Match Report: 21/9/19
Chester-le-Street Town 0, Billingham Synthonia 1
Ebac Northern League Division 2
Chester-le-Street Town: Coombes, Scott, Stephenson, Dixon, Walker (c), Hepplewhite (Lancaster), Surrey, Ridley, Brown (Whiskey), Henderson, Collins. Unused Subs; Greaves, Fenwick.
Billingham Synthonia: Orton, Garton (c), Dobie, Smith, Pollock, Cobain, Slater, Dickson (Oâ€™Connor), Travers (Dunn), Boyle, Bruton (Wilson). Unused Subs; Popple, Bashir.
Synners meeting with Chester-le-Street was fast paced and end-to-end, and should have been a high scoring game. It was Synners who came out as winners and they are now only 3 points away from an automatic promotion place.
Early in the first half, Synthonia were looking to get off to a quick start and put the away defence under some pressure. In the 11th minute, an Alex Bruton freekick was floated into the penalty area and BEN POLLOCK was there to head home his first goal since returning to the club. With the goal coming so early in the game, and the attacking threat Synners possess, they looked sure to grab a couple more before the break. Chester-le-Street 0, 1 Synners.
Foster Garton had an opportunity to make it 2 soon after, when Slater flicked a ball round the defender which allowed the skipper to run through on goal. Garton took the ball into the box but a defender got back to make a challenge and sent it for a corner. Garton will have been disappointed he didn't release an effort at goal, or even square it across the 6 yard box sooner.
A low corner hit across the box set Alex Bruton up perfectly to hit a first time effort at goal. The shot was somehow blocked on the line, and there was a panicked goal-line scramble before Chester-le-Street were able to clear.
Another opportunity came and went for Synners after a long ball played by Ben Pollock found Brandon Slater who took it inside the defender and dinked a ball into the penalty area from the edge of the box. Travers was on the end of the lifted pass, but cushioned his header just over the crossbar. Travers disappointed not to get his name on the scoresheet, but his movement and link-up play throughout the half created plenty of opportunities for the away side.
Some good movement from Travers in the box made space for Brandon Slater, who had time to control the ball in the area, and took his time before hitting an effort at goal. The shot was fired straight at the keeper but Slater knew he should have done better with the chance, especially with the time he had.
Some more good link up play between Slater and Bruton on the edge of the box created time for Bruton, who was able to pick out Danny Boyle with a pass. Boyle was on the left hand-side of the box and 8 yards from goal. He hit his shot from a tight angle but the effort went narrowly wide of the far post.
Late in the half, a long ball up field was controlled by the chest of Travers who cleverly spotted the overlapping run from Bruton, and played him in to perfection. Bruton was through on goal with only the keeper to beat, but chipped a soft effort into the goalkeepers palms. The half time whistle came and Synners could and should have been at least 4-0 up at this stage. The home side will have been going in at half time amazed that they were still in this game.
Half-time: Chester-le-Street Town 0, Synners 1
Synners came out refreshed from half time, and began the second half the same way they ended the first. Slater intercepted a poor clearance from Coombes and played it wide to Danny Boyle. Boyle continued to run down the right wing before playing a well placed ball to Bruton inside the box. Bruton had time to release a shot on has favoured foot but the effort was saved will from the goalkeeper.
Liam Travers had an opportunity to get his first goal of the game early in the half. After some good footwork from Slater, he was able to deliver a high and fast ball into the box, but pressure on Travers from defenders impacted the strikers effort who headed the ball at the cross-bar.
As the half developed, the home side began to grow in confidence, and were determined to take advantage of the opportunities missed by Synners. A cross delivered into the area by Owen Henderson was cleared only as far as Jack Brown. The striker released an effort from just inside the area but blazed his effort over the bar. Brown should have hit the target at least, but Synners were let off after a poor shot.
Shortly after, the home side were awarded a freekick from around 30 yards out and Luke Collins hit the set piece over the wall, but straight into the hands of Orton. Synners were beginning to come under pressure from the opposing side, with the hopes that earlier missed chances wouldn't come back to bite them.
Another attacking move from Chester-le-Street came after Ben Pollock was clearly brought down just inside the oppositions half. Despite animated appeals from Synners players and staff, the referee allowed the game to play on and a resulting cross from Owen Henderson sailed over Orton and hit the crossbar before being cleared.
After a nervy period which involved a solid defensive performance from Synners, the away side were able to create a couple more opportunities with hopes of sealing the win.
Matthew Wilson came off the bench, and came close to grabbing Synners a second goal late on. The attacker had fresh legs and energy to dance through defenders and make his way into the box, where he chipped an effort over the outcoming keeper, but the ball hit the underside of the crossbar and fell the wrong side of the goal line. Some spectators thought the ball had crossed the line initially, but the score remained 1-0.
Full-time: Chester-le-Street Town 0, Synners 1
Referee: Mr D Markham, Assistants: C Kitson, D Mitchell.
by James McDonald
Match highlights from SynnersTV on YouTube