Highlights of Shildon’s dramatic 2-1 extra-time win over Dunston UTS in the Durham Challenge Cup quarter final at Dean Street on Wednesday night, 19 February. The Railwaymen, who finished the match with ten men, will now face Consett at Dean Street for a place in the final.
Steven Johnson made a welcome – and scoring – return debut at Dean Street as The Railwaymen took on the Terriers in Ebac Northern League Division One.
A dream start saw Johnson score a first minute opener in a game in which the home side were rarely troubled. Second half goals from Sam Garvie and a second from Johnson made sure Shildon collected all three points to keep their title dreams on track.
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.
Goal highlights from Shildon versus Billingham Town, Saturday 12th October.
It was top versus bottom at Dean Street today, and Shildon demonstrated the gulf between the sides with a thumping 7-0 victory over Billingham Town. A brace from man-of-the-match, Lee Scroggins and from Mark Doninger and a goal each from Sam Garvie, Billy Greulich-Smith and Paul Connor comfortably swept aside Town, who have yet to register a point in this season’s campaign.
Perhaps sensing an opportunity to rest some players before Wednesday night’s vital league match against title contenders, Celtic Nation, Gary Forrest gave Greulich-Smith and Mark Stephenson a starting berth ahead of Paul Connor and Carl Jones.
While many fans arrived expecting a significant increase to the home side’s goal difference, the opening ten minutes suggested the Billingham side may prove sterner opposition, matching Shildon – as they did – in the game’s early moments. But it proved to be a false hope for the visiting fans as Shildon hadn’t yet moved through all the gears. Indeed, even in that shared opening spell, Ben Wood and Darren Richardson both spurned chances to give the Railwaymen the lead.
However, Town’s resistance could only last until the thirteenth minute when Lee Scroggins stepped in to steal a loose ball from Nathan Evans in the midfield. Striding forward uncontested, he unleashed a shot from 22 yards which curled past the last defender and the keeper for his first goal of the season.
Shildon continued to press and Scroggins almost notched his second in the 19th minute, but Javis Wiggan in the Billingham goal saved well with his feet.
It took until the half hour for Shildon to add to the scoreline. A long ball forward by Scroggins picked up pace on the slick surface. Nevertheless, the industrious Billy Greulich-Smith – as is his trademark for chasing lost causes – raced Wiggan to the ball. The keeper’s clearance cannoned off the striker who was able to steer the ball home from the narrowest of angles.
Five minutes before the break it was three. After a corner was half cleared, Ben Wood returned the ball across the box to Doninger, who controlled it superbly before passing to Darren Richardson. The ball was returned to Doninger, who flighted it to the back post. Greulich-Smith rose highest to nod the ball back across the box to the unmarked Scroggins who headed past a helpless Wiggan and doubled his season’s tally.
With the result essentially decided by the break, Mark Hudson and Darren Richardson were permitted a rest ahead of Wednesday evening, with Sam Hodgson and John Brackstone – demonstrating the strength in depth of the Shildon squad – replacing them.
The expectation of a regular rippling of the visitors’ net throughout the course of the second half was to prove as false as the initial hope of the visiting fans – at least until just twenty minutes of the match remained.
The Railwaymen continued to bear down on the Billingham goal, but reverted to last season’s profligacy as several excellent chances went begging.
It wasn’t until the 71st minute that Shildon added to the scoreline and, as if to make up for lost opportunities, the goal opened the floodgates. Billingham won a free kick, which was easily cut out. Sam Garvie took the ball from box to box, feeding Paul Connor, who had replaced Ben Wood. The ball reached Greulich-Smith who moved it on to Scroggins. Looking for his hat-trick, he let fly fly from distance. The blocked shot deflected to the feet of Garvie who seemed surprised to find himself, and two others, onside. He had time to look up and confirm the lack of a flag before stroking the ball home.
In about the same time as Garvie was given to score his goal, another three flew into the visiting net. Billingham appeared to have forgotten the danger posed by the home side and pushed high up field in a misplaced determination to pressurise the home side. Instead they left gaping holes for the speedy Garvie to run into, and he duly set about a ten minute reign of terror that increased the deficit with regularity.
However, it was Scroggins’s slide rule pass from the left that led to the fifth, leaving Doninger to tap in from six yards.
Then Garvie was released, and again fed Doninger, whose shot cannoned off the post, hit Billingham’s Jack Williams and rebounded into the net.
And moments later there was the diminutive terror again, chipping the ball onto the head of Paul Connor, who nodded home from underneath the bar to send Shildon and the delighted home support into seventh heaven. The sound of the final whistle before the infliction of any more punishment was the only hope remaining to the hapless visitors. It was the only wish they were to have fulfilled on an otherwise desperate day.
The result ensures that the Railwaymen remain at the top of the table before Celtic Nation come visiting on Wednesday night. The big-spending Carlisle outfit, managed by ex-Celtic player, Willie McStay, will be the biggest test to date of Shildon’s title credentials. A number of rested players will be fresh, and hungry, for the task.
Shildon marched to the top of the Northern League Division One table tonight after a comfortable win against ten-man Morpeth Town.
The home side had their numbers reduced within 15 minutes when Steven Anderson received a straight red card for kicking Mark Hudson in the face while the Shildon captain lay on the ground after being fouled.
Although both sides had chances in the first period, Shildon’s numerical advantage saw them come closest to opening the scoring. Ben Wood’s curling shot cannoned off the bar while Paul Connor forced an excellent save from Steven Mundy. The home goalkeeper was performing heroics to keep Shildon at bay during the first half.
The home side went into the break having survived the onslaught, but they had barely drawn breath in the second half before the Railwaymen were two up.
Two minutes after the restart, Ben Wood scored a curling, dipping free kick from 22 yards and, almost immediately, Sam Garvie fed Paul Connor who deftly chipped the keeper for a swift two-goal lead that allowed Shildon to take complete control of the match.
The Railwaymen cruised through the remainder of the tie before adding two late goals to more accurately reflect the dominance of the visitors. Mark Hudson fed Sam Garvie on the right edge of the box for the striker to slot home before the captain added to the tally himself by dispatching a penalty in the 90th minute.
Shildon’s competitiors for top spot both slipped up in tough ties this afternoon. Celtic Nation lost at home to ten man West Auckland while Spennymoor were held at Heritage Park by Bishop Auckland.
The results mean that Shildon, for the first time since season 2009-10 – and with six home matches in a row coming up – sit proudly atop the league table this evening.