Buttle double sees off Welfare
A rare Danny Buttle brace helped the Ambers beat Armthorpe 5-0 ...
Mick Godber made five changes to the Handsworth line up as the fixture list threw up a fourth game in eight days as the season draws to a thrilling climax. With Armthorpe finding form at exactly the right time, this game was a potential banana skin for The Ambers who started the game in a very positive fashion. Danny Buttle carried on his good form from Shaw Lane and a series of early crosses created half chances for Jon Froggatt and Kieran Wells which were not taken.
After Gareth Griffiths gave away a free kick on the edge of the box, or possibly in it, The Ambers were reliant on Archie Sneath who made a brilliant save before the follow up was hacked away to safety. The game was very much nip and tuck with The Ambers playing some attractive stuff, but it was the visitors who nearly broke the deadlock when Preston raced clear but shot straight at Sneath from a good position.
The home side then started to dominate the game and Froggatt headed against the bar but was flagged offside before Ash Burbeary and Will Eades both came close to hitting the target. Welfare were looking dangerous on the break though, and The Ambers were indebted to Simon Harrison whose tackle in the six yard box snuffed out a good opportunity, and two minutes later a Burbeary corner was emphatically headed home by Eades for his first senior goal.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Handsworth well on top but always wary of the visitors efforts on the break, and despite the constant pressure, the final touch was missing, thus giving Armthorpe the belief that there could be something in the game for them. Their big chance came midway through the half when Braithwaite raced clear on the left and crossed to Aspinall who fluffed his lines from ten yards out and the chance was gone.
The Ambers raced upfield and Buttle’s cross was met by Wells who headed home but the referee deemed that Froggatt had impeded the goalkeeper before the ball crossed the line. However, the dam finally burst on 76 minutes when Steve Warne’s cross evaded Froggatt but was bundled home at the far post by Buttle, and two minutes later, Griffiths fed Wells in the left channel and the ball was thumped home for the third.
Mick Godber took the opportunity to rest some of his players and introduced Alex Rippon, Billy Wright and Harry Groombridge in quick succession, and it was the latter who grabbed the headlines with a delightful finish two minutes after his arrival, following great approach play from Burbeary. A minute from time Buttle delivered the coup de grace, firing home the fifth from 20 yards and the winger then thought he’d claimed a hat trick when he headed home the rebound following Burbeary’s chip coming back off the bar, but the offside flag ruled it out.
So, a good day for The Ambers who stay top after an exhilarating second half display against gritty opponents who should retain their Premier Division status.