Monday, 26 November 2012

It's the Chilli and Emmo show as Town win away again


A BRACE each from deadly duo Carl Chillingsworth and Adam Emson gave Town another impressive away victory at West Allotment on Saturday.

Arriving in Benton with an unbeaten away record to defend, Town manager Mark Fanning named an unchanged 16 from the squad that had played so well in drawing with leaders Ryhope the previous week.

Despite heavy rain leading up to the match, the pitch was in good condition and Town settled quickly to take control with two goals in four minutes midway through the first half.

Chillingsworth opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he arrived unmarked at the far post to turn a Wayne Gredziak cross past West goalkeeper Ryan Beal from close range, before Emson made it 2-0 four minutes later.

The former Stokesley man did well to control a long ball out of defence from Craig Winter before beating Simon Wilthew and smashing an unstoppable shot past Beal from the edge of the penalty area.

Town were now in complete control and it was very nearly 3-0 before the break when only a desperate goalline clearance from Marc Allen denied Gredziak after a great ball from Emson.

The second period followed a similar pattern as Emson and Winter both came close before Chillingsworth made the points safe with his second - and 14th goal of the season - on the hour.

Beal failed to hold a speculative cross from Steve Butterworth and Chillingsworth followed up to force the ball home at the second attempt from virtually right on the goalline.

Town continued to play some good football and had the chances to make the scoreline more emphatic. Butterworth and Emson were both denied by Beal before Emson grabbed his 21st goal of the season, two minutes from time.

Gredziak sent the 28 year old clear of the West defence and he chipped the ball over the onrushing Beal from 12 yards.

The only blot on the Town copybook was a soft goal conceded in stoppage time. Goalkeeper Steve Craggs did well to keep out an effort from West player-manager Paul Stoneman, but Sean Reid was first to react to nod the ball home from close range and it finished 4-1.

Town manager Fanning said: “"It was a good win, because West Allotment have been going well recently. We played some very good football during the game, and it was a good three points.”"

WEST ALLOTMENT CELTIC - Beal, Pendlebury, Douglas, Allen, Stoneman, Wilthew, Henderson, Reid, Dormand, Hudson, Lee. Subs - Bell, Findlay, Quinn, Hutchinson, Raffo.

TOWN - Craggs, Hickman, Alderson, Shoulder, Winter, Parkin, Butterworth, Laing, Emson, Chilingsworth, Gredziak. Subs - Roberts, Bulmer, Bowman, Dunn, Smurthwaite.



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Late Gredziak goal gives Town a vital point in top-of-the-table clash


A late equaliser from in-form Wayne Gredziak rescued a point for Town in an exciting meeting between the top two sides in the league on Saturday.

Ryhope arrived at the RGPS with a five point advantage at the top of the table but Town have a game in hand so it was a match neither side could really to lose.

Town manager Mark Fanning made seven changes to the side that had beaten North Ormesby in the North Riding Senior Cup three days earlier. Steve Craggs returned in goal, while Dave Alderson, Danny Shoulder and Craig Winter were all recalled in defence. Meanwhile, Gav Parkin and Marcus Laing were back in the heart of midfield, with Gredziak returning to the starting XI after scoring from the bench in midweek.

The game was in doubt at lunchtime after rain had left the pitch very heavy, but referee John Harper deemed it playable, much to the relief of the bumper 154 crowd that had arrived in Northallerton anticipating a thrilling encounter.

After an even opening twenty minutes the game burst into life midway through the first half with three goals in less than six minutes. Town grabbed a 23rd minute lead when Gredziak found Adam Emson with a measured through ball and he fired past Ryhope goalkeeper Chris Rookes into the roof of the net with his weaker right foot.

But the leaders turned the match on its head with two goals in quick succession. Their 27th minute equaliser had a touch of controversy about it as the linesman signalled a Town goal kick but Harper overruled him and awarded Ryhope a corner instead, which was headed home by leading scorer Johnny Butler - his 26th goal of the season.

Worse was to follow for Town, two minutes later as James Cook's cross evaded everyone and nestled into the corner of the net, possibly via a slight touch off Chris Trewick, to give the visitors the lead.

Town were causing problems from set pieces, with Craig Winter twice heading efforts wide of the target, before a David Alderson header was flicked on by Gredziak only for the ball to sail narrowly over the crossbar.

