Town in top two after stalemate
AN action packed thriller with six goals, nine bookings, a sending off and a last minute penalty miss saw Town return from the east coast with a hard earned point that moves them up to second in the table.
The game started at a frantic pace and stayed that way; Ryan Blott forced Tom Taylor into a low save on three minutes but Town took the lead with their first attack on six minutes.
Tom Brown did well to win the ball and release Tom Matthews; his first shot was saved by Stephen Wilson but when the ball came back to him he twisted and turned to make room to lay the ball into the path of Danny Naidole who lashed the ball high into the net at the near post.
Town nearly made it 2-0 when Matthews burst down the right wing and crossed for Ernest Boafo at the far post, but the angle was too tight.
Boro broke with Blott bringing another low save from Taylor and Luke Gibson fired Naidole’s corner over the bar on the half volley.
Boro were turning up the pressure and again Taylor saved from Blott and the Town keeper did even better on 21 minutes when he saved from Blott again when he was put clean through.
The pressure told a minute later when Tony Hackworth equalised after a clever turn and low shot.
The equaliser lifted Boro and Town had to dig deep to stay on level terms. No player was found wanting though, led by skipper Nick Jaggar’s example.
Charlesworth, Tom Brown and Leon Henry all rose to the challenge at the back and in front of them central midfielders, James Hurtley and Ben Thornton got through a mountain of work.
Town soaked up the pressure and regained the lead on 29 minutes. Boafo did outstandingly well to leave two or three would-be tacklers in his wake before pulling the ball back to Matthews who side footed home.
Town were under no real pressure when they conceded another equaliser on 39 minutes.
A shot from outside the box was deflected wide of goal and the defence seemed to switch off allowing Tom Adams to cross the ball onto the head of Ryan Blott who had a simple header from close range to make it 2-2.
There was no let up in the pace at the start of the second half. Boro forced an early corner and Oliver Banks pushed a shot wide from close range.
Town responded with Tom Brown releasing Gibson but Wilson came out to block his shot for a corner. On 51 minutes Blott missed a great chance when he poked a brilliant cross from the impressive Davidson wide.
Again, Town responded with a chance of their own; Wilson came out of his box to clear the ball which fell into the path of Hurtley who launched the ball straight back from 40 yards out and only just clearing the crossbar.
On 58 minutes, good play from Town created a great chance for Matthews.
Henry and Naidole combined well and Town’s top scorer brought a good save from Wilson. Within a minute, Boro broke to take the lead. Blott’s right wing cross was pushed away by Taylor into the path of Ben Charlesworth who bundled the ball into his own net under pressure from Hackworth.
Joe Mitchell replaced the injured Charlesworth on 60 minutes, but Boro threatened twice in quick succession. First Davidson cut inside but Taylor was equal to his low shot and then Tom Brown blocked Blott’s shot after Hackworth had set him up.
Town equalised on 74 minutes when Boafo ran at the home defence and was upended just inside the box. Matthews’s penalty wasn’t the best but it found its way into the back of the net despite Wilson getting a hand to it.
Boro were then reduced to 10 men when Oliver Banks received a second yellow for going in with his studs showing.
Town tried to take advantage of their extra man as Boro reorganised, Gibson and Boafo both having shots blocked before Gibson then made way for Ryan Hall.
As the game entered added time, controversy struck as Boro were awarded a penalty. An over-hit cross saw the ball skim off the head of Hackworth as he challenged with Henry and go for a goal kick.
Hackworth who had been as strong as a bull outside the box claimed that 5ft 1in Henry had fouled him, the referee was having none of it but the assistant referee put the flag across his chest for a spot kick.
Justice was done when Blott smashed his shot against the bar and the ball was cleared and Town had the point they deserved.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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