Thornaby 4 Billingham Town 0 – Buildbase FA Vase first round
A week ago these two teams met in the league, with Town coming out on top 1-0. Yesterday was a different day, a different game, and a very different result.
Thornaby bossed this match from start to finish.
The warning signs were there for Billy Town from the opening 10 minutes. A swerving Jack Bailey shot heading for goal, was pushed away by Town keeper Scott Pocklington and then Ian Ward had a header cleared off the line by Town No. 7 and captain Lee Moore.
Thornaby were patient and positive, while Town looked sluggish and disconnected, and that remained the pattern for the rest of the game.
It wasn’t until the 18th minute before Town had their first shot – put wide by Matthew Robinson. Two minutes later Thornaby’s Matthew Lovatt planted a header off the left hand post. The only thing that the hosts needed was more quality in their crosses.
They almost took the lead in the 38th minute when Ward headed the ball on to Adam Preston (who looked suspiciously offside), but the Thornaby No. 9 hit his shot at Pocklington. He made amends seconds later when he managed to poke the ball between the keeper and the post to make it 1-0. It was no more than they deserved.
As the first half ended, Town’s attacks had been few and far between and they hadn’t really tested James Dawson in the Thornaby goal. Things didn’t improve early in the second half either for the visitors. Three minutes after the restart Liam Cooke made it 2-0 with a swerving shot that left Pocklignton flat-footed and then in the 58th minute Thornaby centre back Nathan Guru fought through a bunch of players to convert a corner with a headed goal.
Billy Town sub Luke Hogan provided a bit of a spark, pushing forward down both wings. He produced one cross that was just out of the reach of Town No. 9 Craig Hutchinson. Town’s Jamie Davies produced the best pass of the game, setting sub Kallum Hannan up in the box, but the No. 12 couldn’t get his feet set properly to get a shot away.
In the 80th minute, Billy Town finally showed signs of life and had their two best chances: Hannah with an effort off the left had post and then Hogan putting a shot wide. A couple of minutes after those chances, a Davies shot went just over the bar.
The game was wrapped up in the 85th minute when a Davies pass hit Preston. The ball fell for the No. 9, allowing him to have a clear run at Pocklington. Preston rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the net to make it 4-0.
The score line didn’t flatter Thornaby who seem to be cup specialists this season, with good runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase.