Airey earns a point for Town

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On Saturday, Town enjoyed a 2-1 win at home to Ashtn Athletic, before a 1-1 draw at AFC Liverpool on Tuesday night.

At Liverpool, there was little of note in the first 20 minutes with both sides trying to come to terms with a poor pitch.

The first chance came after 22 minutes, as a poor Town clearance let in Ryan Wignall, but he scuffed his shot across Billy Carrington and against the far post, rebounding to safety.

Town’s first attempt at goal came after the half hour when Mark Threlfall picked the ball up 30 yards out, cut inside and hit a tremendous shot that Dean Pye in the Liverpool did well to turn over.

From the corner, the ball broke loose, with Threlfall getting another shot away which was hacked off the line.

At the other end Liverpool’s top scorer John Lawless shot just over the angle from the edge of the penalty area.

In stoppage time in the first half a flowing Town move saw the ball crossed to the far post, and a Liverpool player clearly handled the ball but the referee gave a corner.

Liverpool took the lead on 51 minutes, as a Town attack broke down halfway inside the Liverpool half, and Steven Jones cracked a shot low past Carrington’s right hand.

Town came to life on 62 minutes, as a Liam Blades free kick found Shaun Airey unmarked and he easily scored from six yards out.

Town then had a great chance to go ahead after 73 minutes as a Tom Bradley free kick caused mayhem in the Liverpool defence. The ball broke to Threlfall, who across goal. Lewis Jordan was just in front of the ball and could only touch it back, with Billy Priestley seeing his shot cleared off the line by Lawless.

Threlfall then fired over, while at the other end, a Steven Williams free kick just eluded the normally reliable Ronnie Morgan at the far post, and with four minutes left Liverpool substitute Steven Groves headed wide at the far post from three yards out unchallenged.

In the end a draw was a fair result, with both managers probably pleased given the uneven bounce of the ball.

On Saturday at home to Ashton Athletic, the new Town management were tested again with players unavailable - Carrington unable to play due to family commitments, with Samuel Arrowsmith signed before the match to take over in goal.

Aaron Hollindrake failed a late fitness test and Paul Fildes was unavailable due to work.

Town added another new signing to their starting line up in Tom Bradley, signed late in the week from Padiham, he took his place at left back.

Ashley Alderson and Priestley were both back in the squad after serving a suspension last week.

After a cautious start, on 18 minutes Shaun Airey was adjudged to have committed a foul out wide and Paul Casey swung the ball into the box.

Arrowsmith allowed the ball to bounce out of his grasp into the path of Martyn Jackson, who prodded it past him to put Ashton into the lead.

Lewis Jordan saw a shot from a corner cleared off the line, before a Liam Blades corner was met at the far post by Airey, whose thunderous header was again blocked on the line.

Town equalised a minute later, as Bradley crossed from out wide and David Moran, running out of goal, never made it, Threlfall heading over the stranded keeper into the net.

As half-time approached Danny Boyle carved out a great opening, pulling the ball back to an unmarked Threlfall, but his shot blazed over.

Town scored what proved to be the winner in the 52nd minute, as a Blades cross, slightly behind Threlfall, saw his header looped up and dip under the bar, leaving Moran embarrassed.

Smith for Ashton jinked into the area but sliced his shot wide, and Ashton skipper Rogers had a good chance to equalise after a corner but his shot went over.

At the other end Nettleton had to clear a Smith shot from almost on the goal line to stop them drawing level, but Town easily saw out the game.

Town host Formby in the League Challenge Cup third round, before the derby at Colne on Tuesday night.