Match Report: 21/04/12
Billingham Synthonia 5, Tow Law Town 4
STL Northern League Division 1
Billingham welcomed Tow Law Town to the Glamal Stadium and named six changes following Thursday evening's heavy defeat at West Auckland Town. Into the side came Josh Moody, Matt Crossen, Michael Dalton, Phil Horsman & Jamie Blyth, with Ross Gardner also returning from an injury lay-off.
BILLINGHAM SYNTHONIA: Moody, Crossen, McWilliams, Dalton, Horsman, Liddle, Hillerby(c), Henry, Blyth, Gardner (Jameson), Emms (Storr). Subs not used; Dkiouak, Dowson, Hamilton.
TOW LAW TOWN: Robinson, Banks, Parkinson, Turnbull, Tobin, L Thompson (Brown), Dial (Harrison), A Thompson, Nixon, Scott(c), Davison. Subs not used; Anderson, Gordon.
It was a relatively quiet opening ten minutes with the first shot on goal coming in the 12th minute when Shane Henry's long range shot went wide of the target. The Lawyers came forward in the 14th minute and a cross from the left found Mark Nixon, but Horsman challenged at the expense of a corner. From the flag-kick, Horsman headed clear and Synners quickly countered. Henry played in Gardner to the left of goal with his shot being saved by Tow Law keeper Stephen Robinson. A 20th minute free-kick from the visitors was well defended by Horsman and Henry giving the Lawyers another corner which was flicked on by Matthew Scott, but Dalton was able clear. The visitors opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when a ball played forward to MATTHEW SCOTT to the right of goal saw him turn inside before firing a left-footed shot into the far corner of the net. Billingham were soon back on the offensive and were awarded a penalty kick when Henry was brought down by the keeper as he tried to go past him. Synners had seen the last three penalties saved, but this time CHRIS EMMS made no mistake as he drilled a low shot down the middle to give Synthonia a 25th minute equaliser. Another goal came in the 28th minute as Tow Law regained the lead. They capitalised as Synners lost possession with the ball being played into MATTHEW SCOTT who guided his shot into the corner of the net from 20-yards for his second of the game. Billingham though, found a leveller again in the 38th minute. Chay Liddle brought the ball inside from the right and found a shooting chance which was blocked. Henry regained possession and played the ball back for Captain DAVID HILLERBY who sent his low 20-yarder into the bottom left corner of the goal. More chances followed for Billingham with Henry seeing Robinson save from his shot from the left. Then a good move forward from Gardner saw him pick out Emms, but his shot deflected wide. Just before the break, Blyth found Dan McWilliams on the left who crossed into the box for Henry who saw Robinson make a great save from his shot on goal. From the corner, Emms played it short to Liddle who crossed for Blyth with his header on goal being saved by Robinson.
Half-time: Synners 2, Tow Law 2
The goals continued to flow at the start of the second period with both teams finding the net. It was Synthonia who notched first as they took the lead with a goal in the 49th minute. Some brilliant build up play was finished off when Emms spread the play right to Liddle who sent in a great teasing cross for ROSS GARDNER to fire home his first Synthonia goal. The Lawyers though, were level just sixty seconds later when a long ball forward found MARK NIXON in on goal and the striker coolly went left round Synners keeper Josh Moody before firing home. Synners were back on the scoresheet in the 57th minute as they regained the lead. Emms was involved again as he crossed from the left for JAMIE BLYTH who saw the ball into the net from the 6-yard line. A free-kick in a shooting position for Tow Law saw Andrew Thompson fire over and then Billingham were back pressing as Henry picked out Emms who flicked into Gardner. His stinging shot though, was always rising and went just over the bar. Synthonia scored a fifth in the 66th minute to give them a much needed two-goal cushion; Liddle on the right played the ball through for Blyth who teed up substitute NATHAN JAMESON in front of goal and he dinked a clever shot past keeper Robinson. More chances followed for Synners and on 69 minutes Crossen crossed from the right Jameson who headed bravely on goal from the boot of a Lawyers defender, only to see Robinson gather. Emms then played in Liddle who in turn threaded a pass through for Crossen to the right of goal, but his shot saw Robinson make the block. Another chance came moments later with Emms finding Henry who shot wide. Tow Law made for an interesting end to the game when they reduced the deficit to one with a goal in the 77th minute. A ball through for MARK NIXON in acres of space saw him advance on goal before slotting home past Moody. The last real chance of the game came Synthonia's way when substitute Richie Storr headed forward for Blyth who, spotting the keeper off his line, tried a floated shot, but wide of the left hand post.
Full-time: Synners 5, Tow Law 4
Referee: Mr T Young, Assistants: M Docherty, S Kyle.
Next up for Synthonia is a Tuesday evening away fixture at Ashington.
Tucker's view from the dug-out
I am so pleased that we gave our supporters such an exciting final home game of the season. The game was a reflection of everything good and not so good about us this season. Some of our play and the goals we scored yesterday were absolutely outstanding and I am not sure many other teams would be capable of that. We also conceded some goals of our own making and this is an obvious area that we need to improve. Rather than altering the way we play which has that element of risk to it when trying to play from the back, we need to work hard to be better at it. We always envisaged conceding goals this season with our style of play via individual mistakes. The flip side of this though is that we would not score Ross Gardner's goal that must have had about 20 passes in it and for me that makes us a team worth paying money to watch.
A special word must go to our supporters who have been brilliant since the West Auckland defeat on Thursday. I think they all knew it was a bit of a freak result and those there have said that we never stopped trying to play, we kept on working hard and were just punished by clinical finishes following many sloppy defensive errors. However, the character of the team to bounce back from that yesterday was there for all to see. We felt we owed it to those loyal supporters to stay out on the pitch and applaud their backing this year. There have been some lovely comments from the supporters regarding the exciting football we have played this year and that really pleases us. We hope we build on that and improve again next season. We have gone past last year's points total with a young squad of players who will be better for the experience of this year. I believe this justifies our approach in bringing in these young players and although the experience of other players is crucial we know that we have the foundations of a squad that can be together for some time if things go well. So, two big games to see the season through and hopefully more points to come. They don't come much harder than Ashington and Spennymoor but both games promise to be excellent footballing spectacles for those in attendance.