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Kobe's The Boy As United March Past Jarrow

by Jeff King

Ebac Northern League Division 2 - Thursday 14th March 2024

Jarrow F.C. 0 v 1 Chester-le-Street United

A mere 48 hours after United were held to a 2 - 2 by Boldon C.A. they were back at The Ford Quarry Football Hub for another 'away' game against Jarrow F.C. A team that had been free scoring in recent weeks and boasted the Division's top goal scorer in Levi Collins.

With it being United's third game since Saturday and with a trip to Prudhoe in less than 48 hours after this game it could have been expected that United would make significant changes to the squad and starting XI.

In the end they were going to drop Jack Ledger and Jude Anderson down to the bench and replace them with Ashton Houlahan and Reyhan Grimaud. However, a warm-up injury to Liam Paul meant a reprieve for Ledger as Paul dropped to the bench.

It was Grimaud in the early stages that nearly got his side off to a flying start. The versatile United player who has played across defence, midfield and attack this season being deployed by Manager John Gamble as a striker for this contest.

Early on Ryan O’Connor found Ashton Houlahan in space down the right with a great pass. Houlahan put a lofted ball into the area which fell to Grimaud but his shot was well held by Jarrow keeper Jak Wells..

Grimaud went even closer on 7 minutes from a corner taken by O'Connor. The ball was headed from the back post by Dylan Wilkinson into the six-yard box and Grimaud hit an instant volley that somehow Wells managed to block.

United thought they had breached the Jarrow defence on 14 minutes. Wilkinson winning a ball in midfield pushing on down the left before delivering a low ball across the Jarrow defence to find the unmarked Houlahan breaking into the box.

Houlahan swept the ball past Wells into the net but just before he struck the Assistant had raised to flag for offside in the middle against Kobe Bewicke who had let the ball go without touching it. The referee upholding the offside decision.

Little had been seen of Jarrow at this stage but they actually went closest to breaking the deadlock with virtually their first attack. Ryan Hardie playing a ball from the centre of midfield to the unmarked Will Morris.

Morris advanced into the space in front of him before unleashing a superb low drive from 25-yards out that beat James Hughes' dive but came back out of the post straight to Callum Johnston.

With Hughes stranded Johnston failed to take the chance presented finishing weakly to all Ollie Barnett time not only to block the shot but also to clear United's lines.

Hughes was then called upon again to keep the game scoreless. Johnston's attempted cross taking a deflection off Barnett which saw Hughes twist backwards in mid dive and somehow brilliantly tip the ball over the bar.

The rest of the half saw both defences on top. Chester had the majority of the possession but in truth neither side carved out any clear cut chances. That pattern remained the same as the second half unfolded.

United did have a couple of efforts on goal from Houlahan and Grimaud and although both were on target Wells was able to make routine expected saves. Grimaud almost got in one-on-one with Wells on another occasion but hesitated too long and Josh Willis got across to clear the danger.

However, on 58 minutes United did strike and Bewicke was the man to make his mark and keep his goal scoring run going. The ball broke loss inside the Jarrow centre circle and O'Connor prodded it forward towards the Jarrow box.

Bewicke timing his run perfectly to get in between two defenders and guide the ball home past Wells with a neat right-foot finish from the edge of the box. A goal United deserved for their endeavours at both ends of the pitch.

Although there was still half an hour to play there was only one moment of concern for United which came about five minutes after their goal. A ball breaking to Collins who controlled it well about 22-yards out.

He smashed his effort past the helpless Hughes but once again the frame of the goal came to United's rescue as the ball cannoned back into play and Wilkinson got the rebound away from danger.

At the final whistle it was a delighted United contingent that celebrated a very hard-fought win that certainly boosted their position at the bottom and will go a long way to helping them to safety.

TEAM : 1. James Hughes 2. Harvey Rudd 3. Ollie Barnett 4. Jack Ledger 5. Dylan Wilkinson (c) 6. Micky Nelson 7. Ashton Houlahan 8. Ryan Grimaud 9. Kobe Bewicke 10. Ryan O'Connor 11. Jacob Mallinson

SUBS : 12. Liam Paul - DNP 14. Dan Robinson (for Houlahan 86 mins) 15. Charlie Loveday (for Mallinson 72 mins) 16. Jude Anderson - DNP 17. Michael Mallaburn - DNP

SCORER : Bewick 58 mins.

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