Tag: Darren Richardson

Gary Forrest interview: Shildon v Consett DCC SF

Shildon manager, Gary Forrest reflects on tonight’s Durham Challenge Cup semi final win over Consett.

The victory means Shildon will play in their first cup final since 2007 with local rivals, Spennymoor Town the opponents.

The final will be played on Good Friday, 18 April, at the Eppleton Colliery Football Ground, Hetton Le Hole.

Shildon Consett DCC SF 26 Feb 14

Shildon into DCC semi finals

Defender Carl Jones blasted Shildon into the semi finals of the Durham Challenge Cup with his first goal of the season in another dramatic extra time win for the Railwaymen.

The home side came from a goal behind at half time to march on in the cup where they will host Consett at Dean Street for a place in the final. Shildon, who were knocked out at the semi-final stage last season by FA Vase winners, Spennymoor Town, last won the tournament in 1972.

On a heavy, bumpy surface, it was the visitors who took the lead when Bulford converted after replacement goalkeeper, Keith Finch’s tipped save onto the bar rebounded kindly for the Dunston player, who had the simple task of converting from six yards. Finch was deputising for Lewis Graham, who is serving a two match suspension after his red card at Celtic Nation.

After the break, Shildon took the game to the opposition and were rewarded for their persistence when Mark Hudson found Sam Garvie with a neatly lobbed through ball on 65 minutes, the striker finishing well first time from the edge of the box.

The game flowed from end to end with both sides having chances to win the tie before the extra time period, but neither could find the decisive goal.

And so it was a third extra time period in the Railwaymen’s three rounds of the Durham Challenge Cup so far this season. Both sides continued to press, but it was the home side who made the breakthrough in the 100th minute. A shot from distance by captain, Mark Hudson was tipped away for a corner, which was taken quickly. Ben Wood turned his marker on the by line before sending over a ball which defender Carl Jones swept emphatically home.

But there remained time for controversy when Darren Richardson, who had been booked earlier in the game, was shown his second yellow card on the stroke of half time in extra time. The defender appeared to have eyes only for the ball, but the referee sent him from the field after his high boot connected with his opponent. Shildon Assistant Manager, Stuart Niven was also sent from the dugout for remonstrating with the referee.

The Railwaymen were forced to play the final period of extra time with ten men – the third match in a row in which they have ended the game with reduced numbers – but the ten men held on for a hard fought win.

Shildon will now face Consett at Dean Street for a place in the final, with West Auckland and Spennymoor contesting the other semi final.

Shildon v Hebburn

This was a one-sided affair. Even more so than the scoreline suggests, with one first half shot finding the wrong side of the upright and Mark Hudson’s 100% penalty conversion record coming to an end with his unlucky thirteenth in the second half.

Countless corners and a number of last ditch blocks and saves prevented Shildon from notching the highest goals tally of a day that saw 41 scored across seven Division One ties (that accolade went to Ashington, who netted eight times at bottom side Billingham Town).

However, there weren’t many in the ground prepared to denigrate Hebburn’s performance. Most were sympathetic of their plight, being abandoned as they were in the summer by their management team and entire player squad, all of whom decamped to Jarrow.

The makeshift side, hastily assembled in the close season, were no competition for a strong Shildon and, unfortunately for an otherwise well-respected club, their chances of remaining in the top division look remote indeed.

That said, Shildon, for all their dominance, went in to the half time break with a two goal lead consisting of two fortunate strikes. Of course, as the old adage reminds us, diligence is the mother of good luck, and it wasn’t for want of creating chances that Shildon’s total wasn’t greater in the first forty-five.

Paul Connor, who had seen one shot on the turn cannon off the upright, did his best to get out of the road of Lee Scroggin’s shot on 14 minutes. However, fortunately for him and for the home side, the shot, which was going wide, found his shin and deflected past the helpless Andrew Hunter in the Hebburn goal.

It took until the final seconds of the half before the Railwaymen found the net again, and again it was a goal of good fortune. The ball was swept wide to the marauding Darren Richardson on the left and his cross sailed over Hunter and under the bar. His own bemusement at the nature of the goal was confirmation, if it was needed, that the strike was not premeditated.

In the second half, the floodgates opened, although the defences were briefly held back by Hunter when he saved a Mark Hudson penalty. Hudson himself was fouled and rose to place the ball on the spot for the thirteenth time in his Shildon career. The previous twelve  had been dispatched successfully, but whether superstition got the better of him or not, this effort was probably his weakest to date. In saying that, Hunter had to travel and drop low to his left in order to make a fine stop.

