Brandon United 1 Hebburn Town 3
Saturday 16th September, 2017 Kick Off 3.00PM
Hebburn Town travelled to north-west Durham, lying in 4th place in the league, to face their opponents Brandon United who went in to the game 4th bottom. The “Hornets” were eager to extend their winning run to four games to maintain momentum and to keep in touch with the leaders in an extremely competitive league.
Keeper Steve Hubery was not available for the game, with Lee Burrell donning the keeper’s jersey; with Gary Shaw out with a slight injury, manager Scott Oliver shuffled his squad, with Jack Donaghy joining Channon North up front and the experienced new signing Davy Coulson, playing alongside Rhys Williams in central defence. Craig Malley returned after a couple of weeks out.
Hebburn kicked off in squally showers and immediately put the home team under pressure and in the first fifteen minutes played some good football which could have delivered a couple of goals. In the first attack Callum Smith was unlucky with an effort which beat everyone to flash across the six-yard box. This was followed by a Scott Wallace which went over the top, when he should have hit the target, and when a great through ball from Kris Hughes found Jack Donaghy, the striker beat the keeper, but missed the target by inches. Another effort from Coulson cleared the bar before Smith was brought down as he broke into the box for a clear penalty.
Kris Hughes made no mistake from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way with a firm drive to open the score.
This led to more pressure on the Brandon defence, with Kanda, Jones and Hughes driving forward, supported by Malley and Wallace on the flanks. Malley was inches over with a 25 yards effort and when a great cross from Hughes found Smith sliding in at the far post a goal looked certain, but somehow missed the target.
However, the pressure was not delivering more goals and Hebburn Town were reduced to ten men after 40 minutes when Peter Jones received his marching orders for a silly offence right under the nose of the referee, who had no alternative but the red card.
Hebburn continued to press, however, and should have doubled their tally right on half time when Channon North rose to meet a great cross from Hughes but planted his header over the bar.
As the whistle blew for half time the “Hornets” left the pitch wondering why they were only one goal up against a Brandon side that at that stage had not had a shot on target, Of course another concern was that they were down to ten men.
However, the ten men continued to apply pressure as a Jack Donaghy effort went just wide of the upright at the start of the second period. After 55 minutes Callum Smith latched on to a through ball from North and chipped the keeper with a very cool finish to double the score and virtually sealed the game three minutes later; this time Jack Donaghy slotted a great ball through to North and the striker took it in his stride to beat the keeper with a firm drive.
After 65 minutes team numbers were equalised at ten each when a Brandon defender was given a second yellow card.
As Hebburn continued to press, Kris Hughes curled a free kick just over the bar and shortly after went on a great run past Brandon defenders to pull a great ball back from the bye-line when first Chris Douglas, and then Donaghy forced the home keeper into two excellent saves. Scott Oliver brought on Bickerstaff for Malley and Wightman for North, for the last 15 minutes as Hebburn ran the clock down, but in the final minutes Brandon almost scored a second when a header from a corner struck the cross bar.
A good and valuable 3-1victory for the Hornets; arguably they could have scored more goals but this important three points lifts them up to third position and still very much in contention with the leaders at the top of the table.
Next Saturday Hebburn Town play host to Newcastle Benfield from the Northern League First Division in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase. A very exciting tie and a great challenge for the Hornets against top class opposition. A mark of Benfield’s quality is their 2-1 victory last Saturday in the FA Cup, over Ashton Town from the Evostik Premier Division, which is two levels above the Northern League First Division.
A great game in prospect so get along to Hebburn Sports Ground to support the Hornets.
|2. Craig Mally||Yellow Card|
|3. Scott Wallace|
|5. Rhys John David Williams|
|5A. David Coulson|
|6. Jack Donaghy|
|7. Callum Smith||Goal|
|8. Mechack Bolenge Kaanda|
|10. Channon North||Goal|
|11. Kristopher Hughes||Goal|
|13. Lee Burrell||Yellow Card|
|45. Peter Jones||Red Card|
|4. Iain Bickerstaff||Sub2|
|17. Christopher Feasey|
|18. Christopher Douglas||Sub7|
|44. Jonathen Robin Wightman||Yellow CardSub10|
|47. Riccardo Tanoh|