Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bisto is different gravy as Town hit Shields for four

By Ricky Butler at the Calvert Stadium

Highlights of this match can be viewed here

TWO GOALS each from the new-look strike force of Colin Anderson and Christian Holliday on Wednesday evening gave Northallerton Town a third win in four games in what proved to be a comfortable victory over South Shields.

Anderson opened the scoring midway through the first half with a late contender for Goal of the Season, while Holliday, known as Bisto, doubled the lead before the break.

Holliday then sealed the points nine minutes into the second half, before Anderson put the cap on a fine team performance on the hour with his 19th goal of an impressive season.

With goals hard to come by in recent weeks, manager Peter Mulcaster was delighted with his new-look attack. He said: "The biggest difference tonight was that we had two lads up front who were scoring. It gives everybody confidence. You think you're going to get something out the game.

"[South Shields] are always a difficult team to play against because they are direct. For the first ten minutes or so we were all over the place, they were forcing the game. But then we broke away and scored and after that we settled down.

"It was one of our best performances for a few weeks so I am very, very pleased."

Following Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Heaton Stannington, Mulcaster was forced into three changes. Anderson returned up front following a hamstring injury and was partnered by Holliday in a new-look forward line, while Michael Gunnell was back in the left wing back position.

Against a big and aggressive Mariners side, Town were slow out of the blocks but they were given the boost an early goal. And what a goal it was. Andrew Porritt, again outstanding in midfield, found Anderson just inside the penalty area in the 17th minute, and his instant control with his chest set the ball up nicely to volley past Jak Wells.

Suddenly Mulcaster's men looked transformed. After lacking a forward threat in recent weeks, they were now attacking from all angles and the second goal was not long in arriving.

There was half-an-hour on the clock when Gav Parkin's corner from the right was headed onto the crossbar by Grant Hickman and when the big centre back forced the ball back into the six-yard box, Holliday had the simple task of tapping home.

Having gone in at half time 2-0 up the previous week against Ryton and then almost throwing it away in the second half, no one inside the stadium was taking anything for granted this time. But Town came out after the break looking determined to ensure a repeat was not on the cards and it took them just nine minutes to add the killer third goal.

Ironically against a side that are so dangerous from long throws, it was that very move which brought about Shields' downfall. Gunnell threw the ball into the heart of the penalty area and after Anderson flicked it on, Holliday arrived to head home his second from close range.

Town could now relax and they began to play the kind of football that makes you wonder just how they have not featured in the promotion race this season. The fourth goal on the hour illustrated this perfectly. Danny McLachlan skipped clear down the right and fed Dale Elgie on the edge of the penalty area. He in turn drilled the ball across the six-yard box for Anderson to slide the ball past Wells from six yards. Simple but oh so effective.

Town inevitably eased off after that and allowed Shields more possession, but with the back three of Hickman, Andy Ramsbottom, and James Howlett outstanding, Mulcaster's men were able to close the game out for a first clean sheet in eight games.

"We scored goals at the right time," said Mulcaster. "The confidence came back and it was nice to be able to relax after the third goal had gone in. We haven't been able to do that for a while."

Town will now look for a fourth win in five matches when they visit another in-form side, Willington, on Saturday. With 13 goals and 3 red cards from their two previous meetings this season, not to mention some national news coverage, that is a match not to be missed.

TOWN - Hodgson - Has settled in really well since arriving from Stokesley and gave another assured performance. 8/10

Ramsbottom - Has slotted in seamlessly in recent weeks. One of the (re)signings of the season. 8/10

Howlett - Had his hands full against some big, strong lads but was calm and assured all night. 8/10

Hickman - Unlucky not to score with a first half header that hit the bar but it was at the other end where he did his best work. Quite simply one of the best centre backs in the league. 9/10

Porritt - Outstanding in the middle of the park. Again. 8/10

Elgie - Bossed the midfield. One of the favourites for Player of the Season and this is why. 8/10

McLachlan - Perhaps did not see as much of the ball as he would have liked but his part in the fourth goal was superb. 8/10

Parkin - Back to his best. In a solid team performance, he once again played a captain's role. 8/10

Anderson - Goals win games and he once again delivered when it mattered. A fabulous opener and in the right place at the right time for the fourth. Joint man of the match. 9/10

Holliday - Two poachers goals and linked well with Anderson all night. Joint man of the match. 9/10

Gunnell - Back from injury and showed what a great prospect he is. A constant threat down the left. 8/10

SUBS - Burton - Worked hard after coming off the bench but was unable to find a much-needed goal. 7/10

Hemingway - Replaced Gunnell late on and helped steady the ship in the closing stages. 7/10

UNUSED - Kokes, Perry, Stevens, Colman.

SOUTH SHIELDS - Wells, Clarke, Riding, Holliday, White, Locke, Berhen, Richardson, Ramsey, Sweeney, Feasey. SUBS - Greenwell, Kwalangan, McLean, King.

REFEREE - L. Robinson.


No comments:

Post a Comment