Sunday, 14 October 2012

Late Hickman header keeps Town's Vase dream alive

A late header from Grant Hickman earned Town an FA Vase replay against Division One side Consett after an epic 1st round battle at the RGPS on Saturday.
Manager Mark Fanning had been on a scouting mission to Consett recently and made four changes to his starting XI in a switch to a 4-4-2 formation to nullify the danger of former Hartlepool striker Mickey MacKay.
So Wayne Gredziak, Marcus Laing and Anthony Roberts all dropped to the bench, with James Bowman, Ian Smurthwaite and Stu Dunn coming in to replace them, while Carl Chillingsworth returned in place of the absent Col Anderson.
After a tight opening twenty minutes, it was Consett who took the lead when defender David Scorer  was given far too much time to fire home an unstoppable shot from 25 yards - the first goal conceded by Steve Craggs this season.
Town were playing some good football in the first half but they failed to seriously test visiting goalkeeper Chris Elliott, and Consett were close to doubling their advantage just before the break when MacKay struck the post.
With half time approaching there was more concern for Town when Smurthwaite required lengthy treatment after a clash of heads, but thankfully the damage was not as bad as first feared and he was able to continue.
Town knew they were still in the tie and they came out looking far more dangerous at the start of the second period. They were close to grabbing an equaliser within five minutes when Adam Emson got to the bye-line and cut the ball back for Steve Butterworth, but his shot was well saved by Elliott.
Fanning introduced Gredziak soon after as Town looked to keep their Vase dream alive. The game opened up after that, with Consett being frustrated by Town's excellent defence and Town themselves creating a number of half chances. But with less than ten minutes to go, the Division One side still led.
Town, however, dug deep and they were rewarded on 83 minutes with a fully deserved equaliser. Gav Parkin's corner from the right reached the back post where, reminiscent of his Ernest Armstrong Cup winning goal, Hickman ghosted in unnoticed to head past Elliott.
In fact Town almost won it in stoppage time when Gredziak's cross eluded both Emson and  Chillingsworth in the centre sending the tie into extra time.
The extra half an hour saw both sides have chances to win the game. Twice Consett got in behind the Town defence but both times the danger was cleared, while at the other end Gredziak's through ball freed Emson, only for his shot across goal to be scrambled to safety.
"It was a much better performance than we have produced in recent weeks," said Fanning at the end. "And a draw was a fair result. We'll just have to do it all over again in the replay now."
Consett manager Kenny Lindoe said: "It was a tale of missed chances at one end, and a goalkeeping error at the other that has cost us the game, but at least we have another crack at it."”
The replay is this Tuesday evening at 7.30pm, meaning Town's league match at Ryton & Crawcrook, scheduled for the following night, has been postponed.
NORTHALLERTON TOWN - Craggs, Shoulder, Dunn, Hickman, Winter, Parkin, Smurthwaite, Butterworth, Emson, Chillingsworth, Bowman. Subs- Briggs, Roberts, Banks, Laing, Gredziak.

CONSETT - Elliott, Pearson, Davidson, Smith, Scorer, Piecha, King, Robson, Sullivan, MacKay, Lund. Subs - Aiston, Slocombe, Davies, Stanger, Jameson
REFEREE: D. Storrie


  1. Cant beleive i was dropped when i had a chance to impress kenny lindoe. Ill be on fire on tuesday night, due a goal or two aswell. Scorer watch out, gredz is ready!

  2. Haha, funny wayne. you need to sort ur touch out mate if u wanna impress fanning never mind kenny hahahaha

  3. What a mad decision not to have Col on the bench, he could have come on and won it for us. Fresh legs. Nose to spite face comes to mind. Northallerton Town first and not egos.

    They were there for the taking nothing to worry about now a big win for us in the replay.

  4. I dont get why people would be bothered about Col. I should have been enough to get us the win but only got 20 mins. Will be a different story if I get a full game. Can remember playing a big cup tie for Shildon and me bagging a brace. I can do it again with the right service. Roll on tomorrow. Gredz.

  5. There you go Col, thats what the club thinks of you. Thing is, he does it and you have not as yet. I hope you can but words are nothing action is key. Cols actions speak for themselves and theres no getting away from that. All the best for later on if its on I will not be going owing to other events.

    This is when you will see if the gaffer as any true metal, dont care for managers that take the easy way out ie dropping Col because we now have four front players fit. Mr Fanning could try the old 4-2-4 it worked for Holland in the 70's.

  6. Gredz got a point how can he show when hes on the bench, I would change it for the replay, play Col and Gredz from the start will really throw them. They will be expexting the same as the pre match.