Brewers sunk by early goals

Jonathan Greening in action during  Tadcaster Albion's Evo-Stik Division One North loss at Trafford. Picture: Matthew Appleby
Jonathan Greening in action during Tadcaster Albion's Evo-Stik Division One North loss at Trafford. Picture: Matthew Appleby

Three goals inside the opening 10 minutes were to prove decisive as Tadcaster Albion lost out at promotion chasing Trafford on Saturday.

Although the Brewers took a third-minute lead through Carl Stewart, they then conceded twice in quick succession and never managed to recover, eventually going down by a 3-1 scoreline at Pennybridge Lane.

Manager Billy Miller was back in the dugout after a work trip to Vietnam and he made two changes to the side beaten by Ramsbottom last time out, with Jono Greening and Carl Stewart coming back into the starting line-up.

And the pair combined early on to justify their selection by putting Albion in front.

Conor Sellars opted to take a free-kick quickly, shifting it out to Jono Greening on the left-hand side where the experienced midfielder created space for himself by chopping back onto his right-foot.

He then hung up a cross that the unmarked Stewart couldn’t miss from four yards out, heading the ball past home gloveman Terry Smith with ease.

That was as good as it got for Taddy, however, and Trafford were level within three minutes as powerful forward Andy Keogh turned neatly and drove into the bottom corner in one swift movement.

Then, in the ninth minute, the hosts took a lead that they were not to surrender.

An unconvincing back-pass from Josh Barrett didn’t have enough on it to find goalkeeper Chandler Hallwood and a Trafford attacker pounced, squaring the ball across goal to Ally Brown for an unmissable tap-in.

After such a frantic opening, the match did eventually calm down, but the Brewers had the ball in the net for a second time 10 minutes from the break, only for Carl Stewart to be adjudged to have strayed half a yard offside before lobbing Smith in the home goal.

Despite being pegged back early on, Taddy looked assured as the game headed towards the break and they almost levelled right on half-time.

Jordan Armstrong’s lofted free-kick dropped to Gregg Anderson, but the defender’s lob dropped narrowly over the mark.

At the interval, boss Miller made a tactical change with 12-goal forward Josh Greening coming on in place of Rob Youhill.

The alteration had an immediate effect on the Brewers who came out in the second period with a greater sense of purpose and urgency to their play, keeping the home side penned in deep.

Josh Greening almost drew Taddy level just three minutes after coming on when a lovely deft touch from Tom Corner set him in behind, but his flicked effort was a nice height for goalkeeper Smith who stopped the shot comfortably.

Albion continued to put their opponents under severe pressure and a lovely piece of fast-flowing interplay down the right between Josh Greening and Armstrong led to the defender pulling back to Stewart, who struck a sweet strike from eight yards out, but Smith palmed away.

The home side weren’t interested in going forward in the second half as Taddy piled on the pressure, delivering cross after cross and corner after corner into the box, but to no avail.

Jono Greening’s precise pass over the top then looked to have released Stewart, but the forward fluffed his effort after being charged down by Anthony Griffith.

Less than a minute later, Stewart had to leave the field after taking a nasty bash to the nose. With blood gushing from his face, the goalscorer needed lengthy treatment from physio Lucy Lendhill, resulting in the Brewers having to play with 10 men for five minutes.

Stewart eventually got the all clear to return after a quick change of shirts and Dan Thirkell was the next man to go close as he drove fiercely over the bar from all of 25 yards.

Try as they might, Miller’s men just couldn’t get back on terms, and having dug in and defended their lead in resolute fashion, in the last minute of normal time Trafford made sure of all three points by netting a third goal.

Stopper Hallwood made a fine save initially to keep out Chris Palmer’s deflected volley, but Ash Woods was in the right place to divert the ball into the back of the net to seal the hosts’ victory.