Billinge lose game from winning position

BILLINGE again lost a game from a winning position when they were defeated 4-2 at home to Greenalls PSO on Saturday.

The Storks were 2-0 ahead and appeared to be in control but three goals in five minutes before half-time turned the game in Greenalls favour.

A further goal five minutes after the break made it 4-2 to the visitors and that is how the game ended.

Billinge were first out of the blocks as Elliot Bradshaw hit the side-netting with a shot inside the first minute.

The tone of the half was set a minute later with Greenalls testing Billinge keeper Tom Hull with a 22-yard free-kick.

Graeme Green forced a corner as Greenalls keeper Craig Clare saved his shot on seven minutes.

Four minutes later Billinge were ahead when Clare could only parry Tim Lee's free-kick into the path of debutant Jonathan Crane who hammered the ball into the back of the net. Moments later Green found himself free on goal but his weak effort was easily saved.

Green then hit a shot high and wide before Chad White almost doubled The Storks lead but headed just over the bar on 16 minutes.

Eight minutes later Billinge went two ahead when Green peeled out to the left wing and then turned Greenalls defender Neil Sutch inside out before hitting a low cross that was turned in by Bradshaw on the back post.

Whyte was then denied the first of - what would become - three Billinge penalty claims when he was upended in the area.

The referee Simon Eagles claimed it was a mere 'coming together" and Greenalls went up the other end as Rob Hanley almost curled a shot into the far corner of the net but to Billinge's relief the effort drifted just wide.

Hull then tipped a Craig Hoyland shot onto the post while Lee Vaughan saw his shot saved by Hull.

With the game ebbing and flowing - on 40 minutes - the Billinge defence gave Hanley far too much time as the marksman was able to flick the ball up and strike an overhead kick into the net from 15 yards out to halve the deficit.

A minute later it was all-square as poor Billinge defending - this time - allowed Gareth Johns time to place a shot from the edge of the area into the net.

Billinge looked devastated but worse was to come a minute later.

Bradshaw was taken out on the halfway line by a Greenalls defender but inexplicably Mr Eagles waved "play-on" and Sutch took the ball forward before finding Hanley who hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net from 20 yards out to make it 3-2 to the visitors.

It was an incredible end to an excellent first-half that left the majority of the excellent holiday crowd wondering how Billinge were going in behind.

The second half was a duller affair with Greenalls grabbing a fourth - five minutes in - when a Danny Topping corner wasn't cleared and Sutch was allowed two efforts to knock the ball home.

Again there was controversy as the goal had come from a corner that was clearly a goal-kick to the home side.

The remainder of the half saw both sides' defences on top.

Whyte again was denied another penalty when Greenalls keeper Clare brought him down in the box but for some reason the referee ignored his claims despite the ball being five yards away.

Substitute Aaron Morris added movement to the Billinge attack, carving out two chances for himself but - on both occasions - his finishing let him down.

In the dying moments Morris appeared to be pushed in mid-air when going for a header from Lees' cross six yards out as the game finished 4-2 to the visitors.

After the game Billinge manager Gareth Fletcher was annoyed with his team's defending saying, "We made some terrible individual errors and you can't legislate for that.

"We have got to learn to defend better as a team because there's no point playing decent football and creating chances if we are going to fall asleep for ten minutes each match."

This Saturday Billinge entertain Pilkingtons in a Cheshire League local derby at Barrows Farm, Carr Mill Lane, Billinge.

Kick-off is 2pm.

Meanwhile Billinge reserves drew 1-1 with Middlewich Town reserves with Jordan Farrell on the scoresheet for The Storks.

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