Garforth 3 Staveley MW 2
Unbeaten run continues as Town scrape past nine-man Welfare
The Miners made hard work of it, but goals from Lee Turner, Mark Simpson and Mitch Hamilton earned us a 3-2 win over nine-man Staveley to move into the top ten.
Garforth initially enjoyed most of the possession, but it was the visitors who came closest to opening the scoring. Cameron Johnson shot straight at Peter Lawrie, before the Town stopper made a good save to deny Tyla Bell. From the resulting corner, Lawrie was there again to save on the line Adam Baskerville's header. There was a glorious chance for teammate Johnson shortly after when a ball forward found him unmarked on the edge of the box, but he could only drag a low shot wide of the far post.
The Miners were awarded a free-kick in a good position when Calum Ward was taken out on the left wing by Andrew McCreadie; the Staveley number five shown the first caution of the afternoon. Mitch Hamilton was the man to take it with Jack Lazenby inches from connecting at the far post. The caution given to McCreadie only minutes before clearly wasn't heeded, and on 20 mins he was given a second yellow and his marching orders after bringing down Mark Simpson in the box. Lee Turner stepped up for the resulting penalty and despatched low into the corner beyond the dive of Trojans keeper Gareth Briggs to give us the lead.
Admittedly Town were ahead against the run of play, but another moment of madness from a Staveley player was to make their cause even more difficult. On 22 mins there were handbags when Liam Nelthorpe clashed with Ward in midfield, and after consulting with his linesman, Powell gave the captain a straight red to reduce the Trojans to nine.
Rather than damage limitation, our visitors instead opted to try to get something from the game, and Rob Hunter's men struggled to make their numerical advantage count.
Aiden Kearsley now had the run of the right wing and good play with Turner almost picked out an unmarked Ward at the back post, a Staveley defender making a last-ditch clearance to concede a corner. Five minutes before the break though the lead was doubled when an excellent through-ball from Kearsley set up Simpson to race clear and slot past Briggs to score. Two mins later we should've made it three when Turner's delivery found Luke Kitson unmarked but he could only blaze over the bar.
The start of the second half saw the visitors camped in their own half as they sought to avoid conceding early, but they soon looked to get forward. The first chance of the half fell to Baskerville who shot over the bar from 20 yards.
A good delivery from Kearsley flashed across the six-yard box with no-one to convert, then down the other end Lawrie's poor clearance found substitute Jack Turnbull who's 25 yard effort was just wide. On the hour mark Ward had the ball in the net when put through by Kitson, but was ruled offside. The third goal soon arrived however, when Mitch Hamilton jinked his way in from the left and scored with a great strike into the bottom corner.
On 63 mins the Derbyshire side had a goal back when Turnbull pounced on a loose ball inside the area to fire past Lawrie. Simpson was unlucky not to restore the three-goal advantage a few minutes after when racing clear, his strike tipped onto the crossbar by Briggs. Kearsley too was unfortunate not get on the scoresheet when his curling effort crashed off the crossbar. A first goal of the season for the midfielder surely not far away.
The woodwork was then rattled down the other end when Robson Doolan made a dangerous run down the left flank and fired against Lawrie's near post.
On 82 mins it became 9 vs 10 when Town themselves saw their numbers reduced. With all substitutes used, Kearsley was forced off the field after being injured in a challenge. At 3-1, time was running out for the visitors but they hadn't given up and in injury time Thomas Ellis forced a save from Lawrie after Turnbull's run in from the right. They reduced the arrears further moments later when Baskerville lobbed a stranded Lawrie to give a glimmer of hope. The final whistle soon arrived though and Town had done enough to record a third successive home win.
Football's a funny old game, and the Garforth players looked disappointed as they came off the field, but credit is due to our opponents who ripped up the form book to make this an exciting contest for the neutral.
Two difficult away matches up next for The Miners, beginning with the visit to Pickering Town next Saturday (kick-off 3pm).