Hebburn Town’s heroes see off high-flying Whickham

Hebburn Towns goalscorer Jason Blackburn, centre, is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring against Whickham. Picture by Tim Richardson..
Hebburn Towns goalscorer Jason Blackburn, centre, is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring against Whickham. Picture by Tim Richardson..

Hebburn Town came out on top 3-0 when they took on close neighbours and high-flying Whickham in the Ebac Northern League Division Two clash.

The Hornets have raised their game in recent weeks and started the game on the back of a run which has seen three wins out of four matches and a climb up the league.

Manager Scott Oliver is starting to see the benefits of a settled team, and the same team that came away with a 2-0 victory over Darlington RA in midweek, started on Saturday, with the exception of Kris Summers, returning from suspension, replacing the unavailable Craig Malley.

The game started at a hectic pace with the Hebburn defence blocking a barrage of strikes in the first minute.

The game then settled into an enjoyable battle in midfield with neither keeper being tested for the next half hour or so.

Whickham perhaps shaded the possession and the better play during this period.

However, the Hebburn defence stood firm and in particular, Chris Smith and Channon North, who made some excellent headed clearances.

For Hebburn, the long throws of Glen Hargrave pressurised the Whickham defence all afternoon.

Hebburn came on strong during the final minutes of the first off and had a number of efforts on goal.

Scott Wallace drove his shot over the bar, followed quickly by two shots from Blackburn and Hargrave, which were blocked.

Hebburn immediately took the initiative at the start of the second half when a cross from North was driven home from by Jason Blackburn.

The three front men Hargrave, North and Blackburn were putting the away defence under a great deal of pressure with their strong runs, and North was particularly dominant in the air.

Blackburn was a constant threat and a couple of his efforts were well saved by the Whickham keeper.

Hebburn extended their lead when a long throw from Hargrave was headed goalwards by Chris Smith.

His effort was blocked on the line, but Kris Summers reacted quickest to volley home the rebound.

Hebburn continued to press but Whickham weren’t out of the game and the back four of defended really well, with Alan Pegram and the midfield driving the team on.

Keeper Steve Hubery did his bit with some sharp reflexes to turn one shot over the bar to protect the clean sheet.

Hebburn made certain the victory with an excellent goal by James Davidson, who had come on as substitute for Chris Feasey.

Blackburn found him with a pin-point pass which he struck wide of the keeper, to complete an excellent afternoon for the Hornets, and lift them up to ninth place.

Hebburn Town’s next game is at home to Thornaby in the League Cup, on Wednesday evening, kick-off 7.30pm.