Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Fanning furious as Town throw away another two points


MANAGER Mark Fanning was furious as his side threw away two precious promotion points at Tow Law on Tuesday night.

Having been held by the same opponents three days earlier, this had become a must-win game for Fanning's side as they looked to keep themselves in the promotion frame. But despite leading twice in the second half with great goals from Pete Bulmer and Adam Emson, defensive fragility again proved costly.

"Once again we have thrown away points from a winning position," said a disappointed Fanning at the end.

"Teams do not have to work hard enough to score against us and that has got to change. The other top sides would have won this game 2-0 and we need to address that.

"We had enough chances to have won, and to have got ourselves in front twice and not win is very disappointing. We have a weak under-belly and I am not going to accept that.

"We need the players to roll their sleeves up and see these games through."

Due to injuries and work commitments, Fanning's starting XI showed two changes from Saturday's 2-2 draw. Pete Bulmer came in for flu-victim Adam Emson, who dropped down to the bench, while Marcus Laing replaced the unavailable Wayne Gredziak.

After a scrappy opening quarter of an hour, Town began to settle and the first half became a succession of missed opportunities. Steve Butterworth flashed a shot narrowly wide from a good position out on the right, while Laing fired into the side netting after a lovely through ball from Gav Parkin.

The best chance of all however fell to Carl Chillingsworth just past the half-hour, but his low shot rolled just the wrong side of the far post with goalkeeper Stephen Robinson beaten.

Butterworth then headed a cross from Bulmer narrowly wide before Bulmer himself was denied by Robinson as it remained goalless at the break.

Tow Law began the second period on the front foot but just prior to the hour-mark Fanning threw on Emson for Ian Smurthwaite and changed the shape of his team. It paid immediate dividends when Butterworth, now given more freedom in the centre of the park, released Bulmer down the right and he kept his cool to slot past Robinson.

But the lead lasted less than 60 seconds. Danny Shoulder had the opportunity to clear the ball but instead elected to pass it back to Stephen Craggs. However, the Town goalkeeper completely missed his kick and Matthew Scott was able to walk the ball into the empty net.

Town were shell-shocked but they recovered their composure to regain the lead in the 67th minute. Butterworth was again the creator with a lovely ball through to Emson out on the left and he tied full back Lewis Harrison in knots before drilling a left-footed shot under Robinson from 12 yards.

Although far from their free-flowing best, Town would have taken the points now especially as Craggs had to react quickly to deny Scott a second equaliser fifteen minuets from time.

But with just eight minutes left the hosts did get back on terms and again it was thanks to some woeful defending. A free kick from Michael Hall caught the Town back line napping and Scott nipped in unmarked to turn the ball home from 8 yards.

That was not quiet the end of the drama as Chillingsworth almost snatched victory moments later. Bulmer sent the veteran striker clear in the inside right channel but Robinson somehow kept out his low shot with his legs.

Then, in stoppage time, Emson tricked his way past Harrison again but his shot was scrambled to safety and it finished 2-2.

TOW LAW TOWN - Robinson, Harrison(L), Hall, Brassell, Thompson, Ryder, McVicker, Turnbull, Scott, Lee, Parkinson. Subs - Wilson, Killeen, Harrison(J), Alderson.

TOWN - Craggs, Alderson, Banks, Shoulder, Hickman, Parkin, Butterworth, Laing, Smurthwaite, Chillingsworth, Bulmer. Subs - Dunn, Burton, Emson.

REFEREE: M. Thurston.


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