Spennymoor Town Football Club

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Darlington 1883 29th April 2015 Evo-Stik Play Off Semi Final

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Spennymoor Town’s season is over after a thrilling game with Darlington 1883 in the Play-Off Semi-Final that saw Moors come from behind to lead with just twelve minutes left, before two late goals sealed the tie for the home side in front of a near 2,000 crowd.

The first chances were to Darlington. Gary Brown crossed from the byline, Nathan Cartman dummied but Armstrong’s effort was mis hit, and a Cartman shot on the turn was narrowly over from 18 yards, before the game stepped up a level.  Andrew Stephenson hit the crossbar after quick footwork in the penalty area, and then Nathan Fisher was off inches off target with the keeper to beat from 18 yards after a quick breakaway by Gavin Cogdon.  But deep into injury time Darlington took the lead when Brown got to the byline again and delivered a pinpoint cross for Armstrong to powerfully head home.

Moors keeper Gareth Young had no chance of stopping the diving header, and in the early stages of the second half Armstrong went close again with a shot from distance, But thereafter Moors were on top, Quakers struggling to keep possession.  Striker Liam Henderson had a flicked header saved by Jameson, while Fisher was unfortunate with a shot on the turn that drifted narrowly over, but on the hour they got a deserved leveller.

Joe Tait scrambled home after Spennymoor’s fourth corner of the half, awarded after home keeper Peter Jameson fumbled the ball at the previous corner.  The keeper made a fine one-handed save from Stephenson, but Quakers couldn’t clear and Tait netted at close-range.

Moors sent on Michael Roberts for Fisher, and the momentum was with Spennymoor especially when Roberts scored with an exquisite finish.  His sharp turn on the corner of the penalty area was followed by a weighted finish over Jameson with 14 minutes to go, sparking a thrilling climax.

The onus was on Darlington to respond, so Gray sent on Hatch as Quakers waited to take a corner, their first of the half, and the sub immediately headed home Terry Galbraith’s delivery.  After two goals inside three minutes, right-back Kallum Griffiths was inches away from the goal of his life. He turned Adam Mitchell and unleashed a perfectly-hit volley from 40 yards which whacked off the crossbar.

It would have been a remarkable way to win any game, but there was still time for an explosive finish and it came thanks to Dowson’s composure.  Armstrong broke down the left and rolled the ball back to the sub, who squeezed a shot under the keeper at the near post.

Line-Up:

1 Young, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Dodds, 5 Tait, 6 Johnson, 7 Stephenson (Capper), 8 Henry, 9 Henderson, 10 Fisher (Roberts), 11 Cogdon(Ward).

Subs Not Used:

Briggs, Groves.

Att: 1987

Burscough 25th April 2015 Evo-Stik Div. 1 North

Sunday, April 26th, 2015
Spennymoor Town needed a last minute equaliser from Ian Ward to finish their league season with a draw against Burscough ahead of their Play-Off Semi-Final showdown with North East rivals Darlington on Wednesday night.
Moors boss Jason Ainsley fielded a much changed team and for much of the game were second best against mid table Burscough who travelled up to County Durham with the bare eleven. Skipper Eddie Toner tried his luck from outside the area but Keeper Gareth Young held, then the Moors stand-in stopper went full stretch to hold a Will Jones glancing header from a right wing centre.
Moors huffed and puffed with some jinking runs from winger John McReady but each time there was no end product to their build up play. Ward went close with a shot on the turn but his effort struck team mate Dan Groves on the line, and it was a closest they came with visiting keeper Calvin Hare a mere spectator.
The second half in truth didn’t get any better, and with Burscough just shading it, they took the lead in the 61st minute when Jones got in between Young and the Moors defence to head into an empty net following a superb floated cross from the right.
But Moors kept going and levelled in the last minute when the Burscough keeper spilled a Robert Briggs free kick, and Ian Ward pounced head home from close range to give Moors their third successive draw.
“It was a very poor, typical end of season game with nothing to play for, but it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know already. We’re just looking forward now to a fantastic occasion on Wednesday.”Line-Up:

1 Young, 2 Groves, 3 Mason, 4 Briggs, 5 Johnson, 6 Capper, 7 McReady (Sub Roberts), 8 Dodds, 9 Ward, 10 Cogdon, 11 Peacock.