It was not all one-way traffic however, and as half time approached Craggs was forced into a full length save to deny Butler a second.

Town started the second half on the front foot and created a number of openings. The impressive Alderson broke into the box and his shot was heading for the top corner of the net until the fingertips of Rookes deflected the ball behind for a corner, before the Ryhope keeper then did well to deny Butterworth.

But Butler almost made the game safe of 73 minutes when he worked a good position in the box but stabbed the ball wide of the post, while Town were grateful to Craggs for a point blank save from Chris Winn soon after.

Fanning introduced Peter Bulmer for Carl Chillingsworth thirteen minutes from time, and his pace created the equaliser six minutes later. The new signing from Norton beat his full back and cut the ball back from the bye line to Gredziak, who's shot struck the bar and bounced down into the net, via the back of the unfortunate Rookes.

The home fans could sense a win now and Butterworth's shot from the edge of the area was saved at full length by Rookes before,  Alderson's goal-bound effort was blocked on the edge of the 6 yard box in stoppage time.

"It was a good game of football played on a very heavy pitch," said Fanning at the whistle. "I thought it was a great advert for 2nd division football and I expect both sides to be thereabouts at the end of the season."

Ryhope manager Martin Swales said: "I thought it was a very tough game against a very strong side on a very soft pitch which made it hard to pass the ball. I thought a draw was a fair result but I was disappointed when we conceded a late goal. However, overall I a’m happy with a draw.”"

Town return to action on Wednesday evening when they begin their defence of the Ernest Armstrong Trophy with a home tie against Alnwick Town. Kick off at the RGPS is 7.30pm and entrance is £5 for adults and £2.50 concessions.

TOWN - Craggs, Hickman, Alderson, Shoulder, Winter, Parkin, Butterworth, Laing, Emson, Chillingsworth, Gredziak. Subs - Roberts, Dunn, Bowman, Smurthwaite, Bulmer.

RYHOPE CW - Rookes, Stead, Cook, Dunn, Swansbury, Trewick, Charlton, Johnson, Butler, Winn, McMahon. Subs - O'Neill, French, Linton, Ward, Mordey.

REFEREE: J. Harper


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Town ease past North Ormesby in North Riding Senior Cup


TOWN eased into the second round of the North Riding Senior Cup with this routine victory over Teesside League Division One side North Ormesby at the RGPS on Wedneday evening.

With half an eye on Saturday's crucial league meeting against Ryhope CW, Town manager Mark Fanning made seven changes to the side that had won at Thornaby last weekend.

So in came Academy goalkeeper Dean Hudson, while Stu Dunn, Steve Banks, Pete Bulmer, Steve Butterworth, James Bowman and Alex Caisley were all given a much needed run out.

The visitors knew they had nothing to lose and started well, with Pete Griffiths going close in the early stages, but Town took control with two goals in the opening twenty minutes - both typical strikers finishes from Carl Chillingsworth.

Carl Chillingsworth puts Town 1-0 up
He opened the scoring on 12 minutes, tucking away a neat pull back from Adam Emson with the minimum of fuss, before rounding goalkeeper Michael Duff and tapping home from close range ten minutes later.

But it would not be Town if they were to make things too easy for themselves and they gifted Ormesby a way back into the tie on the half-hour. A long ball into the penalty area should have been dealt with, but John Cairnes was allowed to nip in front of Hudson and nod home from 6 yards.

Fanning was forced into a change during the break as Chillingsworth was nursing a knee injury picked up while scoring the second goal, so Saturday's hat-trick hero Wayne Gredziak replaced him up front for the second half.

And it was 3-1 six minutes after the resumption. Emson again created the opportunity with a pull-back from the left and this time Butterworth was on hand to sweep the ball past Duff from 8 yards - his 8th goal of an impressive season.

The tie was as good as over four minutes later when Town added a fourth. Bulmer, who was having more and more influence down the right-hand side, found Gredziak through the centre and he coolly lofted the ball over the stranded Duff from 20 yards - his 6th goal in the last 5 matches.
Wayne Gredziak celebrates putting Town 4-1 ahead
Fanning's side were now in complete control and could have added more gloss to the scoreline in the closing stages as Butterworth, Gredziak, Bowman and Emson all came close as Ormesby tired.

