Billingham Town FC v Stockton Town FC
Michael Dunwell made several changes tonight for this Brooks Mileson League Cup tie. In came Arthur in goal, Cossavella, Posthill, Dunwell and Nathan Mulligan with U18 star Jake Petitjean amongst the subs. Billingham Town also made personnel and positional changes too.
The Anchors struggled to get started for the first two thirds of this game but they showed their extra quality to clinch the game with 3 goals in the last 20 minutes
The Anchors started brightest with Joe Posthill looking sharp. A cross into the box on 7 was turned in by Chris Dunwell only to be deemed offside. Max Craggs flashed a left wing free kick across the 6 yard box and just beyond the far post without the vital touch. It was the home team who had the best opportunities early doors though. Lambert saw his low drive well saved by Arthur on 12 when clean through and then Ashley Lavan skewed wide from the edge of the box. A great move down the left on 16 minutes when Connor found Hogan on the left hand side; Hogan crossed first time and Lambert thought he had scored with a neat header but the ball struck the inside of the post and rolled across the goal-mouth rebounded off Arthur and he grabbed it quickly before it rolled over his own goal-line. Stockton took the lead four minutes later with a super strike from OWENS who picked up the ball, twenty five yards out, shifted onto his left foot and curled his shot into the top corner with Hodgson stranded off his line. On 35minutes the lively Lavan causing problems with his pace played a cross-field ball to Lambert and Arthur did well to narrow down the angles and prevent the equaliser. Stockton attacked through Posthill who's ball inside found Owens who rattled the crossbar with a fierce strike but Billingham got the next goal to level it up on 41 minutes when Kerridge fed in LAMBERT and his shot appeared to take a wicked deflection off a defender leaving Arthur flat-footed. It was no more than they deserved to be level at half time. HT Billingham Town 1-1 Stockton Town
Second half saw pretty much both teams cancelling each other with Stockton looking a little weary and laboured at times. Garbutt and Petitjean livened it up when they came on and the Anchors finally got on top. The Anchors went in front on 77mins when N MULLIGAN turned Beddow and was brought down just inside the box he jumped up and tucked the Penalty away himself. On 85 minutes it was Owens shooting again this time the keeper Hodgson made the save only for GARBUTT to follow up and tap home and then 2 minutes later Jimmy Ward played a nice ball into OWENS who beat two men and fired home from a tight angle to make the Final Score 4-1
Another win and although the score flattered the Anchors a little, that's 10 wins in last 12 games and as they move into a run of difficult matches this continued success breeds confidence and this will be beneficial during the next 6 weeks. Garbutt did well when he came on and 18yr old Jake Petitjean showed he's not out of place at this level with an assured performance. Jamie Owens gets Man of Match for always being a threat and his class was the difference on the night.