Billingham Town Football Club
(14) Jack Connor
(32) Luke Hogan
(36) Craig Hutchinson
(42) Elliott Beddows
(44) Craig Hutchinson
A fair crowd witnessed a one sided Derby at Teesdale Park on Friday night. Town brought a good following and they were rewarded with an emphatic victory in a game which was effectively over by half time. Goals from Jack Connor, Luke Hogan, Elliott Beddow and a brace from Craig Hutchinson, all inside the opening forty five minutes ended the game as a spectacle. With the game lost, credit has to be given to Thornaby who came out for the second half and competed throughout but you have to be worried if you were a home supporter. During the last couple of seasons, Thornaby had made great strides on and off the pitch but the club are now in serious danger of facing a relegation battle. To emphasise the precarious position Thornaby find themselves in, the substitutes bench contained one outfield player, a back up goalkeeper and coach Nathan Porritt who was in no condition to take any part in the game. We have already lost Stokesley to the Wearside League and it would be sad to see another North Yorkshire club drop out of the Northern league.
There were two changes to the starting eleven that cruelly lost to Durham City in midweek. Mattie Crossen made his Town debut and replaced the suspended Stephen Oakley in central defence. Jamie Davis returned to the starting eleven which meant Chris Dickinson had to be satisfied with a place amongst the substitutes.
Billingham began the game the more confident of the two sides and were incredibly unlucky not to take the lead after just six minutes. Mark Dixon's far post cross looked to be going over the crossbar but keeper Daniel Bowman misjudged the trajectory and the ball struck the underside of the bar. The ball fell kindly for Davis who took the shot on the half volley and Stephen Morrison did well to clear off his line. Town had good claims for a penalty on ten minutes when Hogan was upended by Morrison; however, referee Paul Cooper only gave a free kick outside the box and issued a yellow card to the fortunate centre half.
Town didn't have long to wait before they took a deserved lead. A throw in on the right side involving Lee Moore and Hutchinson ended with CONNOR firing home from the edge of the box. Unfortunately, Crossen had to exit the pitch after a promising opening twenty five minute performance. The injury meant Town were missing three centre half's - Stephen Oakley and the injured Harry Taylor. Gary Redman replaced Crossen which meant Moore switched from right back to the vacated central position.
Over half an hour gone, Billingham were now in total control of the game and HOGAN put Town further ahead with a left footed strike from eighteen yards. On thirty five minutes, Town were three goals to the good. Another attacking move from Connor and Davis set up HUTCHINSON to score a much needed goal from open play. Thornaby were now facing a defensive position akin to the Alamo. Rowbotham's powerful header struck the inside of the post and moments later BEDDOW scored his first goal of the season with a fierce right footed strike inside the box. Chances kept on coming and Hogan was another player to hit the woodwork and just before half time, HUTCHINSON finished well after a neat lay off from Davis.
HT Thornaby 0 Billingham Town 5
Town were so rampant in the first half that the potential was there for Thornaby to suffer the infamy of a double figures scoreline. Thankfully for the home side, the second half onslaught didn't materialise. Infact Thornaby had several half chances, the best of which fell for Nathan Evans but the new signing from Marske dragged one effort wide and another low strike was comfortably saved by Tom Dawson. Further disruption followed for Town when Moore had to come off with a knock and Matty Hawkins was introduced to the fray. Clayton MacDonald dropped to right back and Redman switched over to the middle. Because of the forced changes, Town could never reach the heights of the first half and despite having plenty of possession, chances were few and far between but Town were playing within themselves. By the end of the night, Town had climbed up to seventh in the table and now have two home league games to look forward too against Bedlington Terriers and Alnwick Town. Sandwiched between those two fixtures are the cup games against Alnwick and the eagerly awaited trip to Ashton Town.
FT Thornaby 0 Billingham Town 5