Willington Versus Hebburn Town
Friday February 23rd February 2018, Kick Off 7.30PM.
Hebburn Town travelled to North West Durham on a bitterly cold Friday evening to face a Willington side, who are enjoying a tremendous run of success; they were unbeaten in a 15 game run, which started back on the 21st October, 2017.
Hebburn, too, came into the game on the back of an unbeaten run which had seen 6 wins and a draw, from their last seven games. A good game in prospect, and it did not disappoint; on a difficult surface both teams served up some good football and demonstrated why they have been successful of late.
Hebburn started well and a “screamer” from Ross Toward flashed past the upright from 35 yards after only 2 minutes of play. This was followed by a drive from outside the box from John Sherlock, which again was just wide of the target.
Applying more pressure, the Hornets should have taken the lead after 15 minutes play. A great surge forward by Gary Shaw took him to the bye-line and his pin point cross was met at the far post by Craig Malley; his bullet of a header beat the keeper but unfortunately went narrowly wide of the opposite post.
Five minutes later, Hebburn almost paid the price for this miss, and only a tremendous save by Steve Hubery prevented a certain goal as he flung himself to his left to divert the shot round the post. Willington got a lift from this and immediately after almost took the lead when a drive beat Hubery only to cannon off the cross bar.
Hebburn responded well and on the half hour mark a goal bound effort from Gary Shaw was blocked on the six yard line by a Willington defender. They would not be denied for much longer when after 37 minutes of play both Shaw and Peter Jones had shots blocked on the line as Willington struggled to clear a corner. Dan Robinson latched on to the second rebound and planted a header past the keeper to give the Hornets a deserved 1-0 advantage.
As the half drew to a close Jones came very close to doubling the lead when after a fine run in to the box, he drove the ball towards the bottom right hand corner of the goal, but Lewis Graham in the home goal pulled off a terrific finger-tip save to turn the ball past the post.
The first half had been highly entertaining and the second half would follow a similar pattern, with Hebburn having the advantage of the slope. There was not as much goalmouth action and Hebburn limited Willington to very few opportunities. The midfield “five” of Malley, Smith, Sherlock, Jones and Shaw were playing with confidence and control and the back four of Toward, Williams, Donaghy and skipper Scott Wallace gave nothing away. The whole team were certainly “putting in a shift” on a heavy surface against a good Willington side.
After 25 minutes of the second period Peter Jones was close on two occasions in quick succession, when first he shot narrowly over the top from outside the box and then headed s good cross from Wallace over the bar when perhaps he should have hit the target.
Hebburn were in control, and the two substitutions in the last 20 minutes had little impact on this as Chris Douglas, replacing Craig Malley and Paul Chow replacing Dan Robinson slotted in well as Hebburn continued to play with the same control and conviction. Paul Chow used his vast experience to keep possession and play the clock down with some intelligent ball protection at the corner flags.
Overall, a good, solid performance by Hebburn to extend their unbeaten run to 8 games, to keep another clean sheet (only 27 goals conceded in 30 games) and to, critically, keep in touch with promotion.
Next league fixture-away to Darlington RA on Wednesday night, weather permitting-game now postponed!!!!
|1. Hubery Steven Michael|
|2. Craig Mally|
|3. Scott Wallace|
|5. Rhys John David Williams|
|6. Jack Donaghy|
|7. Callum Smith|
|12. Gary Shaw|
|45. Peter Jones|
|50. Ross Toward|
|53. John Sherlock|
|54. Daniel Robinson||Goal|
|8. Mechack Bolenge Kaanda|
|9. Paul John Chow||Sub54|
|17. Christopher Feasey|
|18. Christopher Douglas||Sub2|