A FORTNIGHT after knocking Hall Road out of the FA Vase, Town returned to Hull in the League and managed to come away with three deserved points, although it’s fair to say that neither games were classics on the difficult Dene Park pitch.
Hall Road are an honest, hard working side and manager Paul Quinn will surely have been pleased with how his players were able to match their hosts commitment which laid the platform for that bit of extra quality his side possessed to make the difference.
In the first minute, James Hurtley spread the ball wide to Danny Naidole and Hall Road centre back Michael Pusdak was lucky to somehow prevent his cross reaching the unmarked Tom Matthews at the back post. Hall Road had no such luck in the fifth minute when Hurtley’s first time pass from midfield caught fullback Andy Coverdale unawares and Tom Matthews pounced on the mistake and rounded the advancing keeper Mike Burley before scoring from an acute angle to give Town the lead.
Town’s first moment of danger came after 11 minutes when Jonny Slater was allowed to run unchallenged towards goal before shooting wide from 20 yards. Town were bossing the game though with every player winning their individual battle against their opponent. Naidole was seeing a lot of the ball down the left flank; one great pass releasing Boafo on 15 minutes who in turn showed good vision to pick out Joe Mitchell who fired just over the bar from the edge of the box.
Town were good value for their second goal on 21 minutes, when Matthews ran onto a Naidole pass but was brought down just inside the box by player/chairman Jamie Barnwell and Matthews picked himself up to blast home the penalty.
Hall Road’s second real attempt on goal brought the first save of the game from Tom Taylor who watched the ball well to turn Slater’s long range effort round the post. Town continued to dominate and created a great chance on 32 minutes after some excellent build up play. Ben Thornton started the move at the back, playing the ball to Hurtley; his lofted pass forward was chested back by Matthews into the path of Mitchell who sprayed the ball wide into the path of Boafa who sliced his shot wide as the keeper rushed to meet him.
Town threatened again a minute later; Hurtley won a crunching tackle in midfield and released Luke Gibson whose dangerous cross was well defended for a corner that Gibson himself took and found the head of Jaggar whose effort on goal was saved by Burley. The keeper immediately punted the ball long, and Town were nearly caught out as Mark Griffin was inches away from controlling the ball before Tom Taylor gathered.
Before the break Town twice looked like they had scored a third goal they’re play probably deserved. First, Gibson did brilliantly to win the ball back inside the box and set Matthews up to connect perfectly with a shot from 10 yards out only for Burley to make a stunning point blank save turning the ball away for a corner. Naidole swung the ball in and Jagger thumped a header past Burley on for Alex Knaggs to head the ball off the goal line.
After having chances to put the game out of sight before the interval, Town couldn’t believe it when Hall Road managed to pull a goal back in the first minute of the second half. Slater tempted James Sutcliffe into a challenge inside the box and duly went down over his outstretched leg for a penalty. Adam Crane confidently despatched the spot kick to get Hall Road back in the game.
Town’s response to conceding was excellent and they didn’t let Hall Road gain any impetus from the goal. Matthews broke into the box before laying the ball back for Mitchell, and then Hurtley, to have goal bound shots blocked.
Hall Road were hanging on, and Town brought on fresh legs in the form of Ryan Hall for Luke Gibson on 58 minutes. A minute later Town made it 3-1 when Matthews ran onto a superb pass from Adam Wilson to slam the ball past Burley.
The goal deflated Hall Road somewhat and play became a little scrappy from both sides. Town brought on recent signing Joe Gaughan for Naidole and soon after long term injury victim Craig Thompson replaced Matthews. Both players had a chance to build on their understanding with their new team mates but the bobbly pitch made free flowing football difficult for both sides and in truth, Town’s third goal had taken some of the sting out of the game.
At the other end, Tom Taylor had to make one good save from Hall Road substitute Corey Mortimer but Town were able to see the game out fairly comfortably with a pleasing workmanlike team performance.
Hall Road Rangers 1
Brighouse Town 3
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