Gillford Park Stadium – Ebac Northern League Division 1.
Attendance – 27.
Hebburn Town slumped to a deserved defeat in Carlisle, the first time this season the Hornets have dropped three points on their travels, yet still managed to climb the table by one place to tenth with clubs in the top half of the Ebac Northern League Division 1 being packed so close together.
Despite the South Tynesiders hitting the woodwork four times, big spending Nation were the only team in the contest on a heavy, energy sapping pitch – the surface passed a Saturday morning inspection following heavy Cumbrian rain throughout the Friday.
Big spending Nation have been in the news all season having attracted players with Football League experience since the American based millionaire Frank Lynch invested in the club, and they started their day with the signing of Nathan Porritt, once a highly rated Middlesbrough youngster and who spent the summer on trial at West Ham United and they immediately took control of the game as Hebburn struggled to get going.
The Hornets, who due to late injuries and illness had only been able to travel with two available substitutes, had to make one early change when Stuart Nicholson pulled-up with a reoccurrence of a recent thigh injury and was replaced by James Luccock.
Hebburn’s strength this season has been their remarkable team spirit which in their past two games had lifted them to late equalisers, yet once David Lyn opened the scoring for the home side there was a feeling that the game was one too many and that defeat was inevitable, despite Dan Kirkup and Liam McBryde hitting the woodwork. Unusually for the visitors, they failed to match their opponents for workrate.
In front of a small crowd of 29, the home side added a second goal through Jeff Smith and then wrapped the game up through a Michael Reed strike to give new manager Tony Lee, who preceded Ian Bogie as Gateshead manager, his first victory having been installed in the dugout earlier in the week.
Hebburn boss Paul Bennett, having had time to think about the performance, reflected that: “[assistant manager] Dean [Nicholson] and I have a week now to fully reflect on the opening two months of the season and the 12 league games that we have played. Already we have discussed certain things about this defeat and we know where we need to improve and what needs to change”.
Bennett also conceded that there was a need to improve the squad, despite what has been an impressive start to the season for the newly promoted club who many tipped for an immediate return to Division 2 despite having not seen the team play.
“I’ll freshen up the squad up with a few new faces, hopefully in time for the Norton home game next Saturday. I have already told the players what we expect and I will have a meeting with them all on Tuesday to deliver my assessment of the season so far.”
The South Tynesiders have failed to win at home all season. With the Shildon game postponed on Tuesday night following the tragic death of South Shields treasurer Kevin Law and subsequent cancellation of the Mariners vs Shildon FA Vase clash on Saturday which will now take place midweek, the Hornets have seven days to prepare for the visit of Norton before they then face a home clash against Whitley Bay a week on Tuesday.
|1. Dan Regan|
|3. Carl Paterson|
|4. Jonny Davis|
|5. Paul Wardle|
|5. Dan Kirkup|
|6. Chris Jewels|
|7. Stephen Forster||Yellow Card|
|9. Stuart Nicholson|
|9. Liam McBryde|
|10. Aaron Croft|
|8. Paul Gardiner|
|11. James Luccock|