Disappointing display as Town are beaten on coast

Arley Barnes is challenged at Squires Gate
Arley Barnes is challenged at Squires Gate

Town fell to a 2-1 defeat against Squires Gate in their first fixture of 2016 on Saturday, on the back of a disappointing performance.

Once again Town started off on the slow side, Chris Ridehalgh back-heeling the ball straight into the path of Joseph Noblet early on, but the home striker’s shot was straight at Jordan Gidley, who saved at the far post.

The home team kept on pressing, and Mark Buchan put Noblet through, but his shot was weak and once again straight at Gidley.

Town’s first effort on goal came after 12 minutes when Anthony Pollard combined with Arley Barnes, the latter curling a shot just over Ben Fletchers goal.

Straight down the other end, another Ridehalgh error released Buchan, but again the final shot was a weak one.

The home team took the lead on 17 minutes from the first corner of the game. The ball missed all the players at the near post and dropped at the feet of the unmarked Buchan, and, with his back to goal, he back-heeled past Gidley into the net.

Shortly after, Billy McKenna broke away down right and forced Gidley into saving with his legs at the near post.

The home team dominated proceedings, and with six minutes of the half left, a Barnes free kick was quickly cleared up field, and Brett Ferguson broke clear, again Gidley saving the day at the near post.

Town were forced to make a half-time substitution, Ridehalgh injured just before the end of the half, with Scott Moore taking his place.

The second half started like the first finished, Gidley making another save to thwart McKenna.

Town’s first real attempt came on 52 minutes when they won a free kick just outside the area. Barnes took the kick and hit the inside of Fletcher’s left hand post before re-bounding clear. Barnes again, 10 minutes later, saw his shot drift just wide of Fletchers left hand post.

Mark Threlfall replaced James Crorken on the hour, and a minute later, Barnes saw his shot drift just wide.

But the substitution had an immediate effect as Kieron Britton crossed rom the right and found Threlfall, who drilled the ball home the equaliser.

However, it came as no surprise when the home team regained the lead. After all his heroics, Gidley stood on the edge of his six-yard line and was beaten by a lob from 30 yards out by Noblet, only able to palm the ball upwards and backwards into his own net.

Town are back in action tomorrow when they host West Didsbury and Chorlton, kick-off 3 p.m.