Monday, 22 October 2012

Child's play for Town as Hickman and Gredziak sink Chester-le-Street

A GOAL in each half from Grant Hickman and Wayne Gredziak were enough to give Town all three points against Chester-le-Street on Saturday, as they closed the gap on leaders Ryhope CW to three points with a game in hand.
On 'Kids 4 Free' day, a crowd of 113 arrived at the RGPS to see if Town could continue their impressive recent run of form against an inconsistent Chester side who had lost 5-0 to Tow Law the previous week.
Town manager Mark Fanning was looking to start a busy week with maximum points, so added Colin Anderson and new signing David Alderson to the squad that had performed so well in the FA Vase replay at Consett in midweek. With Ian Smurthwaite unavailable, however, it meant a return to the starting line-up for Steve Butterworth in the only change from Tuesday night's narrow defeat.
Town almost got the perfect start when a slick passing move between Adam Emson, Gredziak and Carl Chillingsworth inside the opening minute freed Butterworth, but the visiting goalkeeper Matthew Crook did well to block his shot.
Then, six minutes later, the keeper could only stand and watch as Gredziak crossed to Butterworth and his first time volley flew past Crook but, unfortunately for Town, just the wrong side of the post.
An injury to Danny Shoulder after just 15 minutes meant an earlier-than-expected debut for Alderson, while the captain's absence saw Craig Winter take over free kick duties and it paid dividends with the crucial opening goal just past the half-hour mark.
Winter's well flighted set-piece was headed upwards by a Chester defender and Hickman waited for the ball to drop before nodding home, despite the best efforts of defender Matthew Smith on the goal line.
But Town had goalkeeper James Briggs to thank for preserving their lead, as he produced a stunning save to keep out a powerful cross-shot from Marc Nixon as half time approached.
Town pressed the visitors back at the start of the second half but it took 15 minutes for the pressure to result in a second goal.
Chillingsworth and Butterworth battled for a loose ball in the penalty area and as it ricocheted across the goal, Gredziak headed back across the keeper to make it 2-0.
The visitors sensed they were still not out of the game and Briggs again produced another crucial save, diving at the feet of Michael Hepplewhite who had broken clear. The loose ball was then fired back towards goal by Nixon but Hickman threw himself in front of it and the danger was cleared.
Town should have added a third late on when Butterworth headed across goal for Chillingsworth who hooked his shot over the bar from 8 yards.
Stuart Dunn replaced Steve Banks on 68 minutes and, with 15 minutes to go, James Bowman replaced Alderson, who is still building up to full match fitness.
"I'm starting to sound like a stuck record," said Fanning at the end. "But that is another clean sheet and another three points which keeps that gap between us and the chasing pack."
TOWN - Briggs, Shoulder, Banks, Hickman, Winter, Parkin, Laing, Butterworth, Chillingsworth, Emson, Gredziak. Subs - Bowman, Dunn, Alderson, Craggs, Anderson.

CHESTER-LE-STREET - Crook, Smith, Davison, Patterson, Robson, Henderson, Doyle, Pattison, Nixon, Hepplewhite, Lynch. Subs - Dukes, Weir, Scope, Forsyth, Wilkinson


  1. suprized u kept a clean sheet without retro shoulder at the back. whats up with him?

  2. Why is Col not playing?

  3. He's gone, so dont keep coming on here asking about him.

  4. Think he is suffering from Hemorrhoids, he usually does when the first cold spell arrives.