In fact Bulmer did have the ball in the net fifteen minutes from time after a lovely turn and finish on the edge of the area, but referee Philip Yates ruled it out as Emson had drifted offside, even though he was not active in the move.

In the end it was the visitors who scored the final goal of the night. Hudson, who had been largely inactive for much of the second half, did well to keep out a low drive from Cairnes, but when the resulting corner was only half-cleared to the edge of the area, Andrew Lambert drilled it back into the roof of the net.

"We got what we wanted from the night," said Fanning at the whistle. "It was a good win, we gave a few lads a much needed run out and we came through it largely unscathed.

Mark Fanning and Martin Collins watch over another Town win
"Chilli should be fit for Saturday. He tweaked his knee so we took him off as a precaution. It was a good opportunity to utilise the squad and give some lads much needed match time.

"Alex Caisley, Stuey Dunn and Steve Butts all did very well, but the whole team put in a good shift. We knew what to expect from them and we dealt with it. We can now concentrate on Saturday."

TOWN - Hudson, Roberts, Dunn, Hickman, Banks, Caisley, Butterworth, Bowman, Emson, Chillingsworth, Bulmer. Subs - Gredziak, Shoulder, Alderson, Laing, Colman.

NORTH ORMESBY - Duff, Kennedy, Jack, Griffiths,(P) Hardy, Brown, Lambert, Hebron, Boldison, Griffiths(J). Subs - Cordeiro, Williams, Turner, James.



*Pics courtesy of Paul Gaythorpe from Pik4Images

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Gredziak rediscovers scoring touch at just the right time

AFTER scoring with his first touch for the club back in September, it appeared Wayne Gredziak would go on to challenge the leading scorers in Ebac Northern League Division Two this season.

But it had not quite worked out that way. After that debut goal against Horden CW, Gredziak went 10 matches without scoring as he seemed to constantly run into opposing goalkeepers on the very top of their form. And when he did find the target, like against Esh Winning at the end of September, the referee disallowed it for an earlier offence.

"That summed up the run I was on," said Gredziak. "Sometimes as a striker that happens. I never lost faith in my ability but you need to be scoring goals. I always felt that once I got one, others would follow and thankfully that has been the case."

Since breaking his barren spell with a goal in the win over Chester-le-Street last month, Gredziak has hit top form and Saturday's hat-trick at Thornaby took his tally to five goals in the last four matches.

It had appeared his luck was out again early on at Teesdale Park on Saturday when he saw a close range effort cleared off the line by Thornaby skipper Stephen Morrison, but it all came good for the former Durham City man in the end.

"That was my first hat-trick for a while," said the 32 year old in the wake of his match-winning treble.

"I knew I was onside for the first one, as I was behind Chilli when he had the original shot. The second was a great cross from Emmo but it was slightly behind me so I had to re-adjust my position.

"I didn't even look at the goalkeeper for the third. It was a great ball from Gav and I knew that if I could bend it around him, it would go in."

Gredziak's treble, along with goals from substitute Stephen Butterworth and Emson, helped Town came back from 2-0 down to beat Thornaby 5-3.

"It was a big result for us after the disappointment of Washington the previous week," said Gredziak. "We knew the first half was not good enough but we stepped it up after the break and we are all delighted with the win, especially as (leaders) Ryhope lost."

Town manager Mark Fanning also paid tribute to his striker. He said: "Wayne has worked extremely hard since coming to the club. He sometimes moans a bit but you cannot fault his attitude. We were pleased to be able to sign him and he has given us exactly what we hoped he would.

"I wasn't really worried about his lack of goals. I knew he would score eventually. His record speaks for itself. His hat-trick on Saturday was just reward for the work he has put in up until now, and I can see him pushing Emmo all the way for top scorer at the club now."

With leaders Ryhope visiting the RGPS on Saturday, it was a good time for Gredziak to rediscover his goalscoring touch. The Ryhope front two of Johnny Butler and Chris Winn have scored over 50 goals between them so far this season, but the Town forward line of Gredziak, Emson and Chillingsworth have now contributed 34.

"Ryhope are not just about the front two," said Fanning. "They are a very good side. They have won everything at Wearside League level over the last few years so we know it will be a tough match.

"It is too early in the season to call it a title decider as there will be many twists and turns along the way, but if we can close the gap a little on Saturday, I will be delighted."

