Match Report

Billingham Synthonia vs Knaresborough Town

Match Report 14/9/19
Billingham Synthonia 1, Knaresborough Town 2

Buildbase FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round

Billingham Synthonia: Orton, Garton(c), Popple, Dickson (Smith), McHarg, Cobain, Wilson, Boyle, (Dobie), Slater, Bruton. Unused subs: Heslin, O'Connor, Dunn, Myers.
Knaresborough Town: Smith, Powis, Anderson, Lenehan(c), Kidd, Cooper, Thirkell, Parkes, Walker, Baker (Youhill), Heath (Carr). Unused Subs: Ibrahimi, Bellerby.

Knaresborough Town were the visitors on Saturday, as both teams went head to head in the FA Vase. Synners came into this game as underdogs, but had an opportunity to make a statement if they could beat the Division One side.

It came as no surprise that Knaresborough created plenty of chances in the opening half. A solid Synners defence was able to deal with a majority of the attacks, and a top goalkeeping performance from Tom Orton kept many opportunities at bay. Synners had good periods on the ball, creating opportunities on goal, and never looked phased by playing a team in the higher division.

An opening goal looked like it was on the cards in the 6 th minute of the game. A ball whipped into the box was flicked towards goal by Colin Heath from point blank range, but Orton made an excellent diving save to prevent the goal. The ball was only parried as far as Adam Baker who followed up from 4 yards, but the goalkeeper got his body in the way again and the ball was sent for a corner.

A clever combination between Parker and Heath on the edge of the box played the ball around the Synners defence and created an opportunity for the number 10. The continued pressure from the defence resulted in Parker hitting a poor shot that was gathered comfortably by Orton.

The opening goal came in the 31st minute when Colin Heath was able to turn cleverly in the box before being brought down by Cobain. The striker only had the goalkeeper to beat once taking it past Cobain, and the resulting penalty was hit straight down the middle by DAN THIRKELL.

The away side thought they were going to take a 2 goal lead into half time when Heath assisted Adam Baker who rifled the ball home from around 6 yards out. The goal was ruled out as the referee adjudged Heath of using his arm to play the ball when assisting Baker. The decision wasn't followed by many appeals and the score remained 1-0.

Half-time: Synners 0, Knaresborough Town 1

The second half of the game was dominated by Synners attacks. The home side looked to Bruton especially, who continued to show his ability to create opportunities from the left side of play. The intentions from Synners was clear, as they showed a lot of character to begin the half on the front foot.

The first chance of the half came when Bruton won a free kick 25 yards out from goal. The resulting free-kick was hit into a good area but the keeper was out to catch the cross. In the 54th minute Matty Wilson was on the receiving end of a through ball, and was racing towards goal from 40 yards out, with just the keeper to beat. The assistant raised his flag as he deemed Wilson to be in an offside position. This received a backlash of appeals from Synners players, who expressed their frustrations almost immediately. The decision was a controversial one to say the least and prevented Wilson from getting a certain equaliser. Too much was said by Wilson, who was sent to the sin bin following the decision.

The disallowed goal fuelled a period of fiery challenges and off the ball incidents. This may have played a part in a goalkeeping error that lead to another opportunity for Synners. The Knaresborough keeper received the ball from a defender, and lost his cool when put under pressure from Dobie. The keeper hit a poor clearance straight towards skipper Garton, who received the ball around 20 yards out. With the keeper out of position Garton played Slater through who tried to pull the ball back towards the 6 yard box where Dobie was waiting to hit home. The pass was intercepted and sent for a corner.

The resulting corner finally lead to a much-deserved equaliser. It was a set-piece that came straight from the training ground. A low ball was hit towards the penalty spot, which was met by ALEX BRUTON who was waiting to fire a first time effort into the net. The shot travelled through a large number of players before sailing past Smith in the Knaresborough goal. Synners 1, 1 Knaresborough.

Synners had a great opportunity to grab another goal shortly after. Jordan Dobie beat the offside trap and made a sharp turn towards the away goal. Just before making his way into the box he was brought down by a challenge from Lenehan and a clear goalscoring opportunity was denied. The Knaresborough skipper saw red for his challenge as the away side went down to 10 men. The resulting freekick was hit over the bar by Bruton.

Another slice of misfortune for Synners came moments later, when another offside decision prevented them from getting a second goal. Slater was played through on goal, with Dobie running alongside side him to make it 2 on 1. Slater squared the ball to Dobie who passed the ball into an open net, but the assistant adjudged slater of being offside when he first received the ball.

In the 76th minute, an impressive save from Orton, as he tipped an effort just over the crossbar, lead to a decisive corner. The ball was whipped toward the back post where GREGG ANDERSON was waiting to leap and head the ball past Orton. The defender was able to lift himself above the Synners players to get a solid connection and head home. Synners, 1 Knaresborough 2.

The away side were able to see the game out, and the 10 men of Knaresborough were victorious in this entertaining game. Synners showed fight and performed well, creating plenty of opportunities in the second half.

Full-time: Synners 1, Knaresborough Town 2

Referee: Mr J Gill, Assistants: K Patterson, S Heslop.

Attendance: 119

by James McDonald