Hebburn Town Versus Whickham
Friday 17th November 2017 Kick Off 7.30PM
Going into the game Hebburn Town had not won in their last six games, with three draws and a defeat in the league and defeats in both the Durham Challenge and League Cup competitions.
During this spell, particularly in the four league games, they had enjoyed a great deal of possession but had scorned many chances to secure all three points. This may have contributed to their performance against a Whickam side, who also had gone through a dip in form in recent weeks.
The Hornets appeared to have lost confidence and played throughout with a great deal of uncertainty running through the team. They created only one or two chances, and the defence, which has conceded the least number of goals in the two divisions of the Northern League, looked rather shaky at times and made two basic mistakes which led to both Whickham goals.
On a perfect “fresh” evening for football the game kicked off in front of 160 spectators and in the first ten minutes play was fairly even, with Chow having the first attempt on goal with a shot which was deflected wide of the upright.
In the first 20 minutes or so Hebburn shaded the play but when Whickham started to move the ball quickly from defence to attack the Hornets defence started to look a bit uncertain. Hebburn responded with two good moves which led to Gary Shaw driving down the left flank but on both occasions the final ball was intercepted by the Whickham defenders.
On the half hour mark, Davy Coulson got his head to a corner but could only direct the ball across the box; the Whickham defence quickly transferred the ball into the Hebburn half and when Bulford released Mole with a good through ball the away side should have taken the lead but Mole fired wide of the goal.
After 35 minutes of play the uncertainty in Hebburn’s defence provided the away side with a simple goal, to take the lead. As the ball was launched forward into the Hebburn half, Steve Hubery raced out of his goal to intercept. However, Kyle Wharton beat him to it, took the ball round the keeper and drove the ball towards the goal; central defender Davy Coulson managed to stop the ball but striker Joe Mole reacted first and slotted the ball home.
The Hornets replied immediately when Shaw broke clear on the right but his strike cleared the crossbar. As the half time whistle approached there was little action of note-but the home side were not looking very convincing as they left the field.
The second half started slowly, but at 1-0 behind Hebburn were still in the game; the first action of the half came from Whickham after 52 minutes when Broadhead sent a “screamer” just over the bar.
Hebburn were getting the ball forward, but not with any great conviction or in numbers, and the high line of Wickham’s back four caught Paul Chow offside on several occasions. He did manage to get a shot off after 65 minutes from the edge of the box but this was just wide of the target.
Jack Donaghy came on for Kris Hughes after half an hour of the second period, but as Wightman fired over the top, there was still no sign of Hebburn scoring. Five minutes later, the Hornets problems doubled when another defensive mistake let in Mole, who crossed the ball across the six yard box for Wharton to easily net the second and decisive goal.
Chris Feasey and Peter Jones came on to replace Meech Kanda and Johnny Wightman with quarter of an hour remaining and although Hebburn enjoyed more possession in the Whickham half, Mordie in the away goal was not troubled until the final minute. The keeper first tipped a goal bound shot for a corner and then gathered the resulting header as Hebburn optimistically appealed that the ball had crossed the line.
The Hornets desperately need to end this run of draws and defeats, and significantly up their goals for column. In 19 games only 31 goals have been scored; defensively 15 against in 19 games is a fantastic achievement. The squad, must take some relief from the current league table, where fortunately some recent results of the leading teams have gone in Hebburn’s favour.
Hebburn are in 5th position, in a very tight and competitive league, where six points separate the top six teams. There are still 21 league games to play and fortunes can change very quickly at this level. The lads need to stick together and help each other to get the team back to winning ways starting with the Ernest Armstrong Cup Tie this coming Wednesday, against Esh Winning.
|1. Hubery Steven Michael|
|2. Craig Mally|
|5A. David Coulson|
|8. Mechack Bolenge Kaanda|
|9. Paul John Chow|
|11. Kristopher Hughes|
|12. Gary Shaw|
|17. Samuel Stuart Bramley|
|39. Anthony Myers|
|44. Jonathen Robin Wightman|
|50. Ross Toward|
|4. Iain Bickerstaff|
|6. Jack Donaghy||Sub11|
|7. Callum Smith|
|17. Christopher Feasey||Sub44|
|45. Peter Jones||Sub8|