Town frustrated by Livesey heroics

Shaun AIrey's shot is blocked by Maine Road skipper Jonathan Mason''Picture: Peter Naylor
Shaun AIrey's shot is blocked by Maine Road skipper Jonathan Mason''Picture: Peter Naylor
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Town were shut out by Maine Road in a 2-0 defeat at a very wet Brantingham Road on Saturday.

Town had Arley Barnes and John Beckwith back in the starting line-up, and Matthew Simpson on the bench after missing the Bootle match last week through injury.

Barnoldswick were behind as early as the second minute, as a quick Maine Road break found Tyler Edwards unmarked inside area, and he controlled the ball before hitting a shot low across Jordan Gidley into the far corner.

For the next 15 minutes, the home team were on the attack, the Town midfield unable to come to terms with the quick passing of Maine Road.

Town’s first real threat to Ryan Livesey’s goal came in the 24th minute, as a clearance up field saw Mark Threlfall head goalwards. Ben Gorman raced into the area and just reached the ball before the keeper, but Livesey spread himself and managed to tip his shot round the post for a corner.

A minute later Beckwith looked to have slipped past Livesey, but he delayed, allowing the keeper to recover and block his shot for another corner.

Town piled the pressure on the home defence, and an interchange between Jake McEneaney and Shaun Airey saw the latter cross into the area, where the ball fell to James Longley, but his shot was too high.

Three minutes before half-time, poor defending gave the hosts their second goal, as a free kick wasn’t cleared, allowing the ball to be crossed to the far post. Gidley did well to save a header, but Louis Edwards turned the loose ball in from almost on the line.

Immediately after the restart, Town had a chance to pull a goal back, as Beckwith found Livesey, and as he went to round him, Beckwith hesitated, allowing the keeper to recover and clear the ball.

Town continued to press, and from Beckwith’s cross, Gorman headed just over.

Beckwith then saw his fierce cross turned over by Edwards.

Town had to be aware of quick Maine Road breaks, and Airey made a desperate clearance to stop Connor Hughes scoring.

Just after the hour, Threlfall and Beckwith set Barnes up, but he shot over, before substitute Matthew Simpson’s cross eluded the defenders and fell invitingly to Beckwith, who was unmarked, but Livesey managed to get his left hand to his effort, turning it just past his left upright.

Town continued to press and another Beckwith shot was brilliantly saved at the near post by Livesey, and when the ball ricocheted just past the far post to Simpson, he thundered a shot goalwards, but it was cleared off the line by Edwards.

Livesey continued to defy anything the Town forwards could throw at him. Anthony Pollard came on for Scott Moore with four minutes left, and Pollard had the last attempt at goal when Livesey leapt to tip a shot past his far post.

Town host Congleton Town tomorrow at the Silentnight Beds Stadium (kick-off 3 p.m.).