Subs Not Used:

Henderson, Fisher, Henry, Griffiths.

Att: 427

Radcliffe Borough 18th April 2015 Evo-Stik Div. 1 North

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Spennymoor Town picked up the required point which guarantees 5th place and ensures they will be participating in the end of season play-offs. Moors have now set up a semi-final tie with either Salford City or Darlington 1883 and team manager Jason Ainsley said:

“The conditions at Radcliffe weren’t conducive to playing good football, but again there were fine lines between scoring and not scoring,” he said. “Nathan Fisher hit the post with a good effort, while Liam Henderson scored but was flagged offside.

“But at least we got the point we wanted, and now we’ve kept clean sheets in each of our last two games.

“I don’t think any of the other teams will fancy playing us in the play offs, we’re quite capable of playing some good football. Plus there’s no pressure on us, knowing that we’ve reached one of our objectives for the season.”

It was a good start made by Spennymoor as they went close through Michael Roberts who broke into the area but instead of making Boro keeper Chris Cheetham work he chose to pass and the opportunity went.

Fisher then almost fired the Moors ahead with a curling shot from the edge of the area but the ball struck the base of the post.

On a hard bobbly pitch it was difficult for either side to produce any conductive football and it was no surprise the ball spent most of the time out of play.

Shane Henry then blazed over before Steve Foster went close for Radcliffe.

Into the Second half and again it was a positive start by Spennymoor but for all their build up play they had no rewards as sub Cogdon went close with a header, Henderson had the ball in the back of the net but the assistants flag was raised for offside before Henderson again went close with a shot that flashed wide of the post following excellent work by Cogdon.

There was a few nervous moments at the end for Moors with Boro looking for the winner but debutant keeper Gareth Young wasn’t troubled, and the result means Moors can’t finish any higher than fifth because they are four points behind Bamber Bridge with just one game left, and likewise they can’t be caught by Scarborough and Mossley.

Line-Up:

1 Young, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Tait, 5 Johnson, 6 Capper, 7 Briggs (Sub Dodds), 8 Henry, 9 Henderson (Sub McReady), 10 Fisher, 11 Roberts (Sub Cogdon).

Subs Not Used:

Groves, McHugh.

Att: 210

Lancaster 14th April 2015 Evo-Stik Div.1 North

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Ten Man Spennymoor Town just about booked their place in the play-offs following a frustrating 0-0 draw with Lancaster City, but it came at a cost when influential midfielder Anthony Peacock was sent off for retaliation ten minutes from the end, which means that both he and keeper Adam McHugh will be banned for the play-off games. Moors made three changes to the team that was beaten at Bamber Bridge on Saturday as Stephen Capper, Robert Briggs and Liam Henderson replaced Dan Groves, Lewis Dodds and Nathan Fisher in the line-up.

The first real chance of the game fell after 9 minutes to Lancaster’s Garry Hunter, when the former Morecambe midfielder picked up a throw in on the corner of the Moors box and hit a right foot shot towards the top left corner of the net, but Moors keeper Adam McHugh managed to palm the ball away.

Moors nearly took the lead on 12 minutes when Robert Briggs ran on to the ball on the right side, spotted keeper Mike Hale off his line and tried to lob him, but the ball dropped just over the bar. Moors had a better chance on 21 minutes when Andrew Stephenson set up Kallum Griffiths on the edge of the area, but the full back side footed straight at Hale.

Moors grew in confidence and nearly took the lead on 25 minutes when Michael Roberts burst into the box on the right and hit a right foot shot across Hale which the keeper saved at full stretch. But Lancaster slowly stifled Moors until just before the break when Roberts got on the end of a right wing cross, but Hale blocked with his feet.