It was a mere finger in a widening crack and within minutes, the defences collapsed and the runaway Railwaymen flooded the net with four more goals in short order.

Billy Greulich-Smith, who had replaced Sam Garvie, was on hand to nod Richardson’s cross into the path of Ben Wood who swept the ball home from 12 yards.

Just two minutes later, a Mark Hudson corner once more found the head of the tall Greulich-Smith. In the subsequent scramble the ball was headed out to the eighteen-yard box, only for Richardson to thunder an unstoppable rocket past the rooted goalkeeper.

Then Ben Wood collected the ball from Jamie Harwood and, with a smart turn, left the defence trailing. Paul Connor, in an acre of space in the box, deftly controlled Wood’s pass and sold the goalkeeper the opposite way before tapping into a now empty net.

With more than 15 minutes remaining on the clock, Hebburn were hit for six when man-of-the-match, Ben Wood, collected the third brace of the day.

Wood, whose footballing career looked to be cut devastatingly short last season as the result of a serious bone illness, has been a revelation this season. Where last season he may have held on to the ball for too long at times, this season he is already stretching away at the top of the assists chart, having set up a third of the side’s goals so far. And with his second strike of this game – a fierce angled drive from the corner of the six yard box – he also takes over at the top of the scoring chart with five for the season.

The medical staff are constantly monitoring his condition and, with Ben in this magnificent form, everyone at the club will be hoping he can be kept fit, if not for all of it, then for as much of the season as possible.

With the game well out of sight, the rampant Railwaymen eased down the gears, satisfied with their day’s work. Hebburn may have feared further humiliation, but neither their adversaries nor the spectators were clamouring for more. The afternoon’s goals were scored and Shildon left the field at full time to a standing ovation.

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Understrength Shildon hold West

Shildon’s bench for today’s home derby against West Auckland Town consisted entirely of its coaching staff: Keith Finch, who has ‘officially’ retired from goalkeeping duties to take up the role as coach to new number one stopper, Lewis Graham; first team coach, Phil Brumwell and assistant manager, Stuart Niven.

Mirroring last season, an injury crisis meant that the coach and assistant were forced to register as players in midweek to give this match any chance of taking place. Indeed, as late as lunchtime, there remained uncertainty about whether the match would go ahead with Shildon unsure if they could muster the required number of players.

Eventually a full starting compliment showed up, but Niven’s service were required in the second half, when he replaced debutant Adam Garrity after the new signing was thrown in at the deep end, having put pen to paper just hours earlier.

In the end, the makeshift side were unfortunate not to take all three points, having created several clear-cut chances while the back four shut out the visiting attack, Lewis Graham remaining untested virtually throughout.

The Railwaymen could have got off to a flier, but Billy Greulich-Smith, in only his second start, demonstrated his rustiness by missing the target from close range. Shortly afterwards Darren Richarsdon could also have given the home side the lead but squandered the effort.

Having survived the opening attack, the visitors responded with their own counter, putting the Railwaymen under the cosh for a sustained period, although they failed to test Graham in the Shildon goal. In fact, the closest effort in the remainder of the first half fell to the hosts when Billy Greulich-Smith narrowly failed to reach a driven cross by Garrity.

One would be forgiven for mistaking which was the weakened side in the second half as Shildon took control of the game while comfortably dealing with most of what West could throw at them.

However, a succession of Shildon chances went begging as first, Darren Richardson couldn’t redirect a Ben Wood cross onto the target and Wood’s backward header from a free kick also missed the target.

Then came two strong claims for a penalty, although most of the pleas, waved away by the referee, were from the stands.

Undoubtedly the best chance of the game fell to Greulich-Smith in the 68th minute but he inexplicably failed to convert Ben Wood’s cross in front of an open goal from three yards. The striker, a fan’s favourite who otherwise had an excellent game, put the missed opportunity down to rustiness. Although one would have been hard pressed to realise he lacked fitness as, in trademark fashion, he chased every loose ball.

Perhaps West’s best opportunity came in the 80th minute when a right wing cross was headed back across the box to Luke Carr, who blazed over from 12 yards.

Shildon were able to create one other goalscoring opportunity late in the game. Greulich-Smith chased and won one of those lost causes before finding his fellow striker, Wood, who sidestepped his marker and fired a fierce goalbound effort that West keeper Neal Atkinson tipped onto the post.

West spent the final moments pressing against the Shildon defence but were unable to create any clear cut chances. It would have been rough justice had they stolen the match but in the end, Shildon, who began the match fearing it may need to be abandoned, proved they have strength in depth. And while they will be satisfied to have survived the pre-match crisis, they will feel unfortunate not to have collected maximum points.