Match Report 28/9/19
Billingham Synthonia 2, Crook Town 1
Ebac Northern League Division 2
Billingham Synthonia: Billingham Synthonia: Heslin, Garton (C), Dobie, Boyle, Bashir, Cobain, Wilson (Bligh), Dickson, Slater (O'Connor), Bruton (Dunn). Unused subs: Gowan, Smith.
Crook Town: Makepeace, Crossen, Gavin, Duell, Wilson, Dunwell (C), Johnston (Smith), Hillerby, Kent, Holliday (Petitjean), Eltringham. Unused Subs: Verity, Maddison, Dickinson.
Synners were looking to move closer towards an automatic promotion spot with a win against Crook Town. The visitors were coming into the game higher in the table than Synners, and looking to continue their strong start in the league.
Synners were on the search for their 4 th consecutive win and got themselves in front with an early goal. Matty Wilson crossed into the area and BRANDON SLATER was there to control the ball and hit a shot that deflected past the goalkeeper. It was a perfect start for Synners and the rest of the half was dominated by the home side. Synners 1, 0 Crook Town.
Slater had an opportunity to get a second soon after, when he hit a shot from just outside the box but the keeper was equal to it. The strong attacking start from Synners was accompanied by a solid, controlled performance from the Synthonia defence.
A rare attack from Crook came from a Christian Holiday sprint down the right hand side. He was looking to release a cross into the box before Nathan Cobain slid in with a strong but fair challenge that was met by applause from the fans. The challenge was the start of a Synners attack that lead to the second goal of the game. A STRIKER received the ball in the box after a fast attacking move and lifted the ball over the goalkeepers head and into the net. Synners 2, 0 Crook Town.
Daniel Kent had an opportunity to get a goal back for Crook but he headed the ball at the face of the crossbar after a few aerial duels in the Synners box. Shortly after, Slater was on the attack again and flicked the ball impressively over Alex Wilson but was fouled by the defender as he ran round him. It was a freekick in a dangerous area but nothing came of the set-piece.
It was a half that was controlled by Synners with strong performances from Bashir and Cobain, controlling the game and creating chances from the back. The half-time whistle went with the home team 45 minutes away from another win.
Half-time: Synners 2, Crook Town 0
The second half was a completely different story from the first, with Crook coming out the strong side, creating a high number of chances on goal.
In the 49th minute of the game DANE ELTRINGHAM fired a volley from just outside the box that flew into the bottom right corner. Heslin had bodies in his way and wasn't expecting a shot of that quality. The striker showed great technique and give his team a foot back in the game with the whole half ahead of them.
Crook had an opportunity to draw level soon after when Matthew Crossen hit a dangerous ball into the box, but Daniel Kent wasn't able to make a connection on the stretch. The ball flashed across the 6 yard box and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
Heslin had to be on top form in the second half to keep Synners in front. Aaron Duell was on the receiving end of a cross to the back post and hit a shot from 6 yards out but Heslin dived to make an impressive stop. The ball was parried down the middle of the box where Smith was ready to hit home, but somehow smashed his effort over the crossbar.
Crook continued to dominate the half but Synners defence were resilient throughout. Another good save from Heslin prevented Kent from getting the equaliser. The attacker controlled a fizzing ball in the box and hit a shot towards the bottom left corner, but the goalkeeper got down fast and kept hold of the ball.
In the 76th minute Synners were awrded a penalty. Danny Boyle stepped up to take the penalty, but it was a poor effort and the keeper got down to his right and saved the shot. Boyle should have done better with the chance, and will have regrets that he didn't hit the ball with more power.
Crook tried to take advantage of the missed penalty and came close in the dying minutes of the game. A freekick in a crossing position was floated into the box where there was a mad scramble for the ball. The opportunity finally fell for Daniel Kent who hit his shot at the underside of the crossbar, which then bounced down onto the goal line. Several players and fans believed the ball had crossed the line but the referee and his assistant disagreed. The score remained 2-1 to Synners after a game of two contrasting halves.
Full-time: Synners 2, Crook Town 1
Referee: Mr M Carroll, Assistants: J Arrowsmith, M Katoroz.
by James McDonald