Moors were forced into a change at half time, with the injured Stephenson being replaced by Nathan Fisher, who had a 25 yard attempt at goal on 50 minutes that went just over. Fisher injected some life into Moors, and he struck another 25 yarder on the hour that Hale fumbled, and in their next attack Hale pulled off a flying save from Peacock.

But Lancaster broke clear and almost scored twice within a minute, with McHugh saving from Reece Pearce and Simon Wearing. However, Moors lifted themselves for the last 15 minutes. Kallum Griffiths had a 25 yards free kick deflected into the keeper’s hands, but then they had Anthony Peacock red carded for retaliation after he was tackled by Josh Draycott and Hunter.

Despite the man disadvantage, Moors nearly scored in the last minute when Fisher broke into the box and squared to Henderson but Hale parried his low shot, and John McReady following up, hit the base of the post.

Spennymoor manager Jason Ainsley said; “We’re disappointed not to pick up all three points. Only one team wanted to win the game from the outset.

“I have no grumbles about the sending off, but Peaks didn’t get any protection at all from the referee. I thought he was fouled for a penalty in the first half.”

Line-Up:

1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Briggs (sub Dodds 80), 5 Tait, 6 Capper, 7 Stephenson (sub Fisher 45), 8 Henry, 9 Henderson, 10 Roberts (sub McReady 75), 11 Peacock.

Subs not used: Johnson, Cogdon.

Att: 436

Bamber Bridge 11th April 2015 Evo-Stik Div. 1 North

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

A second half horror show ensured Spennymoor Town went down to their third defeat in four games, only this time against fellow play off rivals Bamber Bridge who deserved to win on the balance of play to overtake Moors in the league. Moors are now down to fifth in the final play-off place, and hold a six point cushion over the teams below them with three games remaining. It was, however, a missed opportunity when third placed Northwich Victoria were beaten, meaning there is just three points separating Victoria, Bridge and Moors.

Moors could not have made a better start in the swirling wind when Andrew Stephenson cut in from the right and burst into the area to poke a shot past keeper Lee Dovey into the far corner to hand his side the lead in the 4th minute. It was as good as it got for Moors who lacked a cutting edge, and allowed the home side a way back into the game that looked dangerous in and around the box.  Matty Kay struck a shot that hit the woodwork, and moments later Michael Muscat saw a glancing header saved by Moors keeper Adam McHugh.

Spennymoor did manage to see out the first half with a one goal lead, but Brig had other ideas by making two substitutions at the break and took the game to Moors straight from the kick off. Darren Green fired over a good chance before he restored parity in the 51st minute by lashing home a shot into the top corner, then sub Jon Macken almost had the home side ahead minutes later when he beat McHugh with a shot but Joe Tait headed away from under the bar. Green fired over again for Brig who were bossing the game, but Moors tried to hit them on the break as Stephenson twisted and turned on the edge of the area but his low shot was well saved by Dovey at the second attempt.

The home side did get their noses in front on 72 minutes when a long ball into the area was met by Alistair Waddecar who beat McHugh and Dan Groves to the ball and his low cross was tapped home by Chris Marlow. The lead was almost stretched when sub Stuart Vasey hit a grass cutter that beat the dive of McHugh but came back off the post. Moors pushed on to try and get something from the game but a break by Nathan Fisher saw him fire wide, then in stoppage time sub Gavin Cogdon picked out Kallum Griffiths on the right of the penalty area but he couldn’t keep his shot down.

Manager Jason Ainsley said; “We weren’t in the game in the second half. We played well in the first half, but we only put one of our chances away when we were on top.

Bamber Bridge played well in the second half. Bamber Bridge are a decent side, but if we are going to progress, then we have to be looking to beat teams like them. That’s twice they’ve beaten us this season. But we can’t get too hung up about the defeat. Our objective at the start of the season was to get into the play offs, and we need to do that as soon as possible. Our home game against Lancaster on Tuesday will be massive.”

Line-Up: 1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Dodds, 5 Tait, 6 Groves, 7 Stephenson, 8

Henry, 9 Fisher, 10 Roberts (Sub Henderson), 11 Peacock (Sub Cogdon)

Subs Not Used: Johnson, Lawther.

Att: 271.

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