TOWN came up against another of the division’s high-fliers, Tadcaster Albion ,and produced another excellent performance in an entertaining game in frosty conditions.
The win they desired may not have been achieved, but Paul Quinn’s rebuilt side are gaining more consistency week on week and that can only bode well for the future.
Town made a positive start to the game and created a good chance after only five minutes.
Danny Hull did well on the right of the box and played the ball into the near post. Matty Howgate cleverly allowed the ball to run to Tom Matthews who got a bobble on the tricky surface just as he was about to shoot and his effort clearing the crossbar.
Straight after, Nathan Kamara, who is having a growing influence in the Town side, shot a couple of yards wide.
Town continued to dominate. On 10 minutes Anthony Haigh spotted the trademark run into the box of Hull and the ex-Town Academy player could not quite get his header on target.
Hull then had a low drive saved by Aaron Reid in the Tadcaster goal and Howgate crossed for Matthews to have a header again saved by Reid.
It took Tadcaster 19 minutes to create their first chance when Nick Thompson shot wide from a knock down by Callum Ward and they quickly created another chance when a punt upfield by Rob Pell found Ward whose lob over Ben Imeson went wide.
Tadcaster had a good spell of pressure and Imeson tipped a Thompson shot around the post.
The game was fairly open and Town responded with Matthews setting up Haigh, his low shot bringing another save from Reid.
Town had a scare on 30 minutes when they gave the ball away on the edge of their box but Carl Stewart failed to capitalise. Matthews and Thompson traded efforts on goal before Town finally made the breakthrough on 39 minutes.
James Sutcliffe curled home a free kick that left Reid rooted to the spot.
Buoyed by the goal, Town pushed forward and dominated up to half time. Kamara set up Howgate to test Reid and on the stroke of half time Haigh had a powerful drive saved after the ball broke to him following a Danny Naidole corner.
Town started the second period with a half chance for Howgate, but Williamson got back to cover after he poked the ball past Reid.
Tadcaster came back with a good strike from Steve Jeff and Adam Wilson made a great tackle in the box.
Town extended their lead on 53 minutess with an individual effort from Naidole.
The winger twisted one way then another on the edge of the box before striking a crisp shot into the corner to make it 2-0.
Just as it looked like Town’s second goal was starting to take some of the fight out of the visitors, Jeff hit a stunning goal on 58 minutes volleyinghome from just inside the box.
Naidole brought another good save out of Reid but Tadcaster forced an equaliser on 65 minutes when Thompson knocked in from close range after Imeson had done well to turn Russell Headley’s shot against the post.
Town came straight back at Tadcaster. Hull released Howgate down the left and his cross was headed against the bar by Matthews. Haigh then had a shot just off target.
Paul Quinn brought on Shane Hamilton for Howgate but Tadcaster had the next chance. Ex-Town player Kieran Corley played the ball across the six yard box and Carl Stewart somehow managed to steer the ball wide of the goal.
Back came Town, Hamilton’s header from a Sutcliffe cross forcing Reid to tip on to the bar, then good passing between Jaggar and Kamara set up Haigh to bring another save from Reid.
Hamilton then brought another save from Reid and Wilson headed wide from a corner. Town’s final effort on goal came from Naidole, but the angle was against him as he shot wide.
Although Town had let a two goal lead slip, the quality of the performance tempered some of the disappointment of not gaining all three points.
Town did little wrong in this game and coped well on a surface that was playable but not ideal for fast flowing football.
The last two games against Bridlington and against Tadcaster could quite easily have yielded maximum points against good opponents and the depth and quality of the squad has increased with recent new signings and will increase with the imminent return of players from injury.
Town will have to guard against complacency in the coming weeks and make sure they approach games against teams lower in the league with the same attitude they have shown recently against the big guns in the Division.