Down to Town

By Dave Thornton - April 13 2005
Down to Town Two second half goals were enough to condemn City to defeat in the penultimate home game of the season against a Billingham Town side fielding ex City 'utility' man Michael Canavan in goal.
Durham City News

Durham City News

09 April                                                                                                                        2005

Ure 2 good for City

by Ken Milgate


Durham City 0

Billingham Town 2

Ure 77, 83


Two early distance shots from midfielder Kevin Dixon from outside the area, which forced makeshift keeper Michael Canavan to tip over the bar and palm down respectively, might have forecast a goal bonanza for City, but that was as good as it got for the rest of the afternoon.


Billingham’s first efforts were also promising, but they built on their early attacks and emerged fully deserving winners.


On 12 minutes City’s defence collapsed and played statues down the left but were spared when Carl Chillingsworth pulled his drive wide of the far post; three minutes later Tom Jones came second in a one-on-one with Kevin Wolfe, whose legs prevented a goal at the expense of a corner.


In the very next minute City missed a golden opportunity when Justin Keegan sent Robbie Herbert on a right-wing chase beyond the offside trap, but with no other City man in the box in support the attack broke down.  The miss almost proved costly when Steve Walklate cleared off the City goal-line in the next attack with Wolfe for once beaten.


City’s experimental forward line was again found wanting on 22minutes when David Goodchild was presented with a clear run on goal by an offside-piercing Nathan Jameson pass, but the final shot was too near the keeper who cleared with comparative ease.


For the rest of the first half City were increasingly reduced to back pedaling by a more cohesive visiting side. 


Recognizing City’s powder-puff attack, Billingham came at City early in the second half, Chillingsworth driving narrowly wide after receiving a Daniel Fox pass before defender Andrew Burton went similarly close in the next attack.


City’s response was to bring on Steven Stewart and Craig Rand for Goodchild and Dixon, but it was the visitors who posed the next threat on goal, the dangerous Jones forcing Wolfe into a point-blank save when the midfielder volleyed goalwards a right-wing cross.


City did manage a shot on target on 70minutes, but it was in truth a deep cross which had Canavan anxiously gazing skywards and over his shoulder as the ball eventually sailed harmlessly over the back post.


From then on, City were made to pay for their misses but played a major part in the opening goal: a deep lay-back by Mark Patterson failed to find a City man and merely set up Lee Ure who calmly lobbed the advancing Wolfe on 77minutes.  Ure then hit the crossbar six minutes later with Wolfe a despairing diver.  He was more successful four minutes from time when he chipped Wolfe after receiving a clever reverse ball by Chillingsworth.


City suffered their first defeat under their new manager, Andy Toman.  Whilst acknowledging that the line-up was experimental and showcased with an eye on next season’s campaign, the absence of any striking power was perversely underlined by the presence of the bench of the League’s leading goal scorer.



Durham City – Wolfe, Walklate (Lambert 87), Howe, Jameson, Stephenson, Keegan,

                             Dixon (Rand 59), Patterson, Copeland, Herbert, Goodchild (Stewart 55)

Billingham TownCanavan, Burton, Bishop, Ward, Hutchinson, Brightwell,

                            Turner (Livingstone 62), Fox, Chillingsworth (Colby 87), Ure, Jones