by Jeff King
Ebac Northern League Division Two - Tuesday 30th August 2022
Horden C.W. 2 v 1 Chester-le-Street United
After the disappointment of being knocked out of The Isuzu FA Challenge Vase on Saturday at The Riverside by Newcastle University it was back to Ebac Northern League Division 2 action for United as they made the trip to Horden on Tuesday night.
It was the start of what will be three games in four days for some of the first-team squad with the FA Youth Cup tie against Chester-le-Street United coming up within 24 hours and then another away trip on Friday night at Billingham Synthonia.
It’s was and is going to be a stretching time for the Chester squad who returned Ryan Muldoon and James Morley to the starting XI in place of Evan and Ethan Gray. The Gray boys both dropping to the bench in anticipation of their starting roles to come in the FA Youth Cup.
Horden went into the game looking to move into third place in the league table whilst United were looking to further consolidate their position in mid-table.
There was some early pressure from the home side but United’s defence looked solid and were holding firm as the game opened. Good pressing from United created their opening chance of the game on six minutes. Dan Lanning getting in behind the Horden defence but his effort was just wide of the target.
Benji Shodeinde, a couple of minutes later was the next to get behind the home defence but his effort is deflected wide. Taylor Campbell’s corner was swung in nicely but the Horden defence cleared comfortably.
Matty Pattison was then called into action for United making a strong save to deny a Horden counter-attack. This was the first big chance of the game for the home side before Campbell forces a chance at the other end that United couldn’t take.
Horden were starting to come into the game more and a pair of good interceptions from Muldoon and Dylan Wilkinson denied openings for them before one of their forwards did latch onto a loose pass but hit his effort over the bar.
The home side should perhaps have taken the lead on the 20-minute mark when the #9 was afforded a free header inside the six-yard box but he could only place the effort wide when he should have done better.
However on 33-minutes United did fall behind after some sustained pressure from Horden. It was Liam Wright with the goal. His close range effort was not hit cleanly but had enough on it to beat Pattison to open the scoring in the game.
Within two minutes though United responded with a fabulous equaliser by Alex Fil. The powerful wing back. He drove superbly down the left-hand side before cutting inside entering the box and unleashing a stunning right-foot effort that crashed high into the Horden net.
The United strike partnership of Lanning and Shodeinde was causing problems and just before the break almost opened up the defence to give United an interval lead.
This time Shodeinde did well to break free and feed Lanning inside the box but just as he was about to pull the trigger he was denied by a last-ditch tackle.
Level at half-time in an entertaining encounter that United had just about shaded but certainly Horden were well in the game and a much anticipated 45 minutes to follow.
United made a good start to proceedings in the second period with once again Shodeinde’s power and pace causing problems although the final product was just lacking with the Horden defence under pressure.
The incident that ultimately changed the game came on 54-minutes with the red card dismissal of Shodeinde. The Horden #8 clearly had his arm around the neck of
Shodeinde who reacted by pulling and pushing himself free.
The home midfielder crashed to the ground dramatically and the referee deemed it as violent conduct by the United striker and brandished a straight red card. The incident seemed to deflate Chester a little and buoyed the home side forward.
It was United though despite being down to ten-men that went closest next just after the hour mark. Fil the man again with a lovely crisp low shot that the home keeper got down to well to save nicely.
Despite being a man short and having at times to do some strong and committed defending the work rate of Chester was exemplary with Muldoon and Lanning in particular covering acres of space to occupy and test the home defence.
As the game wore on however the extra man began to take effect with Horden starting to use the advantage to pin Chester back and they got their breakthrough on 69-minutes with an excellent long-range effort from Barney Dobinson to restore their one-goal lead.
It was pretty much the last significant action of a well-contested game in the main that many felt United deserved something from. There’s no doubt in United minds that the sending-off changed the game with United having to change style and shape because of it.
Horden though deserve credit for taking advantage of the situation and pressing on to take all three points with a fine goal to seal the victory. United coming away with nothing but credit for their battling display.
TEAM : 1. Matty Pattison 2. Thomas Cole 3. Dylan Wilkinson 4. Taylor Campbell 5. Josh Crews (c) 6. Ryan Muldoon 7. Alex Fil 8. Ryan O’Connor 9. Benji Shodeinde 10. Dan Lanning 11. James Morley
SUBS : 12. Sam Johnson (for O’Connor – 76 Mins) 14. Ethan Gray (unused) 15. Evan Gray (Unused) 16. Jacob Freemantle (Unused) 17. Harrison Tully
SCORER : Alex Fil
NEXT UP : Billingham Synthonia (away) - Friday 2nd September 2022 @ 07:30pm