30 Dec 2019 in Results
It was just as well I didn’t win the golden goal draw. The portents weren’t good after pulling 0-0 out of the box. A six-goal goal fest meant I was never in with a chance of winning.
It hasn’t been the best of seasons for Red Star, while Billingham Town have done better than many expected, so when the visitors were 2-0 up within 13 minutes, the writing looked on the wall.
They already had three shots by the time they took the lead when Craig Hutchinson chipped the ball over Red Star keeper Aaron Steavens from the byline with Kurtis Howes hovering unmarked at the far post, with the no. 10 heading it in. Billy Town only had to wait three minutes before they doubling their lead – Luke Hogan drilling the ball low and hard into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
Red Star showed character by picking themselves up and making a game of it, with Dan Wilson leading the line, working well with Michael Chilton and putting the Billy Town back line under pressure.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 32nd minute. The ball was launched into the goal mouth, Young fumbled it, allowing Wilson to bundle it into the net.
Just when they’d worked their way back into the match, a minute later they conceded a third thanks to no. 8 Jamie Davis.
Despite the goal, Red Star kept plugging away and in the 39th minute Wilson had a header cleared off the line by Town full back Lee Moore – David Robinson followed up and hit the loose ball through a forest of legs and the hosts were back in it at 2-3.
There was still plenty more action in the first half. Town’s Matthew Robinson burst forward, passed it to Hutchinson, with his shot producing an excellent save by Steavens diving high and right to knock it over the bar and in their next attack Hutchinson planted a header against the post. And in the last attack of the half, Red Star’s Robinson had one left-footed shot blocked and then sent the rebound a foot over the bar with a right-footed effort.
The slickest move of the game came in the 56th minute – Hutchinson knocking the ball first time out right to Elliott Beddow. His cross was met by Howes with his shot well saved by Steavens. The Red Star keeper made his claim for the man of the match award by producing a great instinctive save for another Hutchinson header.
The saves kept his team in the game and in the 68th minute they were level, with Wilson getting a touch to a ball into the box by left back Paul Weldon.
Both teams pressed forward looking for a winner, with Billingham Town getting closest when Howes had a shot saved by Steavens in the 70th minute. There were other chances for each team – Sean McRoberts and Paul Gardiner for Red Star and Hutchinson and Davis for Billy Town. It was just as well none of them were converted. Neither team deserved to lose.
A terrific game. At times the defending wasn’t too clever, but the match was all the better for it.