1-1

Stockton

Town

Billingham

Town

 

(73) Kallum Hannah

 

Stephen Oakley (9)

1. Tom Dawson

2. Lee Moore

3. Mark Dixon

4. Jack Connor

5. Stephen Oakley (C)

6. Daniel Rowbotham

7. Jamie Davis

8. Chris Dickinson

9. Craig Hutchinson

10. Lee Jones

11. Luke Hogan

 

12. Clayton McDonald

14. Elliott Beddow

15. Ashley Lavan

16. Matthew Hawkins

17. Lewis Green

Michael Arthur .1

Matthew Garbutt .2

Daniel O'Brien .3

Alan Cossavella .4

Adam Nicholson .5

Thomas coulthard .6

Joseph Scaife-Wheatley .7

Fred Woodhouse .8

Joseph Carter .9

.Kallum Hannah .10

Tony Johnson .11

 

James Ward .12

Chris Dunwell .13

Sonni Coleman .14

Steven Robert .15

Joe Posthill .16

Match Report

 

It was a day of firsts! First time we have played Stockton Town in the Northern league. First edition of our new programme and the first days sale of our new enamel badges. So it was fitting that this inaugural fixture should end with the number ones for both sides. Stockton will be happy with first position in the table and Town will be ecstatic with the performance of our number one, Thomas Dawson who was yet again outstanding in goal. Stockton have had many plaudits in recent weeks, deservedly so but its also worth bearing in mind that the club had built a squad in recent years that was geared for Division one football. For me, it is no surprise that they are top of the table with the quality they have at their disposal. And it's credit to the way Town played that Stockton resorted to launching long balls over the top after their natural possession game proved to be ineffective. Not since the 1.1 draw with Blyth Town have Stockton been in a vulnerable situation and you have to admire the way they adapted in the second half. However it was an effervescent Billingham Town who started the game on the front foot with captain Stephen Oakley towering over a static defence to head home. If Craig Hutchinson had converted a glorious chance minutes later then Stockton's unbeaten start to the season would have been in serious jeopardy but even the imperious Dawson had no answer to Kallum Hannah's well taken equaliser. One thing is for sure, Synthonia won't have it all their own way on Wednesday night when they travel to Bishopton Road for a rearranged league fixture!!

 

The Town management kept faith with the starting eleven that defeated Hebburn in midweek and it proved to be a sound decision as Billingham took the lead on nine minutes. Stockton clearly hadn't done their homework on the productive Dickinson-Oakley set piece routine. Chris Dickinson's corner to the back post dropped perfectly for an unmarked OAKLEY to score his fourth goal of the season and the third with his head. Town should have doubled their lead two minutes later after a sublime move involving Dickinson and Lee Jones which gave Hutchinson a clear sight on goal but his weak effort went straight to Michael Arthur. Town continued to dominate matters and another Dickinson corner caused chaos in the Stockton box and Arthur did well to push away Dan Rowbotham's strike.

 

After a nervy opening twenty five minutes, Stockton were starting to build a bit of possession football without seriously testing Dawson in goal. Infact It took an underhit back pass from Oakley for Stockton to get a shot on goal but Dawson came to the rescue as he closed down the onrushing Joseph Scaife-Wheatley. Opportunities were at a premium but the battle between Matty Garbutt and Luke Hogan was the highlight of the first half with both players giving as much as they got. On the stroke of half time Hutchinson fed Hogan on the left wing with Garbutt in close attendance but the diminutive winger got his shot away and Arthur was well positioned to make the save.

 

HT Billingham Town 1 Stockton Town 0

 

Town were forced to make an early change with Elliott Beddow replacing Jones who was suffering from a dead leg. As expected, Stockton came out for the second half with more vigour but were limited to half chances and deflected shots as Billingham defended in numbers. Town's best moments were coming from set pieces but Stockton's defence were in no mood of a repeat of the first goal. On 71 minutes, Dawson somehow denied Scaife-Wheatley at point blank range which left Hannah shaking his head in disbelief after he thought he had a goal assist to his name. A minute later Hannah evaded the offside trap and calmly placed the ball past Dawson to put Stockton back in the game. The away side now had the momentum but they couldn't break down a stubborn Town rearguard but the game took a further twist in the final five minutes. All of a sudden Billingham poured forward in search of a winner. Jack Connor flicked the ball over the heads of several defenders but substitute Ashley Lavan could only guide the ball over the crossbar. Deep into added time, Dickinson had one last chance from a corner kick to send in a good delivery and he managed to find Jamie Davis but the attacking midfielder could only hook his shot high and wide. Overall, an enjoyable game with the draw being the fair result.

 

FT Billingham Town 1 Stockton Town 1

 

Graham Hutchinson

Press Officer