Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Billingham Town 0 v 3 Newcastle Benfield 18/08/09

Only one of the ATG team could make it to a match tonight due to the other having work commitments so I was accompanied by another northern league fan and another who was attending only his second northern league game having being to Shildon with us at the weekend to see the 0-0 draw so he was hoping to see his first goal and that's exactly what he got. We made the trip to Billingham Town to see them take on last seasons Division One champions Newcastle Benfield. Both teams had made a steady start to the season with both winning one and losing one however Town suffered a heavy defeat in the FA Cup at the weekend which will have lowered their confidence a bit. This showed in the early encounters as Town didn't seem to be able to settle in to a rhythm and didn't look comfortable passing the ball around. The opening 20 minutes was fairly even with neither side creating many chances and both teams struggling to get going, however Benfield then started to take more control of the game and create a few openings which they didn't convert. It wasn't until the 35th minute that the first goal of the night arrived, a through ball was played between Billingham Town's centre backs and the Newcastle Benfield striker Chilton ran onto it and finished well past the keeper's right to give them a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later Benfield threatened again when they hit the cross bar, a long throw from the left was met by a Benfield player who's header looped up and over the keeper and onto the bar. That was it for the first half with Town having alot to do if they wanted to bring this game back. After our steak burgers and pie and peas (which were very nice by the way) the second half began in the same way that the first ended with Benfield being on top and looking to extend their lead. Town were doing a better job than first half of holding Benfield off and they seemed like they had settled down a bit, however in the 60th minute Town were looking to go forward when they lost possesion and Benfield broke down the left hand side. The ball was played in across the 6 yard box and the incoming Benfield player Chilton met it and put the ball past the diving keeper to his left to give them a 2-0 lead and to bag his second putting the game out of Billingham's hands. They did their best to get back into the game but they lacked a target man upfront which shows how important their striker from last season Alexander was to them, no one was able to hold the ball up or create an opening. When they did create a chance they lacked the quality needed to convert that into a goal. From then on Benfield looked like they could go on and score more with 2 or 3 good chances to extend their lead but they never managed to do so and it looked like that was it for the night. However in the 88th minute a Benfield player received the ball at the top of the box and just inside the box, the Billingham defender then tackled him from behind giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. It wasn't a hard decision as to who was going to take the spot kick, Chilton stepped up and converted the spot kick giving him his hatrick and making it an even better nights work with a comfortable 3-0 win. They will now be looking to push on and defend their title where as Town will have to improve considerably if they want to get into the top 10 this season. Apologies for the picture quality as the usual camera wasn't available to me for this game but I will have it for the upcoming games so usual quality will be resumed.

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