Parkgate 2 Garforth 1
A long-awaited goal from Mark Simpson wasn’t enough to avoid Parkgate completing the double over us in a tense and niggly encounter lacking in quality from either side.
After a fairly even start to the game Parkgate put themselves in front only four minutes in when Macole Lannaman’s long throw into the box caught the Garforth defence unawares, leaving ex-Town defender Craig Laight to head unchallenged into the bottom corner of the net.
The hosts had appeals for a penalty correctly waived away four minutes later when Tom Osborne challenged former Garforth midfielder Ross Shelton in the box. Both teams struggled throughout the game for any real possession, although this wasn’t helped by an erratic display from referee Stuart Richardson who constantly blew for fouls, some real and some which left both sets of fans scratching their heads.
By 20 mins The Miners finally grew into the game after being given little space by The Steelmen initially. A long punt forward by Osborne found Mark Simpson who tried to lob onrushing keeper Richard Spink but his effort was just wide of the post. Curtly Martin-Wyatt was unlucky a couple of mins later upon finding space on the edge of the box and firing at goal but hitting an equally unfortunate Mick Jones in the face! The ball came out wide to Simpson who’s low shot was cleared off the line. On 29 mins though the hitman finally had his goal after returning to the club in January to draw Garforth level. Martin-Wyatt’s delivery from the left was spilled by Spink straight to Simpson who sidefooted home.
Sadly the hard work was all undone by another defensive lapse only seven mins later. Pat Lindley was allowed to run along the byeline and cross to Alex Lil at the far post who found the bottom corner. A couple of chances fell to another ex-Garforth player, Josh Moore before half time, shooting over the bar from a free kick and shortly after finding space between defenders and trying to chip Osborne but again over the bar.
The second half was one of few chances with neither keeper having much to do. Adie Costello’s team suffered another setback three mins into the second half when Jack McCarthy was fouled out wide by Lindley and came off injured after receiving treatment on the field. We were still in the game though, and came close to another equalizer on 56 mins when Martin-Wyatt’s header from Danny Harris’ delivery flashed agonizingly wide.
Michael Cuckson fired over the bar from the edge of the box on 67 mins, and four mins later Lil shot straight at Osborne. Sandwiched in between those, Town were forced into another substitution on 70 mins when Ash Preece had to come off after taking a knock. And it was coach Mark Ford who replaced him in midfield, adding himself to the list of former Leeds United players to don the Garforth jersey. Around this time Spencer Lund looked to have been brought down in the box but appeals were waived away.
The last ten mins seemed to be dominated by Mr Richardson, who suddenly produced a flurry of cards after hitherto keeping them in his pocket. His display was summed up after booking Lindley a second time, the midfielder rejoined the action and it appeared only after shouts from the sidelines that the referee finally sent him for an early bath.
Despite five mins of injury time Town weren’t able to test Spink in the home goal, the nearest we got being Luke Mccrum heading just wide from a Harris ball in. The Steelmen were able to seal a crucial victory to ease their own relegation fears, meanwhile a disappointing afternoon for a below-par Garforth who are capable of much better, something that will be needed for another six-pointer next Saturday.
Sadly no video highlights for this one as Jon couldn't make the game.