Saturday, 31 August 2013

Happy returns for Kokes and Biscuit as Anderson double keeps the Town (Esh) Winning run going

By Ricky Butler at West Terrace

Watch the goals from this game here

DARREN KOKES and Jason Brazauskas returned to their old stomping ground with a goal apiece as Town eased to a routine victory at Esh Winning on Saturday.

Having beaten the same opponents 6-0 the previous week, Peter Mulcaster's side looked set for an even bigger score-line this time after a first half in which only Esh goalkeeper Graham Ryan stood between them and an avalanche of goals.

In fact it took until stoppage time at the end of the opening period for Town to finally make the breakthrough when the returning Colin Anderson headed home a cross from Danny McLachlan. And despite failing to reach similar heights after the break, Mulcaster's men were able to ease to a comfortable three points with further goals from Kokes, Brazauskas, Sean Davies and a late second from Anderson.

"It was a good performance," said Mulcaster at the whistle. "It was always going to be difficult, beating them 6-0 one week and then playing them again the next week, and so it proved.

"Their goalkeeper had a fantastic game. He pulled off about three worldies in the first half to keep us out until just before half time. I didn't think we played that well in the second half but we scored four goals and the three points was what we were after."

Mulcaster's starting XI showed just one change from Monday's success at Darlington RA - Anderson getting the nod ahead of Graham Caygill to replace the absent Jamie Clarke in attack.

But the first half looked like being a tale of missed opportunities as Ryan almost single-handedly kept Town at bay. In fact the Esh stopper seemed particularly determined to stop former team-mates Brazauskas and Kokes finding the target as he made several fine saves to deny them both.

Meanwhile, Grant Hickman, Dale Elgie and Anderson were also on the receiving end of Ryan's heroics as Mulcaster's side completely dominated proceedings without reward.

However, Ryan was finally beaten in the final moments of the first half. McLachlan, who had scored three times in the previous two matches, whipped in a dangerous cross from the left and Anderson nipped in front of his marker to direct a header into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Esh came out strongly at the start of the second period, especially following the introduction of substitute Jordan Howell, but Town's extra attacking power proved decisive as they scored twice in three minutes midway through the half to seal the points.

Kokes made it a happy return to his former club just before the hour, following great work from Anderson down the right, before Ryan blotted his copy book by letting a Gav Parkin corner slip from his grasp leaving Davies with an empty net - his first goal for Town.

Brazauskas then made it a good day for the Esh old boys by ending his own personal Town goal drought twenty minutes from time, turning home McLachlan's deep right-wing cross at the far post - just reward for another tireless performance.

Esh refused to let their heads drop and scored a consolation ten minutes later with a fine strike from outside the area by George McCain, and they might even have had a penalty soon after, but Anderson had the final word in stoppage time.

Substitute Caygill, who had looked lively after replacing McLachlan, won the ball on the edge of the Esh penalty area before feeding the mercurial Anderson who did the rest in typically flamboyant fashion.

"I was surprised to be in the team today (after missing the last two games) but I've taken my chance," said Anderson. "I am very disappointed with myself to be missing the next three games due to suspension. It was a moment of madness which is me all over I'm afraid.

"Hopefully the lads will do well when I'm away and I'll come back fighting for my place again."

Kokes was delighted to find the target against his former club. He said: "I'm over the moon. I should have had a couple more in the first half but I got there in the end. Their keeper was on form to be fair and was probably their best player, but we put five past him so we can't complain."

Town now face Stokesley SC in a big North Yorkshire derby on Wednesday evening at the Calvert Stadium. Kick off is at 7.30pm.

ESH WINNING - Ryan, Knight, Kelly, Swindle, Jobling, Smith, Phillipson, Heron, Young, McCain, Guthrie. Subs - Bamborough, Stephenson, Lay, Rogerson, Howell.

NORTHALLERTON TOWN - Kell, Banks, Porritt, Hickman, Davies, Parkin, McLachlan, Elgie, Anderson, Kokes, Brazauskas. Subs - Caygill, Smurthwaite, Holliday, Colman.


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