Handsworth Parramore 2 Garforth 0
Miners lose out on last trip of the season.
Two early goals were enough to condemn Garforth to a third defeat on the bounce as The Ambers completed the double over us.
Town wore black armbands in memory of programme editor Chris Mather who sadly passed away that morning.
It was another slow start for Rob Hunter's team and they were behind after only three minutes. Harry Bamforth's shot was parried by Paul Hagreen straight to Alex Rippon who slotted the ball into the bottom corner. The home side were enjoying much of the early possession and moving the ball around well, and it was nearly 2-0 two mins later when top scorer Aaron Moxam was given space om the edge of the box to fire just over the bar.
Garforth gradually grew into the game with Luke Kitson putting a free kick just wide on 14 mins, but five mins later we found ourselves two down. A Handsworth counter-attack resulted in miscommunication between Ryan Donaghue and an onrushing Hagreen, letting in Moxam to bundle the ball into the empty net.
Town couldn't be faulted for their workrate, but as in the two other games after our enforced 'break' we struggled throughout for the quality in the final third seen beforehand. A couple of half-chances in the remainder of the half saw Handsworth keeper Gary Stevens fail to deal with captain James Beaston's long throw-in into the box before finally being cleared, and a long range effort from Simon Poole go just over the bar. Meanwhile down the other end, captain Stephen Warne's strike from the edge of the box was deflected wide for a corner, before a Rippon shot was blocked in the six-yard box after good play through the middle.
The Miners were unlucky not to get a goal back in the opening minutes of the second period. On 52 mins Mitch Hamilton saw his strike from just outside the box hit the outside of the post, and five minutes later Poole looked to have been brought down in the box but referee Martyn Fryer waved away the protests. The resulting counter-attack saw a Town defender clear off the line from Moxam after he linked up well with Warne.
Garforth pressed well up front, forcing errors from the Handsworth backline, but couldn't capitalize and in the end the experienced Ambers were able to see out the result. On 66 mins Reece Hands' low shot went just wide after a quick break forward, and Moxam thought he'd grabbed the third on 83 mins when set up by Connor Smythe to smash the ball into the roof of the net, but the offside flag was raised.
A first game in 2017 where Town coudn't find the net, but we have the chance to put this one behind us in three days when we entertain Staveley MW (kick-off 11am).