Athersley Rec 6-1 Garforth Town
Garforth’s season finished with a 6-1 defeat, as a squad of only eleven players played their third game in four days
Report by Samuel Bannister
Hosts Athersley Recreation took an early lead through Kai Hancock, who tapped in after a cross from the right wing.
Their advantage was doubled on 13 minutes by Lee Garside, who headed in from a cross by free kick taker Ben Walker.
There was a better spell for Garforth, as Mark Simpson had a shot saved, and Andrew McManus blocked Aiden Kearsley’s cross.
Despite this, former Garforth player Simon Poole added to Athersley’s tally in the 25th minute, finishing from outside the box.
Garforth got a foothold in the game three minutes later, with Mitch Hamilton pulling one back. The attacking midfielder scored with his left foot, picking out the top corner.
However, just a minute later, Athersley restored their three-goal cushion, as Hancock netted again, gleefully finishing into an empty net after receiving the ball from the left.
Hancock completed his hat trick on 36 minutes to make it 5-1 to the home team.
A minute before the break, Walker added a sixth for Athersley with his head.
Garforth had to play the second half with just ten men, after Matt Robertshaw was forced off ill.
It was a better display from Town in the second period, as no more goals were scored by either team.
Sanchez Payne was playing with a smile despite the scoreline, and had a shot saved just after the break.
Around the hour mark, Hamilton rattled the crossbar from a free kick from wide.
At the other end, Kearsley had to make an important block to deny Aiden Salmons.
A minute later, with Athersley continuing to pressurise, Hancock volleyed wide after spotting Pete Lawrie off his line.
There was another chance for Simpson, but he could only shoot wide with his left foot.
The last chance of the game fell to the hosts, as sub Adam White hit the bar with a curling shot from the left hand side.
Garforth showed resilience in the second half and the spirit to never give up. The result means Garforth are guaranteed to finish 13th in the league, two places higher than last season.