Barnoldswick back to winning ways

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TOWN ended a run of three successive defeats with a fine away victory on Saturday.

Barnoldswick started the match with two new signings in Andrew Lee and Oliver Devenney making their full debuts, and Martin Broderick on the bench.

With Jack Overson absent, Kevin Richardson came in at centre half.

The match started with Stockport very much on the attack on their artificial surface, and in the ninth minute they nearly took the lead.

A free kick was given away just outside the Town penalty area and curled along the ground by Liam Irwin towards the far post. Billy Priestley and Nic Niagorian slid in together, Niagorian just getting there first, and his shot hit the upright and bounced back across the face of Carrington’s goal and fortunately for Town was cleared.

For all their possession, Stockport put very little pressure on the Town defence in terms of goal chances, Irwin shooting just wide after 23 minutes - their best attempt at goal, after a poor clearance out of the Town defence.

While at the other end, Aaron Hollindrake thought he had beaten the off-side trap to go clear on goal, and his shot into what was an empty goal was cleared over the bar by the arm of a defender, the linesman ruling him off-side, which was questioned vociferously by the Town spectators, who were all level with the incident.

The second half started with Stockport on the attack again, Irwin and Niagorian combining again, Niagorian shooting just over Carrington’s crossbar.

The Stockport defence was prone to having a high back line, and this was exploited after 53 minutes.

A ball over the top saw Hollindrake react first. His run took him clear and his finish from the edge of the penalty area over the advancing keeper Omar Bodran was first class to put Town in front.

The play was more even now, with the Town players getting used to the artificial surface.

Town made their first substitution after 65 minutes, Broderick coming on to replace Oliver Devenney.

Two minutes later and Town doubled their lead, Danny Boyle, who was outstanding, put Mark Threlfall through with a great ball, and he had no trouble in beating Bodran to easily score.

However, Stockport hauled themselves back into the match three minutes later, a cross to the edge of the six-yard box found a Stockport forward, and his ball to the far post was put in by Jay Mehmet to bring them back into the match.

With play opening up as Stockport tried for the equaliser, Town forced a corner, and Liam Blades took it, finding Lewis Jordan, with his goal bound shot unfortunately hitting Hollindrake and bouncing to safety.

Town put the game fairly safe after 81 minutes with arguably the best move of the match.

Hollindrake picked the ball up to the left of the Stockport goal just inside their half, and took the ball on a few yards then picked out Threlfall with a brilliant crossfield ball. He in turn slipped Andrew Lee past a defender into the penalty area, taking the ball to the bye- line, where he turned and gave the ball back to Threlfall, who then hit a fierce shot at goal, the ball cannoning of the shoulder of Sam Menion into the net for an own goal, but the sweeping move that led to it was worthy of a goal.

Town then took Hollindrake off, replacing him with Ashley Alderson on 82 minutes.

With four minutes left Boyle was brought down on the edge of the Stockport penalty area, and Broderick stepped up to take the kick.

The shot was hit with real venom; swerving from side to side, it went like an exocet missile past Bodran, leaving him rooted to the spot to finish off the scoring.

Boyle then went off to rapturous applause from the Town supporters for his excellent performance.

A welcome return to winning ways from Town, and a good all round performance, especially the second half.

Town are at home to Runcorn Linnets tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m.

FINAL SCORE: Stockport Sports 1, Barnoldswick Town 4