Town perilously close to the relegation zone

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Barnoldswick are just one point above the drop zone after failing to take advantage of a promising start against Congleton Town.

Congleton did make a bright start creating an opportunity inside the first minute as Liam Crellin-Myers ran on to Louis James’ long pass but shot over the bar. Then a corner was headed back across goal for Andy Alston to blaze over the bar. Despite coming under early pressure, Barnoldswick started to work a few of their own chances. A corner was cleared to James Crorken just outside the box but his volley went wide. Next a short free-kick routine led to Harry Thompson smashing the underside of the bar before Mark Threlfall fired over in front of an open goal.

Barnoldswick then took the lead on 16 minutes as a long ball over the defence found Threlfall. With no offside given, Craig Ellison couldn’t keep the ball out despite getting a touch as it beat him.

The Bears went in search of an equaliser and PJ Hudson earnt a free-kick just outside the box following a powerful burst down the centre. He got up and put the free-kick through the wall and into the bottom corner with 23 minutes played.

A quick passing move upfield earnt Congleton another free-kick in a dangerous position as Jake McEneaney bought down Scott Barlow. The offender was shown a yellow card and Crellin-Myers shot took a helpful deflection into Chris Taylor’s arms. Shortly afterwards, Taylor was shown a straight red card for using his hands outside the area and Stuart Airdrie came off the bench to wear the gloves. Hudson stepped up again for the free-kick but this time fired just wide.

Barnoldswick worked hard in the second half to keep Congleton from creating chances despite going behind after just three minutes. Barlow ran onto a ball over the top but slipped on the edge of the box. Crellin-Myers then took the ball and fired Congleton into the lead with the help of a deflection.

The chances were all coming to Congleton but Hudson’s header from Haynes’ corner was blocked on the line and cleared. The third goal came when substitute Macauley Booth led a counter attack and slipped the ball through for the overlapping Hudson. The winger simply rolled the ball across the box where Haynes was on hand to tap in.

Barnoldswick are home to Glossop North End on Saturday. Kick off 3pm.