Town clinch it in eight-goal thriller

MICK Couzens got his first win as Brighouse Town manager at the second attempt in an eight-goal thriller at the Dual Seal Stadium.

Andy Hawker tested the Nottinghamshire visitors’ keeper as early as the first minute, but five minutes later it took a good challenge from Steve Hollingworth to deny Martin Curruthers at the other end.

Town took the lead after nine minutes with a beautifully curled shot from Ryan Brook after Hawker had laid a cross from Ben Green into his path.

Arnold had a couple of half chances. First Carruthers could not find the target,then Joshua Schofield’s swerving shot was saved by Ben Imeson in the Town goal.

Town made it 2-0 after 23 minutes with a well worked free kick by Dave Woffenden, who picked out Hollingworth’s run and the Town skipper pushed the ball past the advancing Martin Kearney in goal.

On the half hour mark, Carruthers was inches away from pulling a goal back when his angled shot missed the far post by inches.

Arnold did pull a goal back however five minutes before the break when Town were caught napping from a short free kick and the impressive Antony Gregory lashed the ball into the net .

Town made a great start to the second half extending their lead on 51 minutes when Hollingworth thumped a header in off the underside of the crossbar to make it 3 -1.

Just before the hour mark, Arnold created two more chances.

Imeson saved a 25-yard effort from Gregory and then when a long hopeful ball was not dealt with by the Town defence Chris Freestone could not find the target with a free shot.

Carruthers did not make the same mistake when he slid home a low right wing cross to make it 3-2.

Town gave the perfect reply by regaining their two goal cushion two minutes later after an inspiring run from Sam Coop took him from the half way to the by-line.

His pull back to Hawker was denied by a tackle, and the ball fell to Green just outside the box.

The diminutive midfielder was fouled but referee Tony Murphy played an excellent advantage to allow Roy Fogarty to lash the loose ball into the bottom corner of the net to make it 4-2.

Town introduced Dave Pemberton off the bench for Fogarty and Dale Feather replaced the injured Danny Hull as the game swung from end to end with Arnold’s route-one tactics bringing the best out of Matty Parker and Hollingworth in the heart of Town’s defence.

Jacob Lever replaced Hawker on 79 minutes, but immediately Arnold pulled another goal back through Carruthers to make it 4-3.

In a frantic finish to the game, Feather had a shot well saved just under the crossbar, Green got himself sent off for pushing an opponent and substitute Lever popped up in the 95th minute to smash a Feather cross into the top corner of the net to guarantee the three points for Town.

Town Manager Mick Couzens was delighted with the win and praised his players for their attitude and commitment against an experienced and physical Arnold side.

“We made it hard for ourselves but I’m delighted to be off the mark,” he said.