Easington colliery Versus Hebburn Town
Monday August 28th Kick Off 1.00pm
The Hornets travelled to the East Durham coast on Bank Holiday afternoon to face Easington Colliery, in an important Northern League fixture, to keep their momentum going and ensure that they remain in the bunch of teams at the top of the table.
Hebburn, in fifth position took on their opponents, who were lying in 12th place, and who Hebburn have not beaten in the league since Easington were promoted to the Northern League three seasons ago.
Scott Oliver had regulars Craig Malley, Scott Wallace, and Rhys Williams back in the squad after missing the game against Heaton Stannington.
The game kicked off on a sunny afternoon, but very blustery conditions were sure to impact the game. With the wind at their back the Hornets dominated the first half, playing some good controlled football without always resorting to use the advantages of a very strong wind.
Hebburn started well with the trio of Scott Wallace, Peter Jones and Gary Shaw combining down the left flank-a combination that would cause trouble to the Easington defence all afternoon. After four minutes Jones slotted a great ball through which found Shaw who advanced into the box but fired just past the post with Ex-Hebburn keeper Kyle Donaldson beaten. Two minutes later Shaw headed a fine Craig Malley cross just wide of the upright.
On quarter of an hour Paul Chow jarred his knee in a tackle, and in some discomfort had to call it a day, with substitute Rhys Williams coming on to play in central defence and Jack Donaghy moving up to centre forward.
Within a five minute period Hebburn scorned several chances to take the lead, although the wind and the slightly length grass were contributory factors. Callum Smith should have done better on a couple of occasions when he got behind the home defence and a move between Shaw and Donaghy, ended with the Shaw striking the top of the cross bar, again with the keeper well beaten. Missed chances would be a feature of the Hornet’s game.
Easington had made little attacking impact against the strong wind, but almost upset the applecart when a clearance by Steve Hubery was blocked and the ball screwed just wide of the Hornet’s goal after 25 minutes. Still Hebburn pressed forward and a clever chip by Peter Jones might have found the target on another day, but the wind carried the ball over the keeper and over the bar. A minute later a strike by Donaghy from the edge of the box was well held by Donaldson and as the half drew to a close Shaw once again struck the wood work.
No score at half time-would Hebburn Town regret the many missed opportunities and would Easington take advantage of the very strong wind, now at their backs??
To their credit the Hornet’s continued to control the game and force Easington on the back foot. The trio of Wallace, Jones and Shaw continued to create problems for the Easington defence and Mechack Kanda totally dominated the middle of the park with his strength in tackling, and forceful runs.
In the first fifteen minutes of the second half, however further chances were missed as the team played good controlled football as the wind got stronger. After, 25 minutes Jason Blackburn came on for the injured Stuart Bramley, and took up the central striker’s role as Donaghy moved back to central defence. At the same time Chris Feasey was replaced by Chris Douglas. Douglas almost opened the scoring shortly after coming on and then Gary Shaw very deservedly gave the Hornet’s the advantage. After 76 minutes, Blackburn picked up the ball just inside the Easington half and broke clear of the defenders to release Shaw on the left hand side of the box; this time Shaw made no mistake as he struck the ball wide of Donaldson into the top corner of the goal.
Buoyed by a goal at last, Hebburn exerted more pressure down both flanks and after 83 minutes Wallace made a tremendous run into the Easington box and his cross from the bye-line was met by Malley almost under the crossbar, but somehow his effort went over the bar. Almost immediately Easington almost scored when a long ball cleared the defence leaving Hubery facing a one-on-one with an Easington forward who went round the keeper and shot towards an open goal; fortunately, the alert Chris Douglas raced back to clear the ball off the line to prevent the equaliser.
Hebburn deservedly took all three points but a single goal victory was scant reward for their dominance and the glut of chances that they created throughout the game. Nevertheless, Scott Oliver will be pleased with three points and another clean sheet, especially at Easington.
|1. Hubery Steven Michael|
|2. Craig Mally|
|3. Scott Wallace|
|6. Jack Donaghy|
|7. Callum Smith|
|12. Gary Shaw||Goal|
|8. Mechack Bolenge Kaanda|
|9. Paul John Chow|
|17. Christopher Feasey|
|17. Samuel Stuart Bramley|
|45. Peter Jones|
|5. Rhys John David Williams|
|16. Jason Blackburn|
|18. Christopher Douglas|
|27. James Talbot|