Bilston v City

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Saturday 17th February 2001: Queen Street  

  Bilston Town vs. CITY  

Dr Martens League Western Division


City's Team

City visited high flying Bilston Town and got given a clear demonstration of the gap between the top places and mid-table in the division. Although City fought hard they never came to terms with the physically stronger Bilston side or their passing. 

The match started with Bilston penning City back defending their penalty box, but despite the barrage in the first five minutes the first chance actually fell to City. Chennas clipped a ball over the top and Marshall made a diagonal run. He was beaten to the ball by the keeper but his clearance smashed into Marshall, but instead of going in the ball sliced to safety.

That only served to sharpen up the Bilston attack and on their next foray into City's half they went ahead. Voice turned the defence and laid the ball back for Rollason who drilled the ball past Hines from just outside the area for ninth minute lead.

City then withstood a real barrage as Bilston piled on sustained pressure. Hines did well to collect several crosses but was stranded when a volley crashed back off the post. A few minutes later City's defence was left glued to the spot, but Rollason wasted a free header. Within minutes yet another shot from City's right flew past the other stick. Tucks and Rollason were then both booked having exchanged blows after the City player had brought him down.Bilston on the attack

The City fans behind the Bilston goal were despairing of seeing the ball at all as the division's top scorer, Scott Voice, saw two further efforts go close. His header just missed the bar as their right winger caused even more problems for Dicks and Marshall. Voice then saw another effort smothered well by Ally Hines who was quick off his line when the forward eluded Steadman and Hunt.

The game was looking embarrassingly one-sided, but City improved greatly for the last part of the first half. we actually managed to put some good moves together down both flanks and Bilston looked far from secure at the back. Chennas tested the keeper with a low skimming shot that bounced awkwardly off the dry pitch, then Chennas put in Marshall who was unfortunate to see a curling shot go narrowly wide. Griff then had a good opening as the ball ran loose from a corner, but his final shot was scuffed and any danger was hacked clear.

The second half began with yet more one-way traffic. Bilston were so confident they came close with a long curling cross shot that bounced off the bar after Ally had left it thinking it was heading comfortably wide. City then survived a couple more scares as both Griff and Tucks were forced to boot the ball off the goal line.

City enjoy a rare attack
We weathered that early storm and should have got an equaliser, however undeserved on the run of the play. Cox ran clear down the left and fought off the full-back clinging onto his shirt. He eventually was tripped as he cut in near the by-line, and the ref failed to give the spot-kick. City's appeals were somewhat distracted after Marshall caught the Bilston centre-back as both charged in for the loose ball. After Manton had received lengthy treatment the game took a decisive turn for the worst as Jackson ran clear on goal on 57 minutes. Tucks chased back and tripped the forward just outside the box. As the last man the ref had little option but to show him a straight red for the first dismissal of his career. City were left facing even more of an uphill task.

City then faced a further onslaught as another header came back off the post and Hines made another terrific save at the feet of a Bilston forward. Steadman got booked for another trip down the left wing, and Ally again saved well after Voice turned to shoot when City only half-cleared the resulting free-kick. On the 65th minute the City resistance gave way as Steadman slipped and Jackson ran free, this time managing to slip the ball under the overworked City keeper.

City then got a small reprieve as Bilston subbed Williams who'd been causing us all sorts of problems down our left. Dicks was able to push forward with Marshall and Cox and we put together a few more moves. We came close to grabbing something back when Dicks was able to put over a good cross from near the by-line, only to see Bayliss's near post header clip the outside of the post.Baylo sees another attack repelled

The game went further downhill as Chennas was needlessly booked for dissent and further shots rained in on the City goal. Eventually a third went in from Rollason's thumping header in the 86th minute. Ten man City showed good spirit and could have grabbed something back when sub Lee Smith got clear down the right and squared the ball to Chennas. Unfortunately though he couldn't connect properly and the shot was too easy for the Bilston keeper.

City could easily be dispirited by this mis-match, but in truth their is no shame in being outplayed by one of the few better sides we've faced in the league this season. Although we could have been buried we weren't, and we deserved one. While it was upsetting it was no where near as frustrating as most of our defeats this campaign when you felt we should have got at least a point.

Griffiths Half-Time

Dicks (c)



City Scorers
Abbott -

Tucker (red)
Marshall 12th

(for 2; 68)
(for 11;82)

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