fifty minutes, Hogan lofted the ball over Browne and Hutchinson was unlucky to see his shot land on top of the netting. Town were dominating in terms of possession but were struggling to create chances of substance but when opportunities arose, the home side failed to convert them. A three man move involving Dickinson and Hutchinson gave Hogan the chance to pull one back but Robinson thwarted the teenager. On sixty three minutes, Lambert replaced Dickinson; Mitchell also went into Stephenson's notebook for a foul on Lambert and that was soon followed by a caution for Stephen Oakley. With ten minutes left, Town were still plugging away and Clayton MacDonald came on for Lavan. Stockburn did well to deny James Marley; Town cleared their lines, Lambert layed the ball to DAVIS and his graceful thirty yard shot left Robinson flailing in mid-air.

 

Norton looked rattled but any chance of an equaliser ended when Oakley received a second yellow card followed by a red. Town resorted to long balls as time ebbed away and The Ancients saw out the injury time to hold on for victory.

 

FT Billingham Town 1 Norton 2