Defiant Swans Soar To Success Against The Sedge
3 goals for Barton saw a huge 3 points taken from a very good side in the NCEL Premier Division as the Swans travelled to Clayborn Ground.
A sunny but chilly afternoon in Cleckheaton was the setting for two teams playing in the NCEL Premier Division at the Clayborn Ground. The Swans were travelling away to a Liversedge side that were coming off a very impressive 5-1 Win away at runaway league leaders AFC Mansfield. Barton were also coming off an impressive 3-0 Win against Penistone Church, so both teams were in good form hungry for another win. Liversedge were 13th place in the table going into the game, and Barton were in 19th. The sides came out onto the pitch to shake hands in front of an attendance of 101, Barton in White and Sedge in Light Blue. The teams took their positions, and the game began.
From the off it was clear it would be a barnstormer of a fixture. Sedge were a big physical side, and Barton had their work cut out. The sides were tussling for the ball fiercely, as both teams wanted the first chance. It would then be home team who'd get this too, as a close miss from a header just sailed over the bar in the 7th minute, flashing a warning sign for the visitors. It would be in the same minute too in which it looked like it would be a long day for The Swans, as they found themselves in peril with new signing Bill Law accidentally giving away a penalty from a handball in the Barton 18 yard box. Rhys Davies stepped up and struck the ball cleanly, hammering it home well to get the goal for Liversedge. 1-0 down in 7 minutes, and with the Sedge's 5-1 result against the league leaders looming in their heads, The Swans knew they had to buckle down and get into the game. This they did too, as they began to settle into the fixture. The chances began to dry out for a good 15 minute period, but it was Tom Waudby in the 24th minute who was next to get in front of goal for The Swans. A ball threaded in behind the defence by Eddie Rogerson was met by a good oncoming run by Charlie Shelley, in which he picked a pass in the box for Waudby - but he unfortunately mis-touched it, just missing his window to let off a shot before the ball was scrambled out. Swans keeper Sam Riches stepped up in the 32nd minute and made a huge 1-on-1 save to keep the visitors in the game, as a ball in behind found a Sedge striker, and under pressure from Shelley, he hit it low at the keeper, forcing a great reaction to keep the ball from going in the net. Barton went back up the other end of the pitch 2 minutes later and had a big chance in the 34th through a free kick. Captain Ash Lattimore played in a deep cross, and from about 12 yards out, Bill Law headed the ball over, in what was a clear goal-scoring opportunity. The half continued and as the minutes ticked away, it looked as if the teams would be going in at 1-0. In what was the last kick of the half however, Bill Law was brought down in the penalty area, getting Barton a crucial penalty to finish the half. Tom Waudby stepped up, as he had scored every penalty he'd had this season, with a hunger for another goal. He ran up and struck the ball hard to the keeper's right hand side, but he judged right, and made a very strong save to deny the Barton talent his goal. The ref blew his whistle just after the penalty, and the teams went in at 1-0 still. Deflated from the penalty miss, it was difficult to break down the good side Sedge had set out. Physicality was proving to be a problem for the Barton team who were smaller in some areas in comparison, losing out a lot in the air and the tackle. They hunted for a good part of the half though, and showed some impressive flashes of quality. New signings Bill Law and Donald Chimalilo were impressive in their pursuit to attack too, showing they can bring some quality to a team brimming with talent already.
Barton Manager Dave Ricardo made some tactical changes to the team, and brought on Josh Tennant for Chimalilo to partner Law upfront, and this is one of the changes that caused the Second Half to truly ignite. Merely 3 minutes after the break began in the 48th, a corner for Barton was defended only to the edge of the box where it found Jamie Goddard, who took it inside the box, dribbling with tricky feet, causing a Sedge player to clip jim as he went past, to earn Barton another penalty. This time Waudby didn't want to take the penalty, so the captain stepped up to take it. Lattimore hit a good drive to put the visitors unexpectedly equal in score to Liversedge, much to the delight of the travelling fans. Running straight for the ball, he spent no time celebrating, grabbing it to put it back in the centre spot. The 3rd penalty of the game, the referee was clinical with his decisions and didn't hesitate awarding them. An even bigger surprise, only a minute later, Barton found themselves with yet another penalty, as Bill Law was tripped in the area again, to earn his second penalty of the fixture. Lattimore stepped up, hit the target again, and hit home to the delight of the travelling fans and team. Now 2-1 early in the half, it was looking good for Barton, but there was lots of time for the Liversedge to get back on level terms. The half continued and Liversedge attacked on, the minutes passed and despite a few corner chances just going wide, it didn't look like the scoreline would change. The 82nd minute was another opportunity for Barton to get a goal, this time with Will Waudby - crossed into the path of Jamie Goddard, who struck the ball well on the edge of the box - only hitting the crossbar. A heart in throat moment, the Sedge weren't prepared for the next big event in the match. Jamie Goddard received the ball on the edge of the box in the 84th minute, after a good piece of build up play, dribbling well inwards towards the penalty spot. Under pressure, he hit the bottom left hand corner with a great finish, erupting the Barton team in celebration. Goddard ran towards the corner flag, taking his shirt off then jumping in the air to celebrate. This was the nail in the coffin for the home team who gave a lot throughout the game, but through bad defensive moments, conceded the points. The game continued with little time left for the home team to get back into the fixture, and despite a few chances, the scoreline finished 3-1.
A big second 45 minutes for Barton swayed the game their way, and inspired substitutions helped matched the physicality of the strong Sedge side. Barton played well and saw through some difficult periods of pressure, scoring where it mattered.