Struggling Barnoldswick Town are sunk by late goal at home

Home defeat: Mark Threllfall and Kieron Burywood compete for the ball in Barnoldswick Town's 2-1 loss against Abbey Hey on Saturday
Home defeat: Mark Threllfall and Kieron Burywood compete for the ball in Barnoldswick Town's 2-1 loss against Abbey Hey on Saturday

Barnoldswick Town stay just above the relegation zone on goal difference despite going down at home to Abbey Hey on Saturday.

Town had another new goalkeeper for the match in Scott Reid - their 6th in the last nine games, and boss Stewart Airdrie decided to make a rare start.

Town started the better, Mark Threlfall beating three defenders before hitting the bar.

The locals then won a free kick just outside the area, taken by Paul Walker, and after Threlfall’s header was only half cleared, Kieron Lee drove the ball across the six- yard line, where keeper Johnathan McIlwaine smothered the ball.

Town went close again when Airdrie flicked the ball on to Threlfall, whose shot was inches wide.

Abbey Hey had a great chance after 18 minutes but Nico Collins screwed the ball just past Reid’s left hand post.

A minute later, Harry Thompson shot from 10 yards out and McIlwaine managed to take a lot of pace off the ball, allowing a defender to clear from almost on the line.

Collins then forced Reid into another good save, but it was Town who took the lead after 42 minutes, Threlfall heading a long ball into the path of Airdrie, who took the ball on before slipping it past the groping left hand of McILwaine into the net.

Just when it looked like Town would finish the half in front, poor defending once again allowed the visitors a way back into the match, Collins tapping into an empty goal with Reid stranded.

The second half was nip and tuck, with both teams on the attack.

Threlfall had a shot saved, then Collins fired just wide of Reid’s left hand post on the hour.

Threlfall shot just wide again and a Thompson cross went right across the six-yard line, eluding both Threlfall and Matthew Cavanagh to safety.

Melia broke clear on 75 minutes, and as he went past McIlwaine, the keeper just touched him, which put him off his stride, and had he gone down he would probably have won a penalty, but his honesty wasn’t rewarded as he couldn’t reach the ball before it rolled out of play.

Moments later, a cross from Threlfall appeared to be cleared by a defender’s hand, but in their next attack, the visitors scored the winner, as a poor clearance from Reid went straight to Collins, who scored at the second attempt.

Town have no game tomorrow and are back in action at home to Runcorn Linnets a week tomorrow.