Thursday, 27 September 2012

Chilli doubles up again as Town march on


IN-FORM Carl Chillingsworth struck twice as Town came from behind for the second time in four days to beat a battling Brandon United at the RGPS on Wednesday evening.

Veteran striker Chillingsworth had scored four times in the previous four matches, including a brace of headers against Seaham Red Star the previous Saturday, and he continued that run with another two headed goals to finally see off the challenge of Brandon on a wet night in Northallerton.

The match had been in doubt after heavy rainfall left the pitch under water on Tuesday, but thanks to the hard work of Les Hood and Dave Rennison it went ahead as planned, although the kick off was delayed for half an hour after assistant referee Mark Waldock had been stuck in floods on the way to the ground.

The Town starting XI virtually picks itself these days, but manager Mark Fanning was forced into a change when Craig Winter was unavailable due to the imminent arrival of his first child, so Stu Dunn started at left back, Anthony Roberts switched to right back with Danny Shoulder moving to the centre alongside Grant Hickman.

But as has been a theme in recent matches, Town started slowly. The visitors, who began the night in the bottom four, had a game-plan to frustrate Fanning's side and for twenty minutes it worked to perfection.

And they even got the bonus of an early goal. Just 12 minutes had elapsed when Ryan Readman was given time and space to turn on the edge of the penalty area and his shot squirmed under the body of goalkeeper James Briggs.

But that seemed to spark Town into life. Wayne Gredziak, who had not scored for five matches, looked determined to end that drought as he brought the best out of Brandon goalkeeper Ryan Graham, while Adam Emson chipped just wide after a lovely ball from Roberts.

The goal they had been threatening duly arrived, however, in the 26th minute but it came from a rather unlikely source. For all his great work in midfield in recent weeks, Marcus Laing had yet to find the net for his new club, but he picked the perfect time to break that duck with a close range header from a Gav Parkin corner.

And the turn around was complete two minutes later. Again Parkin created the chance with another inch-perfect corner from the left, and this time it was Chillingsworth who was the beneficiary with a near post header.

Emson was close to making it 3-1 just past the half hour mark after a great run down the left, but his shot flew inches wide, while Gredziak again came out second best in his private duel with Graham - the Brandon keeper making another fine save to deny him.

But Town did add a third just before the break. Gredziak skipped clear down the right and when his cross was missed by Chillingsworth in the centre, Emson arrived to force the ball home at the far post despite the best efforts of Graham to keep it out.

To their credit, Brandon worked hard to get back into the match and they almost reduced the arrears within seconds of the restart. Mark Bell was sent clear in the inside right channel and beat Briggs with a first time shot, but the ball skimmed the side netting on its way past the post.

In truth the second half was a scrappy affair in which neither side were able to get into a rhythm. Town had the better chances, with Steve Butterworth, Parkin and Gredziak all denied by the impressive Graham, but it was the visitors who grabbed a lifeline with fifteen minutes left.

Bell whipped a great ball in from left and Stephen Moody arrived to flick a powerful header beyond the reach of Briggs from 12 yards.

But before they had the opportunity to build on it, Town went straight up the other end to seal the points. Gredziak may not have found the net himself but he had been at the heart everything good from Town and it was his superb ball in from the right that gave Chillingsworth the chance to head his second - and 9th of the season - at the far post.

Chillingsworth should have ended the night with a hat-trick when substitute Ian Smurthwaite pulled the ball back from the left in stoppage time, but he smashed high over the crossbar into outer space and it finished 4-2.

"I am just happy to have won," said Fanning at the full time whistle. "It was not our best performance by any means but we played well in spells.

"The 3rd goal was a lovely move. Had we done that more often it could have been a cricket score, but Brandon worked hard and made it difficult for us.

"We needed the fourth goal and it came at a vital time. I'll take a 4-2 win after a performance like that," he said.

Town now face a tough trip to Stokesley SC on Saturday as they look to keep the pressure on leaders Ryhope CW.

NORTHALLERTON TOWN - Briggs, Roberts, Dunn, Hickman, Shoulder, Parkin, Butterworth, Laing, Emson, Chillingsworth, Gredziak. Subs - Banks, Bowman, Smurthwaite, Colman.

BRANDON UNITED - Graham, Lancaster, Clarey, Wraith, Conroy, Readman, Jackson, Costello, Moody, Bell, Mordue. Subs - Reade, Hilder, Blackburn, Hird, Rumble.

REFEREE: C. Gilbraith.



  1. Neet report that. Clock on aswell. I should of netted a trick, gutted for fans, myself and dad. Me father did say that he would of scored that even at his age. I put it down to fatigue n lack of concentration. You live and learn even at my age.

  2. i'm gutted ive missed my first game of the season last nite, felt that i've let my teamates down (not for the first time & wont be the last)hpefully il be there on saturday poss on the bench where i belong

  3. Don't be too hard on yourself fellas. We won didn't we??

  4. Sorry for the late comment, but felt it should be said. reasonable report of events but I feel your fans pressured the ref into some strange decisions. Nice club house, but could do with spending some of the large player budget on the playing surface really bad and does help the type of football you play. We did have bad rain so it my be better for other teams who play down there. All the best for the rest of the season.