Bottesford Town 4 Garforth 3
A Bott of a do....
It was another topsy-turvy clash to warm the cockles on a cold November evening, but sadly one where The Miners came away empty-handed despite twice taking the lead.
Bottesford started the better of the two sides and came within inches of taking a two-minute lead. Peter Lawrie made a stop with his feet to deny Declan Bacon at his near post, the loose ball falling to Wayne Graves who fired against the post. Town responded however by opening the scoring themselves on their very first attack. Sean Hunter made a run down the left and supplied Mark Simpson who's low shot took a wicked deflection to deceive Poachers keeper Jordan Douglas and find the net.
The hosts weren't deterred though, and Lawrie made another save on 9 mins, this time from John Leonard's drive. A succession of corner kicks followed - heart in mouth stuff for Town supporters given our current vulnerabilities in this department. Captain Lee Ridley headed narrowly over the bar Jack Cross' kick, but it was an all-too familiar story on 15 mins when another corner was palmed off the line by Lawrie and, with the Town defence struggling to clear their lines, Wayne Graves was left free to head home at the back post to equal the scoring.
Our goalkeeper made another good save to turn wide Dayle Hutson's curling strike on 20 mins, before a rare Garforth foray ended in Mitch Hamilton doing well down the byeline to pick out Simpson who couldn't direct his shot towards goal, allowing the home side to clear. On 34 mins Town went behind when Bacon was allowed to run through the middle and score with a terrific strike from 25 yards. He nearly made it 3-1 five minutes before the break when he beat his man on the left but could only shoot wide.
The first 20 mins of the second half saw Rob Hunter's side on top as they looked to find their way back into the game. Hamilton shot tamely at Douglas from some good play down the left, before Lee Turner struck wide under pressure when Simpson did well to control a long pass and deliver to him. We were rewarded on 62 mins when Turner headed home a free-kick to make it 2-2.
It was a goal which, for those sitting comfortably, set in chain a frenetic five-minute period. Only a minute later there was a second goal of the season for young striker Sean Hunter, tucking away at the back post Turner's delivery to restore Town's lead. Similar to the visit to Mansfield last week however The Miners couldn't hold on as the game was turned on its head a final time. A cross-field pass found the dangerous Bacon (a future indie band name?) free on the left wing to gleefully pick his spot and fire into the top corner for his second of the game (3-3). And on 67 mins a quick break forward from the hosts ended in Hutson racing clear and beating Lawrie with a low finish for 4-3.
Town set about rescuing an unlikely second successive 4-4 draw, but sadly couldn't find the finish. A good delivery from Hunter into the six-yard box forced a last ditch clearance from Joe Edwards on 69 mins, before Jack McMurrough almost grabbed his first of the season when he ended a flowing move by Simpson and substitute Calum Ward with a low shot inches wide from a tight angle.
The hosts looked see out the final minutes, but there was one more chance for Bacon when he rounded a stranded Lawrie and saw his shot cleared off the goal-line by Luke Mccrum.
A third defeat in four for Rob Hunter's men who can't be faulted for their endeavour, but individual errors at the back continue to cancel out any moments of quality up front. We hit the road again this Saturday when we visit Penistone Church (kick-off 3pm).