Tadcaster Albion 2-1 Barton Town Old Boys
Table topping Tadcaster Albion bounced back from their fourth loss of the season with a dogged victory over Barton Town Old Boys at the i2i Stadium.
Goals from Josh Greening and Gregg Anderson gave the Brewers a comfortable lead at the break before Gareth Barlow pulled one back with 18 minutes to go.
Barton then provided the hosts with a nervy ending but goalkeeper Gary Stevens was again in fine form as Taddy held on to stay two points clear at the top of the NCEL Premier Division.
Within two minutes, the visitors should have taken the lead. Jonathan Greening’s over confidence almost cost him as his square pass fell straight to Barton captain Gareth Barlow whose prodded shot was brilliantly kept out by Stevens.
After the early scare, Taddy had to wake up and a Barton defender almost calmed the nerves. Henry Gill came very close to sweeping Josh Greening’s driven cross into the back of his own net, luckily for the Swans, it whistled out for a corner as Conor Sellars waited at the back post for a tap in.
From the resulting corner, Josh Greening volleyed venomously onto the crossbar with Barton goalkeeper Robert Zand was well and truly beaten.
The Brewers then had the ball in the back of the net on 20 minutes but Conor Sellars’ low finish was disallowed after being adjudged to have fouled Gill.
However, two minutes later the home side did take the lead as Josh Greening netted his 17th goal of the season. A Sellars strike was saved into the striker's path and Greening tapped in the rebound from three yards.
Greening almost doubled the lead inside a minute but curled a shot the wrong side of the post after executing a sublim 90 degree turn.
The younger Greening brother was looking incredibly hungry for goals and ten minutes later he came agonisingly close again with a carbon copy trick and shot.
Brother Jonathan should have added to his sibling's opener on 40 minutes after nicking the ball past Zand and galloping towards an open goal. However, the former West Bromwich Albion captain chose to cut back onto his right foot and Lee Fisher deflected his shot wide.
However, Taddy did eventually score their second close to the interval when Josh Greening turned provider. His in swinging corner was glanced in by the towering figure of Gregg Anderson who rose brilliantly at the near post to double their lead.
Straight from the kick-off of the second half the Brewers carved out an opportunity as Sellars’ craft and creativity allowed him to deliver into Jimmy Beadle who headed over the target.
Barton were being given the opportunity in the second 45 to have a go at Tadcaster and came close to pulling a goal back five minutes into the half. Ash Lattimore’s deflected shot fell kindly out to the left to substitute Corey Mortimer whose fierce shot was saved superbly by Stevens.
The league leaders were struggling to create any chances at all in the second half and Jason Mycoe’s wild strike was the only shot of the first 15 minutes.
What followed shortly after was a moment of controversy, with Stevens lucky to remain on the pitch.
Barton forward Gareth Barlow closed down a back pass to the Tadcaster keeper, who opted to handle just outside the penalty area. However, the referee decided to caution Stevens despite weighty protests from the away bench.
Stevens was then to become Tadcaster's late hero, despite conceding a Barlow header with 20 minutes to go.
The goalkeeper first magnificiently thwarted Alex Sherwood, who ran through on goal down the left hand side. The stopper already seemed to be grounded and it looked as though it was heading for a level game until an outstretched right hand denied the midfielder and kept Taddy ahead.
The Brewers had an opportunity to seal the three points but subs Carl Stewart and Josh Barrett couldn’t combine to find the net.
And time eventually ran out for Barton as Tadcaster held on.
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