Garforth 3 Albion Sports 2
Goals from Mark Simpson, Mitch Hamilton and Dan Williams saw The Miners bounce back from last week's drubbing to earn their first league win on home soil since September 22nd.
The first chance of the game arrived on three minutes when Albion goalkeeper Brad Emerson's poor goal kick went straight to Lee Turner 25 yards out who fired wide. There was almost a debut goal for new signing Kane Bingley when his glancing header from Mitch Hamilton's free-kick went just beyond the far post. Miscommunication between Emerson and a defender on the edge of the area moments later saw us in with another opportunity to open the scoring, but sadly we couldn't take advantage. The visitors responded by taking the lead in their first attack of the game, Alhassan Keita being slipped through to round Toby Wells and slot into the empty net.
For a time the goal looked to have knocked the stuffing out of the Town players, and with the tricky Moise Kroma given far too much space down our left, the visitors looked likely to add to their lead. Another Albion player (sorry my notes got wet!) forced a save from Wells two minutes later when supplied by Kroma. There were a couple of Garforth chances around the 25-minute mark, although without testing Emerson - a Turner header from Hamilton's cross easily claimed, before Emerson spared teammate and captain Sam Denton's blushes when he almost turned Turner's cross into his own net. Back down the other end of the park, Kroma almost got onto the scoresheet himself on 28 mins when he made a jinking run into the box and saw a deflected effort saved by Wells. Kesi Omolokun will have been disappointed not to find the net soon after; blazing over the crossbar when picked out by Kroma's delivery.
It remained 1-0 though and Town were still in the game. Turner and Hamilton combined again on 33 mins for the latter to head narrowly off-target. Two minutes before half-time we were back in it. Sean Hunter's corner was delivered to Bingley just outside the box, the midfielder's curling strike was deflected to Mark Simpson who turned home from close range. Town still had work to do though to keep things level at the break; a Town defender denying Chris Fairhurst on the goalline.
The second half was much better from Garforth who, in a brief restbite from the atrocious weather, wasted little time in completing the turnaround. On 47 mins Simpson put through Hamilton to race clear and finish well past Fairhurst into the bottom corner. A great goal in a standout performance from the midfielder. A flowing move shortly after almost ended in a debut goal for Michael Thompson; his effort was weak but was almost fumbled into the net by Emerson. Hamilton was unlucky to see a curling strike go just wide on 52 mins as Town looked to press home their advantage.
Instead The Lions were handed a route back into the game when Declan Greene was penalised for an alleged shirt-pull on Lamin Janneh inside the box. Denton stepped up for the resulting spot-kick which admittedly wasn't well hit, but Wells had once again guessed the right way to make an incredible fourth penalty save out of five.
Wells could do little about Albion's equalizer when it came on 72 mins; Fairhurst conjuring up a fine strike from just outside the box after Town couldn't clear the lines.
Midfielder Dan Williams, who'd impressed on his debut at Harrogate Railway last month, replaced goalscorer Simpson seconds after and made an immediate impact by grabbing what would be the winner. Showing huge determination, he latched onto a through ball to slot under the legs of the stranded Emerson for his first goal in a Town shirt (3-2). There was a big chance on 84 mins for teammate and latest returnee Hunter to surely put us out of sight when picked out on the left, but he couldn't keep his shot away from Emerson. In injury time Joe Bardon almost earned his side a late point when an inswinging corner wasn't dealt with, but he skewed wide at the far post. The final whistle blew moments later for a much-needed three points. The woe didn't end there for our defeated neighbours; the already cautioned Bardon earning himself a second yellow card for words said to the referee as the players headed for the changing rooms.
Rob Hunter's side, who remain in thirteenth, are next in action next Saturday when we make the short journey to Liversedge (kick-off 3pm).