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Emson wins tough encounter for Northallerton
12:56pm Monday 15th October 2012 in Sport
A SECOND half goal from leading scorer Adam Emson was just enough to give Northallerton Town another important three points against a battling Whickham side at the RGPS last Saturday.
Manager Mark Fanning made three changes from the side that had won at Stokesley SC the previous week – Anthony Roberts replaced Stuart Dunn at left back, Craig Winter returned in the back four in place of the absent Steve Banks, while Colin Anderson came in for Ian Smurthwaite in midfield.
The first half was an even contest with possession shared and neither side creating many clear cut chances. Town’s best two openings both fell to Wayne Gredziak. In the 18th minute he glanced Danny Shoulder’s cross narrowly wide of the post, before he then took a pass from Steve Butterworth and turned his defender before shooting narrowly over the bar.
Town started the second half on the offensive, but while much of the game was played in Whickham territory, they defended well and allowed Town very few openings.
But Fanning’s side were close to making the breakthrough just past the hourmark, Colin Anderson burst into the box and hit a powerful shot which Whickham goalkeeper Scott Cresswell did superbly to keep out. Steve Butterworth hooked the loose ball back towards goal but with Gredziak waiting to apply the finishing touch, the ball was cleared from under the crossbar by a defender.
The all-important breakthrough, however, was not far away. Carl Chillingsworth replaced Anderson three minutes later, and within a minute he had helped create what proved to be the winning goal. Emson’s initial shot was blocked but the ball fell to Chillingsworth, whose mis-hit shot reached Emson eight yards out. He made no mistake, coolly lifting the ball over Cresswell to give Town the lead – his 15th goal of the season.
The visitors went in search of an equaliser with most of their attacks coming through the impressive Jordan Lartey, but every cross that came into the box was handled cleanly by Town goalkeeper Steve Craggs and the defence held firm to keep a second successive clean sheet.
“We are still struggling to hit top form,” said Fanning at the whistle. “But we are looking solid and keep picking up three points. Long may it continue.
Town are now five points behind leaders Ryhope CW with a game in hand, and eight points clear of third-placed Darlington RA. They take a break from their promotion bid tomorrow when Division One side Consett visit in the first round of the FA Vase. Kick off at the RGPS is 3pm with entry £5 for adults and £2.50 concessions.