Handsworth Parramore 3-1 Garforth Town
Garforth suffered a fourth consecutive defeat as they fell 3-1 to promotion hopefuls Handsworth Parramore (Report by Samuel Bannister)
Town captain James Beaston scored a rare goal for the club, but it wasn’t enough, as Garforth struggled for fluency in a difficult match.
The game actually started in positive fashion for Garforth, with a chance coming in the opening 10 minutes. Mike Thompson played a through ball to Aiden Kearsley, making his first start of the season after injury, with the right-back picking out Mark Simpson in the middle. The latter’s shot went wide.
Handsworth’s Ryan Carroll had a chance soon after, heading a cross into the ground. It was deflected behind for a corner, from which nothing resulted.
On 11 minutes, the home side made it 1-0. Kearsley gave away a free kick on the left wing, with the set piece played deep to the backpost. It was headed back across for Bradley Nicholson to apply the finishing touches and give Handsworth the lead.
Carroll went close again midway through the second half, cutting in from the left before shooting over. Next, Nicholson was involved, dribbling through a sea of defenders before winning a corner for Handsworth.
Ollie Fearon nearly doubled Handsworth’s lead five minutes before half time. Ollie Yates chipped the ball over to him, before Fearon hit the post with a half volley.
Handsworth started the second half strongly and within three minutes were 2-0 up. Toby Wells’ goal kick went straight to Handsworth captain Jamie Green, who quickly played the ball over the top and in behind the Garforth defence. Fearon ran into the box and finished from close range.
Wells was called into action soon after, palming away Yates’ effort from the right-hand side of the box.
With just over 20 minutes left, Handsworth appealed for a penalty. Carroll squared the ball to Fearon, whose shot hit Chris Howard in the midrift. The hosts claimed it was handball, but the referee stood his ground and waved away the appeals.
At the other end came a rare chance for Garforth. Daniel Omosebi crossed the ball to Helmo Silva, who volleyed into the ground. Handsworth keeper Jody Barford saved.
On 70 minutes, it was 3-0 to Handsworth. After another free kick, Josh Hemmingway fired in at the backpost to leave Town with a mountain to climb.
However, just two minutes later, Town pulled one back. Niah Payne’s ball in was headed across by Howard, with Beaston ghosting in to react to the ball first. The captain stretched out to connect with the outside of his boot, getting his first goal in competitive action in nearly two years. The last came against Armthorpe in November 2016. It was also the first time Town have scored against Handsworth since Jamie Allsop’s goal in September of the same year.
Next, Fearon had another chance for the hosts after beating the offside trap, but his shot went wide.
With five minutes left, Curtly Martin-Wyatt won a free kick for Garforth around 30 yards out. Payne ambitiously opted to shoot, but it was too far out to get enough power behind the effort. Nonetheless, Barford nearly spilled it, but he caught it before it led to anything for Garforth.
Two substitutes combined for Handsworth when Ben Partridge ran down the right wing, squaring to Danny Deakin. Wells saved Deakin’s shot.
There was to be no way back into the game for Garforth and the final whistle blew to signify the end of a tough afternoon. The Miners will be looking to bounce back on Tuesday night, when we play our first home game in over a month. Division One side Shirebrook Town visit the Bannister Prentice Community Stadium for an NCEL League Cup tie, with Garforth hoping that home advantage will help them get back on track. Join us for a 7:45pm kick off to show your support.