Durham County FA Challenge Cup 3rd. Round
I had intended to watch the 2nd Division game Washington v Norton & Stockton Ancients but it had to be postponed due to an arson attack which badly damaged the changing rooms. My next choice was Darlington RA v Crook Town but that was postponed due to the state of the playing surface during the afternoon. So I decided to spend a freezing evening at one of the highest and coldest football grounds in the whole of the civilized world! I am pleased with my final choice as I met up with a lot of people I know and the game itself was quite good.
Item of interest: Tow Law is about 980 feet above sea level -the highest football ground in England, though, is at Silverlands, home to Buxton FC, which is more than 1,000 feet above sea level - but that's nothing compared to the real altitude-busters in central and south America.
The Azteca Stadium in Mexico City stands at 7,000 feet above sea level, while the daddy of them all, the National Stadium in the Bolivian capital La Paz, is a breath-sapping 8,500 feet above sea level.
I have copied Paul Sigsworth's excellent report from the Synners' web site at http://www.synners.co.uk/
Tow Law Town 2, Billingham Synthonia 3
Durham Challenge Cup 3rd Round
Synthonia travelled to Tow Law and made two changes from the starting eleven that drew with Ryton. David Barnes returned at left-back, with Jason Honeyman making his first start since returning to Billingham from Guisborough Town.
A free-kick inside the first two minutes from David Yale was aimed towards James Magowan, but Lawyers keeper Simon Bishop caught easily. The home side then forced a couple of corners with the second one seeing an effort go just wide of the upright.
Tow Law opened the scoring in the 10th minute. ANDY JOHNSON received the ball to the left of goal, and produced a fine finish as he placed his shot past Synners keeper Ben Escritt.
Billingham advanced down the right flank in the 16th minute as Colin Iley and Honeyman exchanged passes. Iley attempted to drive the ball across the face of goal but saw his cross go wide.
The home side had a great chance to extend their lead in the 22nd minute when Lee Hamilton latched onto a ball over the top of the Synthonia rearguard. His shot however, went wide of the upright.
Hamilton again came close in the 26th minute when a cross from the left flank saw him head inches wide of the post. The hosts continued to create the better openings and just a minute later Mark Eccles found space to the left of goal, but he shot well wide of the target.
Synners came back in the 31st minute as Honeyman took advantage of the defence backing off to carry the ball towards the Lawyers goal. He shot from 25 yards but Bishop made a comfortable save. Then two minutes later, an Iley corner from the left was swung in and struck the near post.
Synthonia's best chance of the half came in the 39th minute. James Magowan threaded the ball through for Iley to go one on one with the keeper. He attempted to go round Bishop, giving the stopper chance to get a hand on the ball and thwart the opportunity.
Half-time: Tow Law 1, Synners 0
In the 55th minute the hosts won a free-kick in a good position from 20 yards. Hamilton's effort however was straight at the Billingham wall and was eventually cleared.
Synners then attacked down the left two minutes later as Iley laid the ball wide to Honeyman. His cross was almost inch perfect to Michael Cater but Stephen Hutt rose well and headed to safety. Tow Law counter attacked, and a long range effort seemed to be sneaking into the net before Escritt produced a top quality save as he tipped the ball onto the cross-bar and smothered it under pressure.
The Lawyers again opened up the Billingham defence in the 59th minute, Johnson's defence splitting pass found Hamilton through on goal, but his shot was straight at Escritt.
Synthonia levelled in the 62nd minute. A Yale corner from the right fell into a group of players, and TOMMY MARRON reacted quickest as he prodded the ball home from close range.
Billingham almost took the lead in the 66th minute when another Yale corner from the right, this time aimed at the back post, saw Cater head inches wide of the post.
Synners continued their momentum, and after 72 minutes Iley and Magowan combined, with Magowan producing a great shot that brought out a fantastic save from Bishop. A minute later and Craig Perry picked out Iley on the right. His cross found the head of Magowan but the ball was straight into the arms of Bishop.
The visitors eventually took the lead in the 78th minute. The Tow Law defence backed off as Yale carried the ball into the penalty area. He was then brought down by a defender and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. JAMES MAGOWAN stepped up and rifled his spot kick to the left and into the net.
Billingham extended the lead in the 85th minute as Tow Law pushed up in search of a leveller. A ball forward saw COLIN ILEY beat the offside trap and in on goal with only the advancing Bishop to beat. The keeper momentarily stopped the chance, but Iley picked up the loose ball and slotted it into an empty net.
Bishop was called into action again two minutes later as Synthonia continued to press. This time it was substitute Mark Casey's long range shot that almost found the net before the Lawyers keeper palmed the ball onto the woodwork.
Tow Law pulled a goal back in the 89th minute when a corner from the right saw RICHARD LANGTHORNE glance his header into the back of the net to give the hosts a lifeline.
The Lawyers pushed up in search of a late equaliser, but the last goal scoring opportunity fell to Synners as substitute Danny Fowler broke clear and advanced on goal. He then unselfishly squared to the un-marked Magowan, but the striker's shot went wide of the target.
Teams: TOW LAW TOWN: Simon Bishop, Matthew Gowland (Anthony March), Darren Hollingsworth, Gavin Mudd (Adam Nicholls), Stephen Hutt, Richard Langthorne, Chrisopher Renshaw, Kraig Wilkinson, Lee Hamilton, Darren Johnson, Mark Eccles(c). Subs not used; Robert Shields, Luke Sullivan, Philip Maguire.
BILLINGHAM SYNTHONIA: Ben Escritt, Adam Clough, David Barnes (Mark Casey), Michael Cater, Thomas Marron, David Abel(c), David Yale, Craig Perry, James Magowan, Colin Iley, Jason Honeyman (Daniel Fowler). Subs not used; Simon Shaw, Michael Jameson, Joel Guy.
Referee: Mr D Swainston
- el Queso Grande
- Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
- I am a Northern League supporter without a club to favour and double as a sometime genealogist who has researched his family tree back to the early 1600's, compiling a file of individual relatives totalling just over 3,000 names. I have been happily married to Maureen for 48 years. We have 1 son, 3 daughters, 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and absolutely no money!
- ▼ 2009 (52)