Hallam 1 Hebburn Town 2
0Posted 05th November 2018 - Posted in Match Reports
Hallam’s unbeaten run as well as their FA Vase run came to an end at the hands of Hebburn Town in the 2nd round match at Sandygate, with the away side coming out 2-1 winners in what was a closely fought match from the first minute until the last.
Hallam, knowing they faced a difficult challenge with the visitors effectively 2 divisions higher than The Countrymen, found themselves on the back foot early on, and without a fantastic block from McCarthy, Hebburn would have had their first shot on target in just the second minute. The home side, who struggled to get their foot firmly on the ball early on, found it hard to create any clear chances in the first ten minutes of the game, and had Archie Sneath to thank for the first time of the afternoon, who was able to pull off a fine one on one save.
Only five minutes later, Sneath was forced into another fine save. This time, the Hallam number one spectacularly tipped a dipping shot from outside the area over the bar, with The Countrymen dealing with the resulting corner with relative ease. Not long after, Sneath was back in action, smartly saving down low from a clever near post flick from another Hebburn set piece.
Half way through the first half, Hallam began to get to grips with the movement and technical ability of the visitors and were able to get their foot on the ball and began to have some possession in the final third and put pressure on the visitors. The home side’s first chance of note came from a deep set piece played to the back post, with Sam Smith rising win his header, to head back across the box for Peacock to head narrowly wide.
Hallam were temporarily down to ten men as Sam Smith received lengthy treatment for a head injury, and whilst having the man advantage, the visitors had a hopeful penalty appeal waved away by the referee, with Hallam able to withstand the added pressure before Smith was able to return to the action.
With The Countrymen back to full strength and heading into the last ten minutes of the first half, created two good chances to take the lead. Firstly, a poor clearance from Hebburn keeper Jennison fell fortuitously to the feet of Kieran Watson, who was unable to take the chance from 18 yards, with his shot curling wide of the goalkeeper’s left hand post. The second, was from the head of Callum Littlejohn from some good second phase play by Niall Smith after the initial corner had been cleared. Unfortunately for Hallam, Littlejohn headed straight at the keeper. The half ended 0-0 with both teams possibly thinking they had edged the first 45 minutes.
The second half started much like the first, with Hebburn having the majority of the ball and goal scoring opportunities. Once again, Sneath was forced into yet another fine save early, with the keeper tipping a well drive shot over the bar.
What followed, was a very scrappy period of the game where chances were few and far between, with both teams battling for possession in a bid to gain dominance of the match. This was shown by the emergence of the referee’s yellow card. Firstly for Griffiths of Hallam and Spence for the visitors for a coming together off the ball, which was followed up by another for The Countrymen, this time a yellow for Brelsford following a late challenge.
With the game heading into the final ten minutes, the visitors struck the first blow of the match. On 82 minutes, a looping long throw from the visitors was met by the wise, old head of substitute Paul Chow, who was able to flick his near post header down into the bottom corner of the Hallam net.
The home side, knowing their time in the FA Vase was now down to 5 more minutes, threw more men forward and pushed hard for an equaliser. Their valiant efforts were rewarded on 86 minutes and drew level 1-1 threw Sam Smith. After retaining possession in the middle of the park, Daniel Booth was able to craft a delicate lofted through ball with the right footed wand, which was met by Smith who had made a great late run into the opposition box, and was able to poke the ball passed the onrushing goalkeeper on the volley.
However, Hallam were not level for long, as only one minute later, Hebburn retook the lead in fortuitous circumstances. Another substitute for the visitors, this time Jack Robson, picked the ball up on the left hand side of the box before cutting inside to shoot from range. His shot, took a wicked deflected off Griffiths to wrong foot Sneath, meaning his valiant afternoon efforts were to no avail.
The final few minutes saw no further action, although Hallam applied pressure to find another equaliser, they simply couldn’t break down the Hebburn one more time. In reflection, taking into account Sneath’s fantastic saves in both halves of the game, the visitors deserved the win, however Hallam must take a lot of credit and pride from their performance.
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