Barnoldswick ended a six-game losing streak with a hard-earned victory away to Alsager Town in the North West Counties League Premier Division.
Wood Park passed a 10am pitch inspection after the night’s thaw had dissipated the previous day’s snow covering and the pitch was in a surprisingly reasonable condition as the fixture was one of only two in the NWCL Premier Division to survive the recent snow and ice.
Townwere languishing in 20th position, having not won since beating the Alsager 2-1 in the corresponding fixture back in November,
The match started fairly evenly with neither side able to take a grip on the game and shots on goal either flew high or wide or were routinely fielded by either goalkeeper. Towards the latter stages of the first half, Alsager started to up the tempo and after Dave Harry had come close to opening their account finally took the lead in the 39th minute when leading scorer Michael Blundell found space to run into the box and chip the ball neatly over the advancing Barlick keeper into the back of the net to register his 18th goal of the season.
Alsager carried their lead into the second half but it was the visitors who began to push forward, with the quick and diminutive left winger Joel Melia becoming ever more influential.
It was no surprise when Barlick levelled matters on the hour mark, as right back Kieran Lee scored with a shot from just outside the area which was only partially saved by Chris Fletcher and the ball somehow spun into the net.
Alsager were clearly rattled and began a bombardment on the visitor’s goal. Shane Reaney’s shot from the edge of the six yard box and Calvin Houghton’s header from a Michael Blundell corner were both cleared off the line but somehow the visitors survived and regained their composure.
As the home team started to run out of ideas, Barlick became more of a threat and took the lead in the 82nd minute when Melia’s run down the left and pass into the middle, gave John Beckwith the simple chance of tapping the ball into the net.
From that point, they comfortably held onto their lead and secured victory, as the home side lost their way and ran out of ideas.
Barnoldswick’s next game is home to St Helen’s on Saturday, Febraury 14th. Kick off 3pm. They are then home to Winsford United the following Saturday.