1. McLarden

2. D.Hillerby

3. O'Sullivan

4. Seaton

5. Rowbotham

6. Huggins

7. Langstaff

8. Johnston

9. Steel

10. Liddle (C)

11. Robinson


12. Peacock

14. J.Hillerby

15. Brunskill

16. Taylor

17. Wilson

Tom Dawson .1

Lee Moore .2

Mark Dixon .3

Jack Connor .4

Stephen Oakley (C) .5

Matthew Crossen .6

Jamie Davis .7

Chris Dickinson .8

Craig Hutchinson .9

Elliott Beddow .10

Luke Hogan .11


Ashley Lavan .12

Daniel Rowbotham .14

Clayton McDonald .15

Matthew Osmond .16

Gary Redman .17

Match Report


On social media, people were building this game up as an 'El Clasico'! With the wind, lack of entertainment and a game played at a snails pace, it was more like an 'El Fiasco'! Synthonia were robust but lacked creativity and Town were equally guilty in that department. Manager Barry Oliver decided to go with an attacking line up with Elliott Beddow and Jamie Davis reintroduced to the side but Town never really got into their stride or able to build any rhythm. Synthonia nullified the threat of Chris Dickinson and Craig Hutchinson was man marked by Josh Rowbotham with two other defenders tucking in as extra insurance. Inevitably, Synners lacked numbers going forward particularly in the first half as they were content with playing on the counter attack. They were more ambitious in the second period but even then, Thomas Dawson was virtually redundant apart from commanding his area and collecting numerous high balls into the box. At the other end Jack McClaren was a virtual spectator; protected by an impressive back four. After the game, there was disappointment from both sets of fans. Towns feeling that they didn't play anywhere near to their full potential and some Synners fans misguidedly believed they had dominated the game and only one team had turned up! I would argue that both sides cancelled out each other and when the playmakers are denied time and space then you get 0.0 scorelines and this was such a game. Town will be happier with the point knowing a defeat would hinder their progress in the league. While Town have an important Vase game on January 7th, Synners entertain Stockton Town and the blues don't start their 2017 league campaign until January 14th at home to Heaton Stannington.

Synners started the brighter of the two sides with a couple of half chances. Macaulay Langstaff shot wide from an acute angle and Nathan Steel had a free header but his effort lacked power. The game was a stop-start affair, not helped by a lack of ball boys and a tendency from the Synners players to delay their throw ins (Town are known for quick starts!). The tactic worked until Town improved after twenty five minutes of uneventful football. Davis did well to turn inside the box but his curling strike was comfortably dealt with by McClaren. Davis was shown a yellow card for clipping Langstaff's heels on thirty six minutes and some Synners fans wanted a red card but the player was heading away from goal. With five minutes of the half left, Chay Liddle shot wide from twenty yards and Davis hooked his shot over the crossbar after Dickinson's free kick was only half cleared. Town had their best chance on the stroke of half time when Mattie Crossen was left unmarked at the back post but his volley lacked direction.


HT Billingham Synthonia 0 Billingham Town 0


Town had the first chance of the second half. Dickinson floated the ball over the Synners defence and although Beddow managed to get on the end of it, his outstretched leg could only guide the ball out of play. Synners reacted straight away; Steel evaded the offside trap and managed to get his shot away but the ball drifted away from goal. The home side were putting Town under some pressure and Langstaff saw his strike deflected wide for a corner. On fifty six minutes, Liam O'Sullivan played a dangerous ball from the left but Evans was unable to get on the end of it. Langstaff was becoming a nuisance and it came as no surprise when Mark Dixon was cautioned for a foul on the winger. Town finally managed a breakaway on fifty nine minutes with Hutchinson holding the ball up for Jack Connor. The midfielder let one rip which was enough for McClaren to dive to his right but thankfully for him the shot was blocked. At the other end Langstaff dragged his shot wide and O'Sullivan saw his rising effort fly into Dawson's hands. On seventy four minutes, David Hillerby should have done better with a free header that went wide as clear chances were hard to come by. Hutchinson received a yellow for a late challenge as did Liddle for a foul on Dawson. News had come in that former Synner, Max Craggs had scored two goals from free kicks for Stockton Town and they could have done with his skills on eighty seven minutes. Liddle was fouled several yards outside the box but Steve Huggins strike went straight into the wall. And in added on injury time it looked like Town may have grabbed an unlikely winner when Hutchinson went wide of McClaren but by the time the striker got his shot away the Synners defence managed to block the strike. So, it wasn't a classic and highlights were few and far between but Town can be satisfied with a tactical point in difficult conditions and against a good side.


FT Billingham Synthonia 0 Billingham Town 0


Graham Hutchinson

Press officer