Airdrie at double as Barnoldswick Town ease through

Keeper Alex Woodcock clears under pressure.
Keeper Alex Woodcock clears under pressure.

BARNOLDSWICK Town eased into the third round of the FA Vase with a convincing win over Armthorpe Welfare of the Baris Northern Counties East League on Saturday.

And there they will face AFC Emley, formed in 2005 by officials of the old Emley AFC - famously beaten at Wembley by Colne Dynamoes in 1988 in the final.

Town had to overcome the pre-match setback of losing goalkeeper Marko Marosi, ever-present between the sticks this season, but replacement Alex Woodcock had plenty of time to settle in without being troubled.

Barnoldswick got off to great start when joint player-manager Stewart Airdrie opened the scoring in the eighth minute.

Armthorpe keeper William Biggs charged out of his area to chase a loose ball, Biggs and central defender Steven Garner both hesitated in attempting to clear, and Airdrie reacted quickly to nip in and chip the ball over the head of the stranded keeper and into the unguarded net from 25 yards.

Liam Garbutt doubled the advantage on 25 minutes, and once again Airdrie was involved, getting ahead of Biggs to meet a cross to the far post, and when his header rebounded off the bar, Garbutt was on hand to smash home the loose ball.

Armthorpe’s Joe Lumsden reduced the deficit from the penalty spot before half-time when the referee adjudged that striker Joe Lumsden was fouled in the area when attempting to get on the end of a cross. It was a penalty award none of the Armthorpe players appealed for, but Lumsden fired the spot kick into the roof of the net.

But within 90 seconds of the start of the second half, Barnoldswick restored their two-goal advantage, when Airdrie collected a through ball on the edge of the box, took one touch to take the ball away from a covering defender and finished with a low shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Airdrie twice came close to completing his hat trick, as a quick throw out from Woodcock found Jack Overson on the half way line, and, spotting Airdrie in space through the middle, he delivered a terrific through ball that played the Town striker in on goal.

But despite rounding the keeper, Airdrie fired in a shot that hit the outside of the post.

Three minutes later, he actually managed to get the ball into the net, heading in a long cross from Liam Blades, but the referee adjudged he had fouled the keeper before netting.

The spirited visitors showed admirable resistance despite being on the back foot for much of the game, and set alarms bells ringing in the home camp when they reduced the deficit once more on 68 minutes.

Full back Berivan Khaled fired a great cross to the far post, and Richard Smith powered in a header that Town keeper Woodcock got a hand to, but couldn’t prevent from creeping into the net just inside the post.

But Town always looked the likelier team to score, and four minutes from time Harry Thompson collected a pass after Airdrie won the ball in midfield, and after shrugging off a challenge he buried a shot under the keeper and into the net from the edge of the box to settle any doubts about the outcome.

In stoppage time Mark Threlfall sealed a fine afternoon’s work for Town when he finished off a move down the right by rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into the empty net.

Town are at Congleton Town in the league tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in the Craven Cup on Saturday, Town’s Reserves beat Rolls 2-0 in the local derby.

Kieran Lee had the first chance for Town, but fluffed his shot, and as Rolls got a foothold in the game, Town keeper Lyle Davy kept them at bay with several top drawer saves.

Barnoldswick came out for the second half with a real dermination, and it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken, with Ben Mousely scoring an exquisite goal from the edge of the area less than five minutes in.

Rolls were then chasing the game, changing formation twice to try and grab the equaliser, but it wasn’t to be, and a tremendous cross from the left hand side by Lee was met with aplomb by James Oldroyd, who headed the ball into the top corner.

With only minutes left, Paul McDowell crashed a thunderbolt against Barnoldswick’s bar from 25 yards out, but Town progressed.