Garforth Town 1-1 Maltby Main
The spoils are shared in a competitive clash
The spoils were shared in a competitive clash between Garforth and Maltby last night.
Maltby arrived at the Supply Chain Network Stadium as the 3rd placed side in the league, and showed their confidence through their performance. Early on, their left winger cut inside onto his right foot to cross the ball, not for the last time on the evening. Weak claims of a penalty for a push were waved away by the referee and play continued.
On 11 minutes the same player cut in again, leading to a shot for his teammate. On his next attack, he showed he could go down the other side as well, putting in a left-footed cross from the byline. Their number 9's header was saved by Garforth's Pete Lawrie.
Next it was Garforth's turn to get forward, Calum Ward's cross evading everyone after he was played in by Lee Turner. In the same move, Town had a couple more shots on goal, but weren't able to convert any of them.
Garforth knew it was going to be a physical game and big challenges had gone in from the likes of James Beaston and Jack Lazenby, as they looked to compete with the South Yorkshire side. The hard work off the ball was soon rewarded on the attack, as Garforth made it 1-0 through Ward. Lawrie's goal kick was headed on by Turner, before Ward finished with a powerful effort across the goalkeeper's body. It was a welcome return to the scoresheet for a player who hasn't scored since 15th August.
Maltby were straight back on the front foot though, immediately going down the other end and putting in a series of crosses. All were dealt with by Lawrie and his defence before the last one went for a goal kick.
Garforth looked to get forward again and Turner's shot from the edge of the box curled over the bar. Simon Poole also had a long-range effort saved by the Maltby keeper.
In a tense encounter, a light-hearted moment came as play was briefly halted on the 31 minute mark, as a dog took everybody by surprise and ran onto the pitch! Fortunately it made a swift exit and play immediately continued.
For the remainder of the first half Garforth played good possession football at a good intensity. One move saw the team make ground from their own half to the Maltby box by playing one- and two-touch football. The passing was fluid, but sadly this would change in the second half, when Garforth wouldn't be able to string a series of passes together.
The last chance of the first 45 minutes went to Maltby, as their player rose for a free header that went over the bar. The cross had come in from the right hand side.
Maltby had the first opportunity in the second half as Jack Lazenby blocked a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Garforth could have doubled their advantage and had the ball in the back of the net after 57 minutes, but the assistant's flag was raised for offside. Shortly after, Garforth allowed Maltby another free header, this time from a corner, but it was directed high and wide.
On the hour mark Maltby continued to probe for an equaliser and a right footed shot went wide of the opposite post.
There was then a very welcome return to Garforth action for Jack McMurrough, who has been sidelined for five months with an injury picked up against AFC Mansfield last season. McMurrough replaced Aiden Kearsley and was straight into the action, getting on the ball as soon as he was on the pitch.
Maltby continued their second half pressure and in one move Lawrie made a save and Ryan Donoghue a block to divert the ball for a corner. The resulting set piece caused problems but in the end was dealt with. Maltby soon had another corner after a long curling shot. They were certainly putting pressure on Garforth.
With twenty minutes left, Lazenby's inswinging corner looked dangerous, but was not met by an attacker. Next, Turner shot over from close range.
Maltby's pressure eventually paid off for them after 72 minutes as they found an equaliser. The ball was fed through to their attacker in an advanced position, and he dinked the ball in to make it 1-1.
They continued their momentum straight after their goal, as Poole was dispossessed by a Maltby substitute who ran on with the ball, only for his shot to be saved by Lawrie. At the other end, McMurrough put a great ball into the box, but no attacker got on the end of it.
Ten minutes were left when another Maltby substitute glanced a header wide after a cross from the right. They kept putting crosses in the box, and the next one was headed away by Luke Mccrum, only to fall to Maltby's number 9, who volleyed wide from outside the box.
Garforth's next attack came down the left channel as Ward backheeled the ball to substitute Sam Leach. Leach crossed the ball on the floor but no one in the box made it to the nearpost before the goalkeeper.
The last few minutes of the match were very tense as Garforth had their backs to the wall. Maltby's number 6 struck a swerving free kick that was tipped over by Lawrie. It was a great display of reactions from the goalkeeper after a very good strike.
Next, McCrum was turned by a Maltby forward on the byline to the left of the goal, but the player's shot went wide of the right post.
In added time Maltby's keeper made an incredible save to foil Poole; McCrum had headed on a free kick which fell to the midfielder, but his shot from yards out was remarkably saved.
The full time whistle was then blown with the score 1-1. A draw was probably a fair result; Maltby played the better attacking football, certainly in the second half, but Garforth defended reasonably well. Next up for Town is a home tie against Holker Old Boys in the FA Vase on Saturday.
By Samuel Bannister