Thursday, 15 August 2013

Albion Sports survive late Garforth Town comeback

Albion Sports 3-2 Garforth Town
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Albion Sports survived a late fight-back from Garforth Town to complete a dream start to life in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division.
Albion beat Brighouse Town on Saturday and were comfortably beating Garforth until a revival.
Albion had the game under control after goals from Danny Brown and Daniel Facey and a Jack McMurrough own goal, but C J Lyle inspired a comeback for Garforth to hand the home side a fright.
Garforth also missed a penalty and while giving the visitors praise for their late resolve, Albion head coach Pav Singh admitted his team should have put the game to bed earlier.
“I think we started off pretty bright and created chances and if you look at the first half, we scored a couple but could have been a few goals up,” he said.
“We had a couple cleared off the line and a couple of blocked shots and come second half, it was the same again.
“Credit to Garforth they kept fighting against the grain and in the last 20 minutes we made some changes and that messed our shape up a bit.
“Credit to them for getting back into the game, but we should have killed the game off. When we were 3-0 up we should have kept the ball a bit better and made them work a bit harder. But, at the end of the day, its three points.”

Garforth got off to the worst possible start after just four minutes. The Garforth defenders failed to deal with tall defender Danny Brown and from a Tom Dugdale corner, the centre-back easily headed home.
Albion continued to attack and a second goal was inevitable. Charlie Flaherty was allowed to run down the left wing and his cross was sent into the Garforth by Miners midfielder McMurrough.
The score-line remained at 2-0 at half-time, but it could have been a lot worse. Dugdale had missed from close range and Garforth defender Andrew Hawksworth had cleared the ball off-the-line from Facey and Elliott Holmes efforts.
Although it mainly backs against the wall stuff in the first half, Joshua Greenhalgh did miss an open goal during injury-time.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first and Albion’s third goal was coming. More na├»ve defending allowed Facey to somehow waltz through three defenders and place the ball into the top corner past a helpless Karl Martens.
The money was on more Albion goals, but the withdrawal of striker Facey, who was holding the ball up for Albion, gave Garforth a way back.
The Miners wasted their first chance when Tawanda Rupere down by Holmes in the penalty area. After confusion over the designated penalty taker, local lad Alex Bracken stepped up. Albion goalkeeper Aaron Brian guessed the right way and saved his second penalty of the week by diving to his left.
Despite the blow, Garforth kept going and were rewarded for their efforts with nine minutes remaining. From a tight angle, Lyle found the net with a well-taken free kick to give the away side hope.
The RIASA player then conjured up more magic with a strike on the edge of the box to suddenly bring the Miners back from the dead – with still five minutes on the clock.
Albion needed experienced defenders James Stansfield, who won the 2003 player of the season award at Bradford Park Avenue, and Brown to steady the ship.
The pair were magnificent in the closing minutes as Lyle led the search for the equaliser. They put their bodies on the line to stop Garforth breaking through and ensuring a second straight victory ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round clash with North Shields at the Nest.
Garforth head coach Graham Nicholas, who confirmed that a penalty-taker will be appointed at training tonight, was upbeat because of the late rally.
“We need to apply what we have done in the last 25 minutes at the start of the game. I think we went off with a positive attitude, but its sloppy play that has cost us,” he said.
“We knew we were vulnerable from set-pieces and we mentioned that before we went out because we do lack the height and strength in the air. We conceded and then went onto score an own goal so we were up against it.
“I wouldn’t look at the defence, we out-run in the midfield. They were clever in terms of our two-wide players weren’t tracking back enough for me and they (Albion) went to a diamond four which outnumbered our two central midfielders.
“That is where the game was won and lost. At 3-0 down I was fuming, but we weren’t having the luck. We have to defend better, but in the last 25 minutes we were superb.”
Albion Sports: Brian, Holmes, Hussain, Flaherty (Marturine 68), Stansfield, Brown, Bleau, Williams (Habeeb 54), Facey (Cusack 76), Ettienne, Dugdale.
Garforth Town: Martens, Stohrer, C Misambu, Allen, Hawksworth, Greenhalgh, Rupere, McMurrough (Booker HT), Black, Lyle, Oyebanji (Bracken HT). Subs unused: Bell, Smith (GK), St Juste.
Referee: L Watson
Attendance: 73
Man of the match: Daniel Facey (Albion Sports)

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