Garforth 1 Hemsworth MW 1
Honours even in "table top" clash.
A goal in a third consecutive match for Lee Turner earned The Miners a point against ten-men Hemsworth.
In a game affected by a strong wind, both sides looked to get forward but were often found lacking in front of goal. Our visitors enjoyed most of the early possession, but it was Garforth who came closest to taking the lead on 10 mins when Calum Ward clipped the top of the crossbar after Daniel Coupland flicked on Mitch Hamilton's corner. On 20 mins Hemsworth's Lloyd Henderson headed wide a dangerous ball whipped in from the right and moments later down the other end a good break on the left ended in Coupland's deflected effort going just wide. Nash Connolly saw a shot flash past the far post when being picked out by a crossfield ball on 29 mins, and Lee Turner came close from a defensive error four minutes later; blazing over the crossbar under challenge after Hamilton forced a low stop from Wells keeper Danny Rusling. Peter Lawrie in the Town goal hadn't really been tested thus far; but was deceived by ex-Garforth midfielder Sam Jones' 42nd min free-kick which took the wind and looped into the net to give Hemsworth the lead.
Captain James Beaston came close to drawing The Miners level five minutes after the restart when his header from Turner's delivery went over the crossbar. In a flurry of Garforth free-kicks, Luke Kitson was unlucky moments later when his well-struck kick from 20 yards just cleared the bar, before Ward poked wide of the upright after Rusling parried Hamilton's free-kick. On 57 mins the visitors were reduced to ten men when last defender Jack Steers was given a straight red after being adjudged to have pulled back Turner. Town grabbed the moment with both hands and drew level. Ward's low free kick was spilled by Rusling straight to Turner who powered into the roof of the net.
To Hemsworth's credit their heads never went down, and the sending off seemed to unsettle The Miners initially. Either side could've nicked it in the last half-hour, but in the end were made to settle for a point. Bill Law got two bites of the cherry when he got clear of the defence on 71 mins but couldn't apply the finish; Lawrie got a big hand to his first effort before his second was cleared off the line by Kitson. A break forward by Turner and sub Regan Fish ended in an equally glorious chance for fellow sub Sean Hunter to grab a winner; after a loose ball found him in space on the edge of the box he could only shoot straight at Rusling. Deep into a mammoth five minutes of stoppage time Adam Hayton did well to deny Ward with a crucial challenge when Turner tried to play him in.
Disappointment from some in the crowd after playing against ten men for the last half-hour, but a solid display from The Miners against a resilient away side to make it three games unbeaten. A game we may well have lost this time last year. Two Garforth away fixtures up next; starting with Liversedge on Tuesday 22nd August (kick-off 7:45pm).