Saturday, 14 September 2013

Anderson treble too much for stuggling Albion

By Ricky Butler at Kingsley Park

A SUPERB hat-trick from the retuning Colin Anderson was enough to give Northallerton Town a comfortable victory from a rather scrappy encounter at struggling Ryton & Crawcrook on Saturday.

Having missed the last three matches due to suspension, three matches in which Peter Mulcaster's side had failed to win, Anderson announced his return in the best possible way with the perfect hat-trick - a left-footed opener, a headed second and a right-footed third.

"I am very pleased," said Anderson at the whistle. "I was surprised to get straight back in the squad but we have one or two missing next week so I was in and I scored three. I am happy.

"We could have scored a few more and we missed some chances, but luckily I was there to pop three in for us."

Mulcaster's starting XI showed four changes from the midweek draw at North Shields. Ian Smurthwaite returned at left back in place of David Cooke, captain Gav Parkin was back in midfield following a hamstring injury, while Anderson slotted straight back in on the right side of midfield.

The big news, however, saw York City loanee Chris Dickinson partner Jamie Clarke in attack following his arrival from the League One outfit this week.

Elsewhere, Danny McLachlan switched to the left wing with Jason Brazausakas, who has been complaining of tiredness, dropping to the bench alongside Darren Kokes and Mike Colman.

On an awful pitch, Town started well and with Dickinson and Anderson linking well it was no real surprise when Mulcaster's side went in front after just eight minutes.

Dickinson, who appeared for Town on a couple of occasions at the back end of last season, had already been denied by Albion goalkeeper Fraser Nairn when he sent Anderson clear down the right, and the winger cut inside full back Leigh Shickle before curling home with his left foot.

The lead almost lasted just six minutes when only a fine, full-length save from Town stopper Alex Kell denied Paul Clarke an equaliser, but the remainder of the half saw a succession of missed Town opportunities.

Grant Hickman sent a header crashing back off the underside of the crossbar before a Dickinson effort also came back of the square-shaped woodwork. There was more than a hint that both had gone over the line, but with no goal-line technology in the Northern League it remained 1-0.

Jamie Clarke then headed wide after an inviting right-wing cross from Steve Banks before the veteran striker, with 8 goals to his name already this season, rounded Nairn but could only find the side-netting from a tight angle.

But Mulcaster's men did double their lead ten minutes before the break. Dickinson sent Anderson clear again with a carbon copy of the move that had led to the opening goal, but this time Nairn was able to tip over the top.

However, the resulting corner, whipped in from the right by Parkin, was met with a powerful header from 12 yards by Anderson that gave the Albion 'keeper no chance.

Most of Town's good attacking play in the opening period was coming down the right-hand side and it was from there that Dickinson almost the goal his performance had deserved as his near post shot was blocked by defender Adam Chrostowski.

Mulcaster made a change at the break, replacing McLachlan with Brazauskas down the left, but the game degenerated into a scrappy midfield battle in the second half.

Ryton, who began the day with just one point to their name, had brought in five new players this week in a bid to arrest the slide, and the introduction of one - the shaggy-haired Reece Darwent - finally gave them some attacking impetus.

Twice the former South Shields man was denied by Kell before seeing another effort scrambled clear by Banks, but it was Town who added a third in the 64th minute.

Dickinson was again at the heart of it with another superb pass inside Shickle, and Anderson was on to it like a flash to fire past Nairn with his right foot.

But a match that not seen a bad tackle of note, and had been superbly refereed by the gorgeous Rebecca Welsh, ended in untidy fashion.

A 50-50 clash on halfway between Kokes and Ryton substitute Andrew Peacock left the Albion man with a suspected broken rib and in the aftermath, home midfielder Osiama Davidson was shown a straight red card for a push on Smurthwaite. Meanwhile Smurthwaite and Jamie Clarke were both shown yellow for their part in the melee.

Having used all their substitutes, Albion were forced to play out the closing stages with 9 men as Peacock was taken to hospital, and for the second Saturday in a row a Town match finished as 10 vs. 9 when Smurthwaite hobbled off with a back injury soon after.

A rather inauspicious finale to what had been an uninspiring afternoon.

"It was an awful game on an awful pitch," said Mulcaster. "It was good for Colin to come back and score 3 and we could have had a few more, but lets just leave it at that.

"We know what we get from Jamie Clarke, which is brilliant, but sometimes it doesn't work and other people take the stage which happened today with Colin.

"It was a very mediocre performance but a comfortable victory in the end. There is an old saying in football that if you play badly and win you have a chance, and we have done that.

"We had a superb performance in midweek but this is now three mediocre performances out of the last four games. However, we have won today so we are happy.

"We've now got five homes in a row so hopefully we can get some good results, but I am still looking at bringing 1 or 2 more players in. We have Darren Kokes and Danny Mac suspended from next Saturday."

On the performance of York-loanee Dickinson, Mulcaster said: "Chris did okay today. He maybe tried a little too hard at times but he is a very good player and linked well with Colin at times."

With no midweek game, Mulcaster is hoping to arrange a friendly before the visit to the Calvert Stadium next weekend of Heaton Stannington.

RYTON & CRAWCROOK - Nairn, Judd, Shickle, Davidson, Chrostowski, Pooley, Holland, Danquah, Edwards, Clarke, Watson. Subs - Peacock, Below, Johnson, Wilson, Darwent.

TOWN - Kell, Banks, Smurthwaite, Hickman, Davies, Parkin, Andeson, Elgie, Clarke, Dickinson, McLachlan. Subs - Brazauskas, Kokes, Colman.

REFEREE - R. Welsh.


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