Match Report: 30/10/2021
Billingham Synthonia 2, Birtley Town 0
Ebac Northern League Division 2
Billingham Synthonia: Dixon, Drummond, Kay, Craggs (McNeill), Joseph, Rowbotham(C) (Fletcher), Garton, Bailey, Henderson, Howard, Banks (Graham). Unused Subs; Joseph, Chapman, I Ward.
Birtley Town: Robinson, Holland, Pattison (Scothern), Hood (Charmey), Campos-Loughlin, Hedley, Beverley, Hunter, Barwick, Young, Morland (Stevens). Unused Subs; Wilson, Ward.
Synthonia earned a good three points against Birtley Town with a goal in each half.
In a quiet opening quarter of an hour in terms of goal chances the first real opportunity came to Birtley's Alexander Morland who found space in the box, but saw his shot deflect wide. The resulting right wing corner ended with a shot on goal which Billingham keeper Dan Dixon was behind to save.
Synners advanced as Jack Bailey spread the play right to debutant Luke Drummond who saw his shot from an angle pushed over the bar by Birtley keeper Isaac Robinson. The resulting Max Craggs corner from the left in the 18th minute was cleared back to Craggs who played inside to JOHN HOWARD to send in a great strike from outside the penalty area and into the net.
Billingham pressed again with Ciaran Banks having a shot charged down before Birtley responded after winning possession in an advanced position and the ball was played right to Jack Beverley who could only fire over.
The visitors enjoyed a good spell and had chances to level with Kaleb Young shooting on goal from close range only to be denied by a Synners block and then a shot on goal through a crowd saw Dixon make a great save. Moments later and a shot from the right also saw Dixon come out on top with a good stop.
Synners were back on the offensive in the 28th minute as Ben Henderson forced a save out of Robinson; Henderson re-gained possession of the loose ball and teed up Bailey who saw his shot crash against the cross-bar.
Billingham were forced into a couple of substitutions as both skipper Josh Rowbotham and Craggs went off with injuries. Birtley tried to make the most of the shake-ups as they made moves on goal as the end of the half approached with Dixon again saving well, before a forward put the ball into the net only to be flagged offside.
Half-time: Synners 1, Birtley Town 0
An early Billingham chance saw Oscar Fletcher send the ball into the box where a header on goal brought a great reaction save out of Robinson. Henderson, in on goal, then saw Robinson off his line quickly to deny the Synners man.
Birtley's Joshua Holland crossed from the right on the hour mark which was met by Young who glanced a header wide of the target.
Synners doubled their advantage with a second goal in the 73rd minute as Henderson latched onto a ball forward to the left and saw Robinson save his shot, the ball though looped towards goal and substitute LIAM GRAHAM, on the pitch for less than 30 seconds, saw the ball home from close range.
Further chances came for Billingham with Graham on the left firing past the far post and Clark Kay shooting on goal following a right-wing corner, only to save Robinson save. Henderson then went in on goal to the left and after rounding the keeper saw a defender clear his goal-bound shot.
The last chance of the game fell to Birtley deep into added-on time as a corner from the right saw a header on goal which was brilliantly saved by Dixon to preserve his clean sheet.
Full-time: Synners 2, Birtley Town 0
Referee: T Craig, Assistants: K Middleton, T Stannett.