Beckwith strike lifts Town out of drop zone

John Beckwith, number 12, turning out of picture, scores Barnoldswick Town's winning goal.'''Pictures: Peter Naylor
John Beckwith, number 12, turning out of picture, scores Barnoldswick Town's winning goal.'''Pictures: Peter Naylor

A large gate of 261 bathed in bright spring sunshine at the Silentnight Beds Stadium on Easter Monday as Barnoldswick Town climbed out of the relegation places with a derby victory over Nelson.

Town started off well, winning two corners in the first two minutes, and from the second, Mark Threlfall headed narrowly wide of Ben Woodhead’s goal.

Two minutes later, Scott Reid in the Town goal had to beat out a Jake Lloyd shot at the near post.

Play was swinging from end to end with neither goalkeeper being unduly troubled until the quarter hour mark, when former Town player-manager Paul Fildes, in attempting to get the ball, clashed with Reid, who needed treatment.

The Town defence was guilty at times of not clearing their lines, and on 23 minutes Shaun Airey made a hash of a clearance which went straight to Lloyd, whose shot from the edge of the area beat Reid, but hit the outside of the post and flew to safety.

The half ended with Nelson slightly on top, Reid having to race off his line to thwart Nelson skipper Peter Wright with a timely clearance.

The second half started with Nelson pressing forward again, their man of the match Amido Batis Candre forcing Reid to tip an acrobatic overhead kick onto his bar and away to safety following a corner.

Reid had to be alert after 55 minutes as another Candre effort needed saving at the near post.

Town made their first substitution on 63 minutes, Thomas Henderson replacing Scott Byrom, before John Beckwith replacing Joel Melia with 17 minutes remaining.

Two minutes later the two substitutes combined well, Henderson picking up a loose ball and playing it to Beckwith, who took the ball on just inside the area before curling the ball, with a slight deflection, just inside the left hand post of Woodhead’s goal.

Town held out well for the last 15 minutes, the only danger coming from a Lydon Hodgkiss free kick that Reid saved with his legs.

The win takes Town out of the relegation spot for the first time in recent weeks, while it was a third-successive defeat for Nelson.

Town were at Winsford United last night, followed with their last home against Glossop North End tomorrow.