Cruz delighted as Town grind out win in the derby

Sameed Elahi equalises for Nelson on Tuesday night							Picture: Peter Naylor
Sameed Elahi equalises for Nelson on Tuesday night Picture: Peter Naylor

Barnoldswick Town assistant manager Michael Cruz was pleased to see his side pass a tough test of character as they ground out a win in the derby over Nelson.

With the two sides having made contrasting starts to their Premier Division campaign, Town were expected to sweep their rivals aside.

However, they were faced by a gritty performance from the Blues at Victoria Park.

Joe Gaughan got Town off the mark in the sixth minute after John Beckwith was fouled inside the area by Samuel Reeves.

The striker took on the responsibility from 12 yards out, tucking the spot kick inside the post to his left hand side.

But their lead was gone in 60 seconds.

Nelson’s Zack Dale evaded a number of wild challenges to deliver the cross and Sameed Elahi made no mistake when unmarked to guide the ball beyond Stuart Cross.

The visitors restored their lead just before the interval when Gaughan capitalised on a calamitous defensive mix up to tap the ball in to an empty net.

After the break, Nelson’s task of salvaging something from the game was made even more difficult when captain Jack Brooks was given his marching orders for a reckless challenge.

From that point Town held on to their advantage, a result that saw Nelson sink to the foot of the table.

“We struggled a bit and didn’t really gel,” said Cruz. “Nelson deserve a lot of credit because they stopped us from playing.

“We had to grind out a result which was pleasing to see.

“It looks like we’ve turned a corner because we would have lost that game last season. It was a good test of character, we stuck together and our delightful start to the season continues.”