4-2

Willington

AFC

Billingham

Town

Christopher Sawyer .1

Graham Stephenson .2

Bailey Hunter .3

Adam Comby .4

(C) Chris Storey .5

Lewis Milner .6

Luke Black .7

Gavin Brown .8

Jason White .9

.Michael Brown10

Reece Brown.11

 

Isam Mohamad.12

Luke Cowie.13

Andrew Kokes.14

Harry Lambard.15

 

 

(41) Lewis Milner

 

(75) Chris Storey

Chris Dickinson (7)

Lee Jones (34)

 

Chris Dickinson (59)

 

Jack Connor (77)

 

1. Thomas Dawson

2. Daniel Rowbotham

3. Mark Dixon

4. Jack Connor

5. Stephen Oakley (C)

6. Harry Taylor

7. Chris Dickinson

8. Clayton McDonald

9. Jamie Davis

10. Ashley Lavan

11. Lee Jones

 

12. Elliott Beddow

14. Luke Hogan

15. Daniel Lambert

16. Connor Dunlavey

17. Matthew Hawkins

Match Report

 

A cracking FA Vase Cup tie ended with Town deservedly going through to the next round to face Bishop Auckland in two weeks time. Town saved their best home performance of the season for today, away from the pressures of the league. There were similarities to the recent league encounter between the two sides in as much as the scoreline was not a fair reflection of the game. Willington goalkeeper Chris Sawyer kept his team in the game during the first half and also pulled off a world class save from Chris Dickinson in the second half. Fair play to Willington who battled away bravely to the end but Town had too much in reserve for the result to be in any doubt. The blues will now travel to Heritage Park after Bishop Auckland's 3.0 victory at Bedlington Terriers. Bishop's will be odds on to progress to the 1st round but Town will be eager to test themselves against quality opposition on a Friday night under the lights.

 

As expected the coaching staff made several changes in personnel. Thomas Dawson was a handed a debut in goal and he will be looking forward to the second qualifying round where he will face his old club. Midfielder Jack Connor slotted back in the middle and Jamie Davis pushed further forward in the absence of Craig Hutchinson. Ashley Lavan started on the left side so Luke Hogan was given a rest. Gary Redman joined up with the reserves and scored in the 2.0 win against Thornaby Dubliners.

 

Town wasted no time with their intentions as they created several chances in the opening minutes of the game. Lee Jones skewed wide and Chris Dickinson had a close range effort saved by Sawyer. On eight minutes, Stephen Oakley struck the post with a powerful header and it was no surprise when Town took the lead a minute later. Connor won the ball in central midfield and after fine work by Ashley Lavan and Jamie Davis; DICKINSON fired home from just inside the box.

 

Although Town were in control of the game, the away side did have their moments. Michael Brown hacked wide after a defensive miss clearance and Jason White headed straight at Dawson from a Reece Brown corner.

 

Willington were struggling to cope with Dickinson who was finding pockets of space. Sawyer pushed away one strike from twenty five yards and then brilliantly denied Lavan from point blank range from Dickinson's corner. Sawyer needed lengthy treatment for what appeared to be contact lens issues but Town didn't have long to wait in extending their lead. Superb flowing football from Lavan and Davis gave JONES a run on goal and he calmly side footed home.

 

Willington got back into the tie on forty one minutes. A flighted ball into the box was headed across goal by White and Lewis Milner rose highest to beat Dawson. Town reacted straight away but Sawyer denied Jones a second just before half time.

 

HT Billingham Town 2 Willington 1

 

On resumption of play, Town were back on the offensive. Jones skewed wide after good play by Davis and Jones was halted in his tracks by the outstanding Sawyer after a fine run from Dickinson. Sawyer then pulled off a world class save to keep out Dickinson's twenty five yard strike; somehow getting a finger tip to the ball and onto the post.

 

On this form, Dickinson will take some stopping and the challenge for him will be to maintain this level of performance for the rest of the season. And he capped off a near perfect virtuoso show with a sublime free kick on fifty nine minutes. DICKINSON nonchalantly stepped up to take it and left Sawyer stranded on his goaline. The number seven then turned Milner on the edge of the box and shot wide and followed that with a precise dink over the defence but once again, Sawyer kept out Jones shot with his legs.

 

Credit to Willington who plugged away and they pulled another goal back on seventy six minutes. Dan Rowbotham's headed clearance dropped to Chris Storey and he took the ball on the half volley leaving Dawson grasping at thin air.

 

Town regained their two goal advantage two minutes later. Substitute, Connor Dunlavey picked up the ball deep in his own half and sprinted away, evading two challenges to set up CONNOR to score. Unfortunately, Dunlavey pulled up with a reoccurring hamstring strain but did show immense promise during his seventeen minute cameo role.

 

Willington pushed forward, trying to salvage something from the game but only had one half chance for their efforts; Graham Stephenson heading over from Luke Black's cross.

 

FT Billingham Town 4 Willington 2

 

Graham Hutchinson

Press Officer