Barlick Town slip up against struggling Alsager

Ben Gorman fires Town level against Alsager Town
Ben Gorman fires Town level against Alsager Town
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After beating high-flying 1874 Northwich last week, Town were hoping to keep up the momentum against the NWC Premier Division’s basement side Alsager Town.

Town exerted the early pressure with Mark Threlfall turning Joseph Gaughan’s delivery the wrong side of the upright while Matthew Simpson blazed an effort over the bar.

But the hosts, who had won just once in 21 league outings, responded and almost broke the deadlock in the 10th minute. Michael Lennon’s shot was deflected for a corner and Daniel Brown’s strike was desperately blocked from the resulting set-piece.

Brown threatened again midway through the half, lifting a shot over Jordan Gidley from the angle of the penalty area after spotting the goalkeeper off his line but the ball drifted over the bar in the wind.

However, it was third time lucky for Brown as the home side capitalised on Gidley’s poor clearance and this time the striker found the net when lobbing Gidley.

Town’s first real attempt at goal came after 37 minutes when Matthew Johnson punched the ball straight in to the path of James Crorken on the edge of his penalty area, but the goalkeeper recovered well to tip the defender’s effort over the crossbar.

The home side almost increased their lead four minutes before the interval when Brown drilled narrowly wide of Gidley’s right hand post.

Alsager, though, were rewarded for their endeavour on the stroke of half-time when Tom Fogg converted Lennon’s corner with a header past Gidley to make it 2-0.

After the break, the hosts continued to dominate and Ridehalgh had to be alert to prevent Leigh Skellern tapping the ball home after Gidley had foiled Brown.

That was the wake-up call Town needed and man of the hour Gaughan gave them a lifeline. The striker profited from Threlfall’s incisive pass, burst in to the penalty area and smashed the ball past Johnson to reduce the arrears.

And they drew level five minutes later. Threlfall was again heavily involved when his attempt cannoned back off the crossbar and Ben Gorman was first to react to hammer the rebound in to the net.

Gaughan had an excellent opportunity to turn the game completely on its head but, with his 14th league goal of the season in sight, the striker’s clipped effort over Johnson from eight yards out drifted past the post.

As Town continued to probe for the winner, Gaughan went agonisingly close when screwing a shot across the face of goal which squirmed just wide of the far upright.

Chris Smith replaced Brown with 10 minutes remaining and the change for the hosts proved pivotal in the closing stages.

With two minutes left, with the Town defence once again in disarray, substitute Smith ran clear of the defence before slipping the ball past Gidley to make it 3-2 and give the home team only their second win of the season.

Town now entertain Ashton Athletic at the Silentnight Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 3 p.m.).