The last few days have been frustrating for me in terms of football. Having done the Scottish groundhop last weekend, the plan was to do games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I didn’t plan on doing a game tonight really. On Tuesday, Billingham Town vs Chester-le-Street Town was the plan. But, with a few things going on, I didn’t get. Then, Brandon United vs Easington Colliery was the plan on Wednesday. I was actually really looking forward to that one, but it was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. Yes, it had been raining that morning, but it hadn’t rained for at least a week before that. It mustn’t take much to waterlog the pitch at Brandon. And, last night, the plan was either Consett vs Puerto del Carmen or the Durham FA Women’s Cup final. But, in the end, we had a meeting at Easington and so I was there instead of a game. That meant I hadn’t done any games midweek. So, having missed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I was always going to get to this one tonight. Mind, I did also go to Sedgefield Races today and there wasn’t a great deal of time between the two.
Ten-man Northallerton come from behind to win at Billingham Synthonia
Ten-man Northallerton Town came from behind to win 1-2 at Billingham Synthonia on Friday night.
Michael Joseph put Synthonia ahead in the 11th minute, and when Kerry Hedley was sent off for Northallerton in the 54th minute, Synthonia were clear favourites.
However, Nicky Martin pulled the visitors level in the 66th minute, and Damon Reaks netted the winner 11 minutes later.
Upon kick-off, it was Billingham Synthonia who started the brighter. Inside the opening five minutes, Synners went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. A clever flick played Louis Johnson in and his stabbed effort beat the ‘keeper. It trickled towards goal with Northallerton helplessly watching, but to their relief, the ball bounced back off the post.
Only two minutes later, the post once again denied Johnson. This time, Connor Smith’s initial effort was saved, and Johnson’s rebound came back off the post.
In the 11th minute, Synners deservedly took the lead. Captain Ben Pollock whipped a free-kick into the penalty area and Joseph stuck out a foot to prod home.
Now ahead, Billingham Synthonia went in search of a second. Having set one up, Pollock tried his own luck in the 13th minute. He went from goal with a powerful effort from 30 yards, but it was too high.
Johnson then bundled an awkward first time effort wide after a low cross had picked him out, before Northallerton created their first half chance. A well worked move eventually found Hedley, but his shot was saved.
Following a quiet spell, a deep Synthonia cross picked out Joseph at the back post, but his header proved an easy save for Tom Dawson.
“Referee, I think your liner is broken,” was a rather amusing shout from the Northallerton dugout late in the first half. The referee seemed to play on despite the assistant flagging for offside, and he kept his flag raised for quite some time. It was all sorted in the end though.
With the final chance of the first half, Synthonia’s Johnson brought down a deep free-kick and laid it off for Matty Wilson on the edge of the area, but his effort was too high.
Following the break, the red card was the first bit of action. It was a ball over the top that gave Hedley a chase, and he had every right to challenge Synthonia ‘keeper Callum Roberts. It was a proper 50/50 and Roberts got there ever so slightly before Hedley. Obviously, a clatter followed. Assistant referee Andrew Broadbent seemed to be vigorously waving his flag even before the collision, and after it had happened, referee Stephen Birkett went to his assistant. In the end, Hedley was shown a very harsh red card and Northallerton were down to 10 men.
With Synners looking to exploit Northallerton’s one man deficit, a quick move picked out Cameron Wilson but his effort was deflected agonisingly wide.
Now a goal down and a man down, Northallerton suddenly rallied, and they pulled level in the 66th minute. An attack down the wing eventually found Martin, and his composed finished picked out the far bottom corner to pull the North Yorkshire outfit level.
Andrew Ramsbottom then went close for the visitors, before Richard Walker had an effort blocked.
Synthonia then had a decent spell of possession of their own.
Matty Wilson’s teasing free-kick just needed the slightest of touches, before Will Gowan totally missed what looked a simple chance after a ball across the face of goal had picked him out.
Then, we just shy of 15 minutes to play, Northallerton went up the other end and took the lead. Billingham Synthonia looked to have dealt with a dangerous Northallerton attack, but an attempted clearance ricocheted off a Synners man and a lucky bounce played Reaks in. He kept his cool to slot home from 10 yards to put the visitors ahead.
Synthonia pushed forward in the final 10 minutes, but they didn’t create many chances.
In the 86th minute, Northallerton could have wrapped up the points. A route one ball from their ‘keeper bounced over the Synners defence to play Martin in, but a good save from Roberts kept his side within one.
A crucial block prevented Billingham Synthonia in injury time, and there was to be no equaliser as ten-man Northallerton took the points.
Full-time: Billingham Synthonia 1-2 Northallerton Town
Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Thornaby tomorrow.
Billingham Synthonia: Roberts, Frazer, Tiffany, Weatherald (Dalton, 90′), Joseph, Cameron Wilson (Garton, 65′), Matty Wilson, Pollock (c), Johnson, Smith, Bligh (Gowan, 72′)
Unused subs: Gnaglo, McArdle
Northallerton Town: Dawson, Ramsbottom, Pattinson, Cheeseman, Jones (c), Elgie, Reaks, Rowe, Walker (McGlade, 56′), Hedley, Martin
Unused subs: Hubery, Keogh, Swales, Peacock
Admission: £6 adults, £3 concessions
Can of Pepsi Max and Mars Bar: £1.80
Referee: Stephen Birkett