BRIGHOUSE Town fell to a narrow and cruel defeat to high fliers Tadcaster.
A solitary deflected goal in the 75th minute was enough to see the visitors come away from 2Inspire Park with their heads held high after what manager Paul Quinn described as an excellent performance.
“I can’t complain about the performance. I thought we were superb and both teams provided a good attacking game.
The lads are really positive about what has happened in terms of the display and we are not going to beat ourselves up about the result we have to look at the bigger picture.”
Quinn had the luxury, for the first time since he took charge at the club at the end of August, of naming the same side that had started the previous game.
The squad did feature two new arrivals with defender Ross Hardaker signed from Yorkshire Amateurs and striker Tom Matthews from West Riding side Storthes Hall making their debuts as second half substitutes.
The opening exchanges saw the Brighouse system containing Tadcaster to only long range efforts.
Tadcaster created the first clear cut opporuntiy when a cross from the right was volleyd over the bar from close range.
Town had a couple of good chances from Craig Thompson.
Tadcaster began to look a threat on the counter-attack and one break resulted in a last ditch tackle from Nick Jaggar being penalised with a free kick on the edge of the Town area.
Minutes later James Sutcliffe was in a similar predicament to Jaggar and the outcome was replicated. Thankfully for Town the two free kicks were not converted.
The game began to take a more open look as the interval approached and Danny Hull was making some excellent forwards runs for Town while the wide players continued to create good crossing opportunities.
It was the final ball that was the missing piece as Town looked to take advantage of good periods of pressure.
After the interval it was Brighouse were first into their stride with some excellent free flowing football.
Tadcaster responded by stepping up the tempo as both sides went for what looked could be the first and decisive goal of the game.
Tadcaster hit the post as the game continued at a frenetic pace.
Thompson was replaced by Tom Matthews and Sutcliffe limped off minutes later to be replaced by Ross Hardaker.
Matthews nearly opened his account but his shot was blocked by some scrambling Tadcaster defence.
The breakthrough came on 75 minutes and was a cruel blow to Brighouse as what seemed a non threatening cross was flicked on by Carl Steward whose touch pushed the ball agonisingly beyond the reach of a helpless Ben Imeson in the Town goal.
The timing and nature of the goal looked as though it would shift the control of the game completely in favour of the home side.
But Town showed great character to attempt to mount a comeback.
Matthews had the ball in the net only to be ruled out for offside and Athony Haigh, Luke Gibson and Town’s final substitute Shane Hamilton all had chances to draw level.
Full time was greeted with relief from the Tadcaster faithful and bench as Town will feel hugely disappointed to come away empty handed.
Quinn added: “I said to the players after the game that Tadcaster are a long way ahead of us in terms of their development as a team and we have matched them in every department today. I’m really upbeat and positive about the way we are progressing and we have a fantastic group of players here who are really starting to bond and understand each other’s game.”