Before the visit of Ryhope, however, Town entertain Teesside League Division One side North Ormesby in the North Riding Senior Cup tomorrow night. Town were originally drawn away, but as Ormesby do not have floodlights at their Vicarage Field ground, it was agreed to switch venue.

North Ormesby have enjoyed a decent start to the season with only two league defeats so far, so they will provide Fanning's side with a tough examination ahead of Saturday's summit meeting.

With that in mind the Town boss is expected to make changes to the side that won at Thronaby, with Academy goalkeeper Dean Hudson expected to start, while other Academy players like Sam Grainger and Alex Caisley could feature.

Although Town have never won this competiton, they were beaten finalists in both 2006 and 2007 so will be hoping to go one better this time. Kick off at the RGPS tomorrow night is 7.30pm and entrance is £5 for adults and £2.50 concessions.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Gredziak treble seals exciting Town comeback


A HAT-TRICK from Wayne Gredziak saw Town come back from 2-0 down to win a dramatic match at Teesdale Park on Saturday.

Having done the hard work by turning a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 advantage, Mark Fanning's side looked to have thrown away another two points when they allowed former Town striker Gary Mitchell an equaliser with just four minutes remaining.

But stoppage time goals from Gredziak - to complete his hat-trick - and leading scorer Adam Emson, gave Town another impressive away victory.

"The opening twenty-five minutes apart, I thought we played well," said a relieved Mark Fanning at the end.

"We seem to relax more away from home and perhaps that explains why we are unbeaten on our travels. The players maybe feel the pressure a little more at home and we are not as fluid in our play.

"We carry a threat going forward but perhaps the way we set up leaves us vulnerable at the back at times. However, I will take a 5-3 win away from home any time."

Fanning rang the changes after last week's shocking 4-3 reverse against Washington, so out went goalkeeper Dean Hudson, Craig Winter, Stu Dunn, Pete Bulmer and Stephen Butterworth, with Steve Craggs, Danny Shoulder, Anthony Roberts, Ian Smurthwaite and Carl Chillingsworth all coming in.

But the changes did not appear to have worked in a dire opening twenty-five minutes from Town. As is the fashion these days, they conceded an early goal when Mitchell rose above Grant Hickman to head home a left wing cross from the impressive Liam O'Mahoney after just 14 minutes.

And worse was to follow, twelve minutes later. The Town defence stood off Rocky Andrews, who was allowed to turn and fire past Craggs from 18 yards to make it 2-0.

But slowly Fanning's side began to settle. They were close to pulling a goal back in the 32nd minute when only a spectacular goal-line clearance from Thornaby skipper Stephen Morrisson denied Gredziak, while home goalkeeper Nicholas Farrell then did well to keep out an effort from Emson three minutes later.

It was nearly all over five minutes before the break however, when only a superb save from Craggs prevented David Howe making it 3-0, and that proved to be the turning point as Town gave themselves a lifeline in the final minute of the half.

Chillingsworth's spectacular scissors kick was kept out by Farrell, but Gredziak was lurking on the 6 yard line to tuck away the rebound, despite home appeals for offside.

As well as giving Town a way back into the match, the goal also saved them for the full Fanning hairdryer treatment during the interval and they came out for the second half looking a different side.

Indeed they felt they should have had a penalty ten minutes after the resumption when Emson appeared to be impeded by Farrell as he bore down on goal, but referee Michael Taylor was unimpressed.

Fanning made changes - bringing on Steve Banks and Butterworth for Roberts and Smurthwaite - and it looked to be an inspired move when Butterworth grabbed the equaliser sixteen minutes from time.

Chillingsworth's tame effort was probably rolling towards the bottom corner of the net when defender Richard Walker inadvertently directed it back along the line for Butterworth to tap home - much to the joy of the travelling masses behind the goal.

The turn around then appeared complete two minutes later when Gredziak twisted his neck to power a header past Farrrell from 10 yards following a delightful left wing cross from Emson.

But Town switched off for a moment in the closing stages and gifted Thornaby an equaliser. Mitchell was left in acres of space down the Town right and he drilled a low shot past Craggs at the near post to make it 3-3 with just four minutes left on the clock.

However, Town dug deep and showed their attacking quality to win it in stoppage time. Gav Parkin created the fourth with a wonderful defence-splitting pass for Gredziak to gratefully gobble up his hat-trick.

