Town frozen out by strong visitors

Actions from the game Brighouse Town v Winterton Rangers, football at St Giles Rd'Pictured for Brighouse is Shane Hamilton
Actions from the game Brighouse Town v Winterton Rangers, football at St Giles Rd'Pictured for Brighouse is Shane Hamilton

TOWN’S four match winning streak was halted by a strong Winterton team that was extremely disciplined and well organised, never allowing the home side to exert any real sustained periods of pressure during the game.

Winterton looked sharp from the first whistle and took the lead after only four minutes.

As the ball was played forward, the Town back four stopped, seeing Gavin Cooper in an offside position.

He did not touch the ball, allowing Liam Slack to run through from an onside position to curl a fantastic shot from the edge of the box past Ben Imeson in the Town goal.

Town reacted pretty well to conceding the goal and mounted a couple of attacks.

Danny Naidole made some inroads down the left side and as usual Shane Hamilton and Tom Matthews were working hard up front, but the Winterton defence was looking solid and prevented any clear-cut chances from being created.

On 12 minutes the visitors wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 when Gavin Cooper headed a Graham Severn cross wide from close range.

Ryan Brook made an important tackle on Cooper to prevent a clear strike on goal and James O’Neil shot wide from the edge of the box midway through the half.

Some of Town’s build up play from the back and through midfield was impressive on a very heavy surface, but they were coming up against a wall in the shape of the Winterton defence - no nonsense centre-backs Andrew Waulden and Robert Sanderson particularly impressive.

Although Town had an equal share of possession, most of their efforts on goal were long range and keeper Tom Osborne’s only real save came from Naidole’s shot after good work by Hamilton.

Town started the second half in a positive fashion and created a half chance for Sam Akroyd on 50 minutes, his header under pressure from a Naidole cross was saved by Osborne.

The keeper punted the ball downfield, the Town defence failed to cope with the high ball, allowing Cooper to slip it past Imeson to make it 2-0.

Town might have been behind and struggling to play at their best, but they are not the sort to throw in the towel, and their workrate and effort could not be faulted.

Hamilton burst past a couple of defenders on 55 minutes and tried an effort on goal from 30 yards out.

In hindsight he might have been better carrying the ball further towards goal before shooting. Sam Akroyd showed some good skills on the edge of the box before teeing up Greg Porter to shoot over from 20 yards out.

Cooper was then only denied another goal by an excellent save from Imeson, when he ran clear through looking suspiciously offside.

On 65 minutes, Anthony Haigh worked space for himself to shoot after receiving a pass from Matthews but Osborne made a good diving save to deny him.

Paul Quinn made a double substitution, replacing Porter and Akroyd with new signings Matty Howgate and Nathan Kamara.

This was the signal for Town to throw more men forward and they thought they had been thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty on 79 minutes.

Tom Matthews did all the hard work himself jinking past two defenders with some excellent footwork and then being fouled from behind by Graham Severn as he was about shoot from close range.

Severn received a booking for probably the only mistake he made in the entire match but unfortunately, Osborne made a fine save to keep Matthews’ spot kick out.

Town continued to battle right to the end, Brook’s cross was skilfully brought down by Haigh but his shot cleared the crossbar.

Winterton capped off a very professional performance by making it 3-0 in the 89th minute when James Nesbit ran through an exposed Town defence and wrapped the game up for the visitors.

Town Manager Paul Quinn had no qualms about Winterton deserving their win but thought a three-goal margin was maybe a little harsh.

“All three goals we gave away were preventable and you want the opposition to have to work a lot harder than they did today to score goals against us,” he said.