Albion denied consecutive victories as Brighouse hit back

Carl Stewart and Tom Corner compete for the ball at Brighouse. Pictures: Matthew Appleby
Carl Stewart and Tom Corner compete for the ball at Brighouse. Pictures: Matthew Appleby

Tadcaster Albion were denied back-to-back victories when they conceded in the 84th-minute of Saturday’s Evo-Stik Division One North clash at Brighouse Town.

First-half strikes from Gregg Anderson, Conor Sellars and Tom Corner put the Brewers in control before the hosts fought back and salvaged a late point.

Josh Greening (ill) and Josh Barrett (ankle) both missed the match meaning Carl Stewart and Fatlum Ibrahimi were handed places in the starting line-up.

This meant a re-shuffle in formation for Albion with boss Billy Miller opting to go 4-3-3, with Dan Thirkell dropping back into defence and Rob Youhill joining Stewart and Corner up top.

Tadcaster stormed out of the blocks, taking the lead with just two minutes on the clock.

Buoyed by his first goal of the season on Tuesday night, Gregg Anderson doubled his tally for the campaign when he impressively volleyed into the back of the net from a teasing Sellars free-kick.

However, less than a minute later the home side were back on level terms as ex-Mossley striker Mike Fish jumped on a loose ball and delicately flicked beyond goalkeeper Chandler Hallwood.

The game continued in fast and frenetic, end-to-end fashion at the Dual Seal Stadium and the home side were inches away from taking the lead shortly after the 10-minute mark.

Daniel Grimshaw’s shot-cum-cross was latched onto by Fish, but Liam Shepherd worked wonders to block on the line and scramble to safety.

Moments later, the Brewers had an effort of their own hacked out of the six-yard box with Corner coming close to scrambling the ball over the line.

Taddy were playing expansive and free-flowing football, and they reaped their rewards when they took the lead in the 17th minute courtesy of Sellars.

The tricky midfielder stood out from the rest with his quick feet, and he put Taddy in front chesting into an empty net after some good hold-up play from Corner and a perfect set-up from Rob Youhill.

Albion began to look increasingly dangerous every time they ventured into Town’s half and Stewart almost got himself on the score-sheet with an outrageous strike that was tipped onto the crossbar by Tommy Taylor.

The visitors did however increase their lead six minutes from the half-time break, with leading scorer Corner netting his 14th of the campaign.

Sellars’ clearance allowed Corner to chase in behind, beat Sam Hewitt for pace and drive the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Taylor.

On a fine afternoon in Yorkshire, the home side really should have gone into the break just a goal behind, but Ben Atkinson glanced wide from six yards.

Boss Miller would have undoubtedly asked his side to keep it tight for the first 15-20 minutes of the second period, but Brighouse had other ideas and they did in fact reduce the deficit just two minutes after the resumption.

The Brewers lost the ball cheaply on the half-way line which led to Ben Wharton getting the better of Thirkell and squaring to Tom Haigh to tap in for 3-2.

The goal certainly galvanised the home side and Hallwood had to be at his very best and react rapidly to tip over Fish’s close-range header.

With the matchdelicately poised, a huge moment of controversy arrived in the 71st minute.

Stewart rounded Taylor and hung up a cross for Corner who headed goalwards but saw his effort cleared with what looked like the arm of Kurt Harris.

It also appeared as though the defender was positioned a couple of steps beyond the goal-line, meaning Corner’s header may well have been in, but unfortunately for Taddy the officials didn’t give either decision.

The controversy wasn’t finished there though as eight minutes later another former Manchester United midfielder Jono Greening burst from his own half before knocking the ball past and outpacing Adam Field.

The same player that looked to have handled the ball on the line was the same player that then brought Greening to the ground after he cut inside Harris.

Again, the referee was unmoved, much to the grievance of the Albion fans congregated behind the goal.

With time running out, Brighouse then equalised just six minutes from full-time.

Substitute Adam Shaw came off the bench to deftly flick home Thomas Dugdale’s free-kick at the front post.

In a grandstand finale, there was one final chance for either side.

First of all, Brewers substitute Fraser Hansen won the ball back on the edge of Brighouse’s penalty area before teeing up Stewart, but the striker side-footed narrowly off target.

And then in injury time up the other end, Fish steered agonisingly wide of the target with Hallwood rooted to the spot.

The final whistle was blown moments later with the points shared in an entertaining and dramatic encounter.