Then, after missing a similar chances moments earlier, Emson ran through to dink a delicate chip over the on-rushing Farrell to put the seal on another great away day for Town.

"I am delighted for Wayne," said Fanning. "He has worked hard since arriving at the club and today he has got his reward.

"The second half performance was much better. I was a little disappointed we let it slip at 3-2, but credit to the lads for sticking at it. It sets us up nicely for the top-of-the-table clash with Ryhope next week."

That match now has added significance after Ryhope were surprisingly beaten at home by Tow Law Town, meaning the gap at the top is down to just five points.

Before that however, Town face North Ormesby in the North Riding Senior Cup on Wednesday evening at the RGPS. Kick off is 7.30pm and admittance is £5 for adults and £2.50 concessions. With 19 goals in the last 3 matches, you would be mad to miss it.

THORNABY - Farrell, Walker, Morton, Morrisson, Joseph, Horsman, Callan, Andrews, Mitchell, Howe, O'Mahoney. Subs - Howard, Hubbard, Wilkinson, Bonner, Keenan.

TOWN - Craggs, Alderson, Roberts, Hickman, Shoulder, Parkin, Smurthwaite, Laing, Emson, Chillingsworth, Gredziak. Subs - Dunn, Banks, Bowman, Butterworth, Bulmer.

REFEREE - M. Taylor.


Monday, 5 November 2012

Town suffer promotion set back as Washington leave with the points


TOWN's promotion hopes suffered an unexpected blow as Washington left the RGPS with a surprise three points on Saturday.

Manager Mark Fanning had announced the re-signing of Pete Bulmer from Norton two days earlier, and the winger, back for a third spell at Northallerton, was named in the starting XI at the expense of James Bowman, who dropped to the bench.

The big team news however, saw the first team debut of Academy goalkeeper Dean Hudson, while club captain Danny Shoulder returned to the bench following a groin injury.

Washington, who had lost 6-1 at Morpeth the previous week, started well and Hudson was immediately called into action to tip a shot from Chris Tate around the post.

Therefore, it was no real surprise when the visitors went in front in the 12th minute. Nick Evans sent Michael Latimer clear of the Town rearguard and he beat Hudson with a low shot from 15 yards.

Town responded with a header from leading scorer Adam Emson that went just the wrong side of the target, but they were back on level terms midway through the first half. The Washington defence was unable to deal with a corner from Gav Parkin and Wayne Gredziak arrived unmarked to head past goalkeeper Chris Bannon from close range.

But rather than lift Town to greater heights, the goal merely stirred Washington into action and they regained the lead less than two minutes later - Latimer sweeping home his second following a swift counter attack.

The open nature of the game continued as Fanning's side came close to drawing level again moments later when only a fine double save from Bannon kept out Marcus Laing and then Gredziak's follow up.

And that proved to be the turning point as Washington broke out to add a third, two minutes before the break. A strong run from Dan Young resulted in Tate firing past Hudson from 25 yards to make it 3-1.

But Town gave themselves something positive to build on for the second half when Emson's shot from 12 yards was deflected past Bannon to reduce the arrears to a single goal.

Indeed, Town began the second period on the attack and were close to an equaliser inside the opening minute when Emson seized on a poor clearance from Bannon but fired into the side netting.

However, it was Washington who restored their two goal cushion seconds later when Tate returned the favour for Young with a lovely through ball which the Washington midfielder finished well from close range.

Fanning had seen enough and sent on Chillingsworth for the ineffective Bulmer, and he made an immediate impression with a towering header from a Gredziak cross to make it 4-3 with twenty minutes still to play.

Town now sensed a comeback and threw everything forward in the closing stages. They looked to have been rewarded in stoppage time when Emson turned the ball home from 6 yards, only for an offside flag to cut short his celebration and Washington held on for the points.

TOWN - Hudson, Alderson, Banks, Hickman, Winter, Parkin, Laing, Butterworth, Emson, Gredziak, Bulmer. Subs - Chillingsworth, Shoulder, Dunn, Roberts, Bowman.

WASHINGTON - Bannon, Pattison, Latimer(R), Evans, Compson, Atkinson, Young, Wade, Latimer(M), Tate, Turner. Subs - Locke, Robinson, Hyde, Covell, Swann.

REFEREE: M. Hedley