Crook Town Versus Hebburn Town
November 11TH 2017 Kick Off 3.00PM
Hebburn Town travelled to North West Durham for a Northern League Second Division fixture, lying in fourth position and on the back of an eight game unbeaten run, to face a Crook Town side lying in 16th position. However, the Hornets had been through an uncertain spell when in the last six games they have gained only six points, scoring 8 goals and conceding four.
Unfortunately, the game against Crook would follow a similar pattern to recent games, with Hebburn dominating the game from start to finish and scorning numerous chances to take all three points.
From the off the Hornets put the home side under pressure as both Wightman and Shaw drove into the box, with the keeper narrowly getting to the ball first and then new signing Anthony Myers had an effort just off the target. After 5 minutes Shaw attacked again and gained a corner, which was headed over the top by Chow. Heads were scratched by the Hebburn supporters when in the 8th minute the Crook keeper failed to gather the ball from a corner and within seconds Chow smashed it against the underside of the bar, the rebound was headed goal wards and the keeper pulled off a fine save, and finally the loose ball was thrashed over the bar.
Hebburn continued to apply great pressure as Crook were pinned in their own half. Jonny Wightman broke through and looked certain to put the Hornets in front, to be denied by the linesman’s flag for offside and then Shaw, in a fine move involving several Hebburn players, drew a good save from the keeper with a solid header.
A minute later in the 25th minute a long ball from the Crook defence was misjudged by Jack Donaghy, and ex-Hebburn striker Kyle Morris latched on to the ball, taking it round Steve Hubery and slotting it home from 15 yards to give the home side the lead with their first effort on goal. Deja- vu!!!!!!
Although falling behind, the pattern of Hebburn pressure and possession continued. After half an hour, Myers headed a long throw from Wightman just past the upright with the keeper beaten and then Paul Chow had two half chances in succession from Craig Malley crosses. Malley, was continually pressing down the right flank and from one of his crosses Ross Toward headed over.
Myers had a flick from Chow taken off his toes by the advancing keeper, who had been in the thick of the action throughout the first half, but was beaten by a drive from Gary Shaw, from another Malley cross, only for the ball to hit a “Hebburn Player” and sail over the top.
As the half drew to a close, the home keeper pulled off a tremendous save when climbing to his right to palm a great volley from Wightman over the top.
Apart from the Crook goal there had only been one more effort, from Morris, which cleared the bar. Yet, it is doubtful if the Hornets have enjoyed as much possession in any other game this season.
The second half, unfortunately, would follow the same pattern of play, with Hebburn totally on top and Crook not troubling Hubery in the Hebburn goal. Both Wightman and Myers were making strong runs and controlling midfield, Toward and Malley were getting down the wings and sending in many crosses, the defence was not under any pressure, yet frustration and anxiety was creeping through the side and in the middle of the second half, play became somewhat sloppy and more casual.
Still, there were missed opportunities, as Shaw and Chow could not get the ball past the home keeper.
Manager, Scott Oliver, brought on all three substitutes, Callum Smith, Peter Jones and Jason Blackburn, to replace Hughes, Kanda and Shaw, but the Hornets could not breach the Crook goal. In the final quarter Hebburn upped the pressure even further but failed to score with three good chances, as first Callum Smith mishit his shot from very close in allowing the keeper to gather the ball, and then Craig Malley looked certain to score but headed inches over with the keeper beaten. In a final throw of the dice Steve Hubery raced up for a corner and although, beating everyone to the ball, could not manage to hit the target as the ball rose over the bar.
A very disappointing defeat; it must be said however that their opponents fought to the final whistle. New manager Chris Lax has been in charge for only 5 games and will be delighted with the 3 points.
The Hornets remain in fourth position, in a very tight battle at the top of the league. Manager Scott Oliver must be concerned about his side’s supremacy not converting into goals and, clear victories.
|1. Hubery Steven Michael|
|2. Craig Mally|
|5A. David Coulson|
|6. Jack Donaghy|
|8. Mechack Bolenge Kaanda|
|9. Paul John Chow||Yellow Card|
|11. Kristopher Hughes|
|12. Gary Shaw|
|39. Anthony Myers|
|44. Jonathen Robin Wightman|
|50. Ross Toward|
|4. Iain Bickerstaff|
|7. Callum Smith||Sub11|
|16. Jason Blackburn||Sub12|
|17. Christopher Feasey|
|45. Peter Jones||Sub8|