Barnoldswick pay for slack defending
TEN-man Town slipped up at home to Runcorn on Saturday in a game they should have taken something from.
Barnoldswick were looking to build on their good win at Stockport last Saturday, and kept the same starting XI - Jack Overson, who missed last week’s match, replacing Liam Garbutt on the bench as the only change to the squad.
Town set off well and looked to have come out meaning business, forcing a corner which was cleared.
They were moving the ball about quickly, posing threats to the Runcorn defence, but things then fell apart in the fourth minute with some poor defending.
Runcorn won a corner on the right after a poor clearance put them back under pressure, and from it, Matty Cross was left completely unmarked at the far post, heading in from four yards out.
Worse was to follow as Town were guilty of giving away needless free kicks around their penalty area.
Billy Carrington had to dive to his left to save the first free kick, pushing the ball out wide left, and once again the Town defence gave another free kick away just outside the area. The ball was played beyond the back post, where it was headed back unchallenged again into the danger area, Cross making an overhead kick pay as it went in off the underside of Carrington’s bar.
Runcorn were then on the rampage trying to finish the game off.
They had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down in the 10th minute.
All Town had to offer was a Mark Threlfall shot that went wide of Adam Judges’s left post after 13 minutes.
Town then won a free kick 30 yards from goal, and the ball dropped invitingly to Danny Boyle eight yards out unmarked. However, his shot sailed a foot over Judge’s crossbar and the chance to get back into the match before half-time had gone.
At the other end Runcorn should have gone three up, as a cross to the far post saw Ross McDowell, again unmarked, head the wrong side of the post from three yards out.
Town were unlucky not to score on the half hour mark, as a Liam Blades cross just beyond the far post saw Aaron Hollindrake and Judge both go for the ball, and Judge dropped the ball, allowing Hollindrake to side foot the ball goalwards, but, unfortunately, the ball drifted inches from the goal line to the far post where it was hacked to safety.
Just before half-time Threlfall thought he had scored, as a through ball into the Runcorn penalty area saw the ball break kindly for him, and his shot was parried upwards and backwards by Judge, who seemed to have taken the pace off the ball, but by doing so, the ball looked to be dropping into the empty net, and unfortunately for Town it dropped just over the bar onto the top of the net.
Nine minutes into the second half Threlfall scored a brilliant goal.
He picked the ball up midway in the Runcorn half and ran at the defence before unleashing a tremendous shot from 25 yards out that flew into the net to put Town back in the game.
At the other end four minutes later, Matthew Atherton should have restored Runcorn’s two-goal lead. Once again a Runcorn player was unmarked four yards out at the far post, but his header went the wrong side of the post, a real let off for Town.
The game at this stage was fairly open with both sides looking dangerous, Threlfall heading over from an Andrew Lee free kick. Then disaster for Town on 62 minutes as new signing Oliver Devenney (pictured) was sent off for violent conduct.
He was heavily brought down on the halfway line, with players from both sides getting involved, pushing each other around. The linesman called the referee over and said Devenney had struck a Runcorn player, and the referee then had no option but to send him off, the free kick from the incident given to Town.
Although they were reduced to 10 men, Town still looked like they could rescue a point at least from the match.
A Blades cross was headed over by Hollindrake, then Hollindrake, on a mazy run, let fly from the edge of the Runcorn penalty area, the ball going inches the wrong side of Judge’s right hand post.
Carrington had to bring off a great save on 66 minutes when he saved a one on one situation, and three minutes later a fierce cross from the right crashed off the bar and out for a throw on the far side.
Town then brought Paul Fildes on, replacing Hollindrake, and Harry Thompson for Kevin Richardson.
But the next goal-threatening action saw Carrington pull off a brilliant double save. The first saw him throw himself full length to push the ball wide of his left hand post, but a Runcorn players coming in from the corner of the six yard box shot into what he thought was an empty net, and Carrington had other ideas, diving across to save again.
Into injury time, Town nearly stole a point, Billy Priestley heading a cross against the Runcorn bar, but the ball bounced away from goal to safety.
There was still time for another Town attack, but Fildes was cynically brought down from behind just inside the Runcorn half, with only one defender to beat and two Town players in support, the crowd baying for a red card, but only a yellow ensued.
This was a game that Town should have got something from, but they are going to have to learn that you cannot keep leaving players unmarked in the penalty area.
Tuesday’s home match against Bacup Borough was postponed due to a frozen pitch, and Town are at Maine Road tomorrow.
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Weather for Pendle
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
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