Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Ten-man Town battle to a point but drop out of the promotion places


TOWN returned to action after a three week break for bad weather with the first of two meetings with Tow Law Town in the space of three days.

Despite playing much of the contest with ten men, following the second half dismissal of Wayne Gredziak, goals from Carl Chillingsworth and a penalty from captain Danny Shoulder saw Mark Fanning's side earn a point.

The Town starting XI showed two changes to the win over West Allotment Celtic some three weeks earlier. Steve Banks and Ian Smurthwaite replacing Craig Winter and Marcus Laing, who both dropped down to the bench. New signing Jon Burton, who joined the club from Marske United last month, was also named in the squad for the first time.

Despite a good start from Town, it was the visitors who grabbed an early lead when Anthony Lee turned home a low right wing cross by Lewis Harrison after 14 minutes.

However, Town were soon back on top and missed several good opportunities to draw level. Stephen Butterworth fired straight at goalkeeper Stephen Robinson after the ball seemed to get stuck between his feet, while Gredziak saw an effort cleared off the line by Scott Thompson.

But their pressure was rewarded ten minutes before the break. Gav Parkin released Chillingsworth with a lovely through ball and he showed great composure to slot the ball past Robinson from 12 yards.

Town lost leading scorer Adam Emson during the break due to illness so Pete Bulmer was thrown into the fray for the second half. But it was the Lawyers who went in front again soon after the restart when referee Craig Keighley awarded a penalty after Grant Hickman brought down Daniel Wilson just inside the area and Scott Brassell duly beat Steve Craggs from the spot.

Town's cause was not helped by the dismissal of Gredziak soon after as his frustration got the better of him. The Town striker believed his shot had crossed the line being cleared away and his tirade directed at the linesman earned him a red card. But the ten men battled hard to get something from the match.

It was not looking like being Town's day when Chillingsworth saw an effort come back off the post with twenty minutes left, but the equaliser finally arrived soon after. Chillingsworth was brought down in the area by Shaun Ryder and Shoulder smashed home from the spot..

Fanning was unsure if it was two points lost or one gained. "Playing with ten men for so long on a heavy pitch was not easy so I suppose it is a point gained," he said.

"However, we could easily have picked up all three had we taken our chances in the first half."

With the recent batch of postponements, Town are now out of the top two for the first time since September, although they do have games in hand on the sides above them, starting with Tuesday night's return meeting at Tow Law.

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

REFEREE: C. Keighley


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