Garforth Town 0-2 Tadcaster Albion
Narrow defeat in niggly pre-season game
Things got feisty in Garforth's penultimate pre-season friendly, in which the heated atmosphere overshadowed Garforth's impressive, hard-working performance.
Despite losing 2-0 to local rivals Tadcaster Albion, Garforth created a similar amount of chances - if not more - than the opposition, who instead dominated possession.
The tone was set for the derby on five minutes when ex-Garforth midfielder Jake Rose came off badly from a Calum Ward tackle. As Ward linked up with Mitch Hamilton, not for the first time that afternoon, to create a chance, Rose had to be substituted through injury. All at Garforth wish him well.
Tadcaster saw a lot of the ball in the opening exchanges and took the lead eleven minutes in. A cross from wide was headed in to make it 1-0. Sixteen minutes later the lead was doubled with another headed goal from a cross.
Despite Tadcaster's advantage, Garforth were starting to find their touch a little more and straight from the kick off created a chance, as Hamilton's shot from outside the box forced the goalkeeper into a save.
Meanwhile, both sets of coaching staff were unhappy with some challenges being made. For example, Ward was brought down off the ball by a Tadcaster player when running towards the goal, but the referee did not see it as he was watching the ball.
The second half also started positively for Garforth, as Aiden Kearsley's cross found Hamilton, who was offside. Nonetheless, the tempo at which the game had restarted was good.
Soon after, Ward and Hamilton linked up again, creating a chance for Lee Turner, but his shot went far off target.
The atmosphere reached boiling point on the 50 minute mark as Kearsley's mistimed challenge led to a major coming together between the two groups of players.
With an hour gone, a Tadcaster substitute had a shot which went over the bar. Down the other end, Hamilton dribbled through a crowd of Tadcaster players in a tight space, winning a free kick. However, this could have led to a good chance had the referee played advantage, as Hamilton would have emerged with the ball with plenty of space to run into. The attacking midfielder continued to win a few free kicks during this section of the game.
Town's substitute goalkeeper, Dan King, made a good save from another Tadcaster move which finished with a cross and a header, with Hamilton immediately making a chance of his own down the other end. His shot crashed against the meeting of the crossbar and post.
He created yet another chance with ten minutes to go, driving into the box and beating the Tadcaster defender. His square ball across goal was unfortunately intercepted. Next, Sean Hunter's long shot was a routine save for the Tadcaster keeper.
Overall it was a performance that Garforth can take plenty of positives from, despite the result. It should give the team confidence for the start of the season. The standout performers were Dan Coupland, playing in central midfield, and Mitch Hamilton, for the number of free kicks he won and the chances he created for his team. Garforth showed they could compete against Evo-Stik opposition, which is a good sign for the season ahead.