A header in the sixth minute of injury time by defender Joe Tait gave Spennymoor the points against Kendal Town in a niggly game at the Brewery Field. Moors were without skipper Chris Mason, as well as Kallum Griffiths, Lewis Dodds and striker Gavin Cogdon from Saturday’s team, so Manager Jason Ainsley had to re shuffle the squad and included two of the club’s Reserve team players on the bench.
It was a lack lustre first 25 minutes before Kendal nearly took the lead when Jeff King sent Jordan Connerton racing clear into the area, but Moors keeper Adam McHugh came quickly off his line and saved at his feet. There were a couple of long range shots at each end that barely troubled the keepers, and also a scuffle involving several players that ended with Moors’ Andrew Stephenson and Kendal’s Jeff King being booked by referee Lucy May.
But in first half stoppage time, the game burst into life when the Kendal defence could only clear a left wing corner as far as Shane Henry, who drove the ball through a crowd of players past keeper Danny McDonald.
Kendal levelled 12 minutes after the restart, with a good run around the back of the Spennymoor defence by King, and he laid the ball on a plate for Jamie Colebourn to slide in at the far post.
Stephenson nearly restored Moors’ lead with a right foot shot from 25 yards that skidded just wide, Nathan Fisher then fired across the face of goal. But Connerton, who always looked dangerous on his left foot, hit a 30 yarder that McHugh touched around the post, then in Kendal’s next attack King dribbled past four men but put his shot well over the bar. Sub Ian Ward fired straight at McDonald from a few yards as Moors recovered, but then they had a couple of blocks in their own area to thank as Kendal threatened again.
Shots by Ward and Joe Tait were cleared off the line in a frantic finish that saw injured top scorer Liam Henderson enter the fray ahead of schedule, and McDonald pushed a Tait header around the post. From the corner that followed, Henry put the ball into the middle for Tait to head into the roof of the net, his sixth goal of the season.
1 McHugh, 2 Groves, 3 Johnson, 4 Henry, 5 Tait, 6 Capper, 7 McReady (sub Ward), 8 Stephenson, 9 Fisher (sub Henderson), 10 Roberts, 11 Peacock (sub Lynch).
Subs not used: Gibson, G Brown.
Spennymoor finally mastered the windy conditions at the Brewery Field to go ninth in the Evo-Stik First Division North after they completed a hat-trick of wins over Brighouse Town. Moors won the reverse league game 4-1 in September and last week knocked the West Yorkshire side out of the league cup on penalties.
Moors couldn’t do anything with the wind at their backs in the first half, but when they kept the ball down in the second, Brighouse couldn’t handle them.
Moors went close in the first five minutes when Lewis Dodds released Nathan Fisher in on goal and after holding off a defender could only fire straight at keeper Jack Cookson. Tyrone Gay then had a great chance for Brighouse when he rounded Moors keeper Adam McHugh, but the keeper’s challenge forced him wide enough to forget an attempt at goal, and his pull back for Thomas Matthews was misjudged. Gay had another chance from 10 yards out which was blocked, and the ball ran for Matthews a few yards out, and McHugh blocked at his feet.
The West Yorkshire side took the lead from the resulting corner on 13 minutes. The flag kick from the left went to James Hurtley at the far post, and even though his low shot was blocked, the ball dropped nicely for Matthews to turn home from six yards.
Brighouse adapted to the windy conditions better, and McHugh pulled off a reaction save from a close range flick at the near post by Gay on 31 minutes, and then he went full length to push away a 25 yarder by Matthews. Moors nearly levelled with their first chance of the half, an in swinging free kick by Stephen Capper that fellow defender Paul Johnson headed just over the top, and with two minutes left in the half, Gavin Cogdon played a 1-2 with Anthony Peacock and struck the top of the bar.
Moors played better in the second half, and levelled after 53 minutes with a free kick from 20 yards by Kallum Griffiths that swerved viciously in the wind, and the keeper, Jack Cookson, could only get his left hand to the ball on its way into the net. Griffiths had a chance from half that range after John McReady got round the back and set him up, but he skied the ball over the bar.
Moors took the lead in front of a crowd of 408 on the hour when McReady found Cogdon twelve yards out, and he angled a low right foot drive past Cookson into the bottom corner. A minute later it was 3-1, when Cogdon sent Nathan Fisher running through and the striker confidently tucked the ball home. Moors scored their fourth in a 16 minute spell when McReady got round the back of the defence again on the right and set up Fisher to score from a few yards. Fisher almost completed his hat-trick when he raced away but a double save from Cookson denied him and McReady on the follow up.
Moors manager Jason Ainsley said; “All the players held their hands up at half time and admitted that they hadn’t done well enough. In the second half they played with real purpose. It’s a good three points on a night like this.”
1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Dodds, 5 Johnson, 6 Capper, 7 McReady, 8 Stephenson, 9 Fisher, 10 Cogdon, 11 Peacock.
Roberts on for Cogdon
Green on for Stephenson
Groves on for Capper
Subs not used: Atkinson, Ward
HONOURS EVEN AT THROSTLE NEST
Spennymoor Town travelled home from Farsley with a hard earned and well deserved point from the 5th placed Leeds based club, Jason Ainsley’s side were forced to dig deep yet again as they secured their fourth league point in as many days.
The Moors knew they were in for tough game as Farsley were unbeaten in their last four league and cup games and had won 6 of their 8 games at home in the 1st Division this season. Spennymoor kept faith with the same starting eleven from Saturday but started slowly with the hosts having the better of the early stages, Adam McHugh was called upon and had his hands stung as Priestley tested him and then Kallum Griffiths acrobatically cleared off the line to deny the Yorkshire side and as the half wore on both clubs created more opportunities but it was the home side who broke the deadlock as the Spennymoor defence failed to clear so the ball worked its way to Adam Priestley and he fired past McHugh into the net much to the delight of the home bench.
Not to be deterred the Moors hit back as Stephen Capper’s deep cross was met by Stephenson whose goal bound header was deflected just over the bar and moments later Farsley keeper Tommy Taylor produced the save of the night to deny a sweet volley from skipper Chris Mason and then a goal line clearance again denied Ainsley’s side a deserved leveller.
The halftime break came and went and it looked like Farsley might begin to take control but manager Jason Ainsley introduced Cogdon and McReady for Roberts and Stephenson on 55 mins and with the pace provided by both players it added to the attacking ability of the visitors.
Moors were causing problems down both flanks and from the flank came the equaliser, Gavin Cogdon crashing home from 7 yards after good work involving Fisher and Peacock. It was no more than Spennymoor deserved with half chances for both hosts and visitors missed late on the spoils were shared.
Moors Gaffer Ainsley was delighted with the players attitude and response in the second half and should take credit as the changes he made had a huge effect on the outcome and it may have been more but was happy with a point. The point keeps moors in eighth with games in hand of the surrounding clubs.
Line-Up: 1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Dodds, 5 Tait, 6 Capper, 7 Stephenson, 8 Henry, 9 Fisher, 10 Roberts, 11 Peacock Subs Used: Cogdon on for Roberts McReady on for Stephenson P Johnson on for Peacock
Subs Not Used: Green, Groves