Friday, 10 July 2009

Billingham Town 0v3 Darlington 10/07/09

A nice evening over Billingham set the perfect tone for the evening. The pitch was in immaculate condition at the newly-named Rowney Ltd. Arena. People turned out in force to see the game, and a strong Darlington contingent were present. I eagerly anticipated my 1st visit to the Tea Room before the game, as my memories of my last visit to the ground made my mouth water, and was not disappointed!! My 1st helping was a can of coke and a Mars Bar, which saw me through the 1st half.
The teams briskly made their way onto the pitch, and a certain Dean Windass brought up the tail for this new-look Darlington team. This man is; in my eyes a true footballer. He has dropped from the Premiership to League 2 in 1 season, and no doubt a big pay cut for the privilege. But he obviously doesn't care if he plays at Old Trafford or on the Rec on a Sunday morning. His game is brimming with passion. At 40, he could out-do any young player, for pace, strength, and size of meals!!! He will put his all in anywhere, and wouldn't be suprised to see him play at 50. When he had a rant at the linesman in the 1st half, he showed how much he cares about the game, whether it be a Championship Play-off Final at Wembley, or a Pre-Season friendly at Billingham Town. A top notch player, and a great bloke. If you read this Sir Dean, you are a football legend!!
Back to the game. Billingham matched Darlington in the opening exchanges, and weren't shown up early doors. In fact, they kept Darlington at bay until the 37th minute, when Windass scored an athletic overhead kick to give the visitors the lead. Before this, Darlington had a golden opportunity from a corner, with 2 efforts beating the keeper, but been blocked on the line by the same defender, who then cleared it out of the danger area.
Windass was at it again soon after, as he caressed a 20 yard free kick into the top left-hand corner of the net on 42 minutes to give Darlo a 2 goal advantage going into the second half.
Half-time saw me and my companions visit the Tea Hut again, this time to purchase one of the wonders of Non-League football: A Steak Burger!! One of the best half-time "snacks" I have sampled so far!!
Town came out fighting in the second half, and after 65 minutes Andy Burton had a good near post effort saved by the Darlington Keeper, and 20 minutes later Town saw another great effort tipped over. Sandwiched between these chances, Darlington's young centre forward rattled the bar, and in the 90th minute, Darlington's dynamic number 7 playing centre midfield chipped the ball over his man, and slid it across the face of goal for an easy tap-in for the centre forward.
Billingham Town gave a very good account of themselves, and should look forward to a successful season in SNL1.
Admission: £5

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