Matthews comes to Town’s rescue

Football - Brighouse Town v Maltby Main.'Ernest Boafa for Brighouse.
Football - Brighouse Town v Maltby Main.'Ernest Boafa for Brighouse.

TOM Matthews scored a dramatic 92nd minute winner as Town turned around a lackadaisical first half performance to grab all three points in a thrilling second half at the Dual Seal Stadium.

Maltby looked the more enthusiastic and their first chance came on seven minutes when Craig Gladwin was allowed to advance before curling a shot a yard wide of the upright. Maltby should then have scored when Lee Hill put a free header wide from Gladwin’s corner.

Football - Brighouse Town v Maltby Main.'James Sutcliffe for Brighouse.

Football - Brighouse Town v Maltby Main.'James Sutcliffe for Brighouse.

Maltby got their reward for a bright start with a goal on 22 minutes. Town conceded a free kick just outside the box and Gladwin curled a low shot into the corner of the net.

It could have been worse for Town two minutes later when Michael Cuckson’s cross was hooked towards goal by Hill but Tom Taylor reacted well to save.

Town finally get some service to Matthews and new signing Joe Gaughan, who were both working hard but living off scraps. Matthews did well to make space for himself to deliver a chip to the far post for James Hurtley to volley but again Maltby blocked his effort. Luke Gibson’s deep free kick was headed back into the danger zone by Adam Wilson but Ernest Boafo couldn’t get a difficult volley on target before a ball into the Maltby box was mis-headed into the path of Matthews but he was denied by a great save from Andy Carney.

Town replaced Joe Mitchell with Tom Thornton for the second half, and the locals certainly started at a far higher tempo.

Ryan Hall replaced Gibson on 61 minutes and the youngster looked under clear instructions to run at the home defence at every opportunity. As the half wore on Town were gradually cranking up the pressure.

Excellent defending by James Sutcliffe and a pass up the line released Matthews to cross to the far post for Boafo to challenge in the air with Carney and following a scramble, Gaughan’s shot was blocked by Mason.

On 66 minutes, Sam Foulds made a brilliant 50 yard run with the ball into the Town box but rolled his shot narrowly past the far post.

Quinn then brought Danny Naidole on for Gaughan before another break from Maltby forced Sutcliffe to make an excellent clearance from a driven low cross from Gladwin.

Maltby were forced to hit longer balls from the back to ease the pressure but centre back Ben Charlesworth made sure this tactic brought little reward with a totally dominant aerial display.

Town finally made the breakthrough on 73 minutes when Boafo headed home a Ben Thornton corner to make it 1-1.

The goal lifted the players and the crowd, and Town pushed on looking for the second goal as Maltby tried to slow the game down – something which would come back to haunt them at the end.

Gladwin fired a low shot wide on 79 minutes but it was Town who were dominating.

Naidole’s superb low cross was well gathered by Carney.

Adam Wilson won the ball at the back then hit a 50 yard pass out of defence perfectly into the path of Naidole who cut inside his marker before firing a daisy-cutter wide of the far post.

On 86 minutes Ben Thornton’s low shot was saved by Carney and Maltby immediately broke with Town outnumbered at the back.

The ball fell to Gladwin 18 yards out, he side-stepped a tackle and steadied himself and smashed a shot past Taylor only for Tom Brown to head the ball clear.

Town threw everyone forward as the game went into added time. James Sutcliffe played the ball into the box, which Matthews chested into the path of Ryan Hall whose first time shot looked destined for the bottom corner but Carney parried only for Matthews to follow up and crash the ball home.