Cheap goals cost Glapwell
Despite matching their second-placed hosts for large spells in the game Glapwell were made to pay for giving away three cheap goals as they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle Town at the Lyme Valley Stadium.
On another day it could have been a different story as Glapwell conceded three avoidable goals and found Newcastle keeper Daniel Read in good form as he made three brilliant saves to deny Glapwell, including one right on the stroke of half-time that could have changed the game.
Glapwell made two changes from the 5-0 victory at Shepshed with Alan O’Hare starting in place of Chris Timons who was ruled out through illness and Spencer Commons started in central midfield with Adam Kimberley dropping down to the bench.
And Glapwell started the game well enough but it was the hosts that had the first chance of the game after only three minutes. Jordan Johnson, who had caused Glapwell problems in the reverse fixture at Hall Corner, was allowed to run with the ball and he burst into the area before firing well wide from 15 yards.
But Glapwell were more than holding their own as they enjoyed a spell of good possession but it was again the hosts that carved out the clearest chance. A free-kick lifted into the box was punched clear by James Lindley but only into the path of Mathew Bell who could only volley over from 12 yards.
On the half-hour mark it was again the hosts that looked more likely to make something happen as a scrappy bit of play resulted in a cross coming in from the left that was only cleared again to Bell whose volley was again off target.
But just two minutes later the hosts went ahead. Glapwell were guilty of giving the ball away and Bell picked the ball up and played it out left to Chris Budrys who chipped the ball to the back post where Alan Nagington headed the ball back into the path of Bell who slotted the ball under Lindley from 12 yards.
After a good start to the game it was a blow for Glapwell who, up to this point, hadn’t really looked threatening in front of goal.
In fact, it was 37 minutes before Glapwell had a real chance when Michael Harcourt’s corner was met by Matt Varley, who may have been distracted by a team-mate, as he headed wide from 12 yards.
But, five minutes before the break the hosts took advantage of their chance as they doubled their lead. Peter Heler was allowed to run into the box unchallenged and he looked like scoring but his shot cannoned back off the inside of the post but fell straight out to Chris Budrys who was in acres of space as he had the easiest of finishes into an empty net from six yards.
It was now a long way back for Glapwell but they could have given themselves a lifeline on the stroke of half-time. Damian Magee got a cross in from the left to Ian Holmes whose header looked destined for the bottom corner but for a brilliant save by Daniel Read in the Newcastle goal.
It was, perhaps, a game changing save as a goal at that point would have given Glapwell the momentum going into the second period.
The second period began with Newcastle looking to kill the game off and they had a chance to do this just two minutes after the interval but Jordan Johnson sliced his effort well past the post from 12 yards.
But Glapwell were not really helping themselves by giving the ball away and they were losing the battle in midfield with home skipper Mike Douglas particularly impressive. Glapwell were also not having much luck up front with Newcastle’s centre-backs dominant in the air.
Glapwell’s first real chance of the second half came on the hour when Harcourt’s free-kick from 30 yards nearly caught out home keeper Read but he was alert enough to tip the ball over the bar.
And just a minute later the game was over as the home side scored their third. Again Glapwell were guilty of giving the ball away and on the break Nagington picked the ball up with his back to goal and he played a good ball into Chris Budrys who finished smartly across Lindley from the edge of the area.
It was a good finish and there may have been a worry that the home side would now run riot.
But Glapwell responded brightly and they could have replied immediately when Evan Garnett played a great through ball to Ian Holmes who was just about to shoot when the ball was bundled behind by a defender.
This was Glapwell’s best spell of the game and again they could have got a goal back when Adam Walker played a good ball out to Holmes who took a touch and shot just over the bar from an increasingly tight angle.
With 15 minutes remaining Glapwell again put together a good move. Adam Kimberley did well to keep hold of possession under pressure from two defenders and he laid the ball across the box to Adam Walker whose low effort brought another good save out of Daniel Read as he tipped it round for a corner.
A Glapwell goal at this stage looked likely and they had another chance when the hard-working Garnett played a good ball into Walker who laid the ball off to Kimberley who went for goal from 25 yards but unfortunately his shot was always rising as it cleared the bar.
Glapwell were now certainly well on top in the game and they again had a chance when Varley’s cross was headed into the path of Holmes by Harcourt but Holmes’s shot was straight at the keeper.
Nobody could argue that Glapwell deserved at least a goal for their efforts and again they went close when Varley’s long-throw came all the way to the back post where Billy Page could only scuff his shot straight at Read.
But the final chance of the game fell to the hosts as Jordan Johnson switched play out to substitute Dan Skelton who drove a low shot into the side netting from the edge of the area.
The result keeps alive Newcastle’s title hopes as they have closed the gap on leaders Barwell to four points but with only two games remaining it looks likely that they will have to settle for second place. Meanwhile, the defeat ends Glapwell’s play-off hopes as they remain in ninth place, six points outside the play-offs with only two games remaining.
Glapwell play their final home game of the season this coming Saturday when they host Derbyshire rivals Belper Town at Hall Corner, 3pm, before they close the season with the short trip to Rainworth MW on Monday, kick-off also 3pm.
Match report written by Paul Hepworth
Goals : Bell (Newcastle) 31; Budrys (Newcastle) 40; Budrys (Newcastle) 61
Newcastle : Read, George, James, Willis, Espley, Douglas, Johnson, Bell, Budrys (Richards 67), Nagington (Morton 74), Heler (Skelton 89). Subs not used : Donnelly, Cliffe
Glapwell : Lindley, Harcourt, Magee, Varley, Kennedy, O’Hare, Commons (Page 64), Walker, Holmes, Brown (Kimberley 58), Garnett. Subs not used : Shelley, Richmond
Glapwell Man of the Match : Evan Garnett
Referee : Robert Jones (Bebington, Wirral)
Yellow Cards : Page (Glapwell) 71; Varley (Glapwell) 88
Attendance : 134