Johnson grabs brace as Ambers retain top spot
A comfortable 3-0 win over Garforth Town kept The Ambers on top of the table ....
A full strength Ambers squad lined up to face Garforth, hoping to extend their winning run in the league to five games, and they got off to the best of starts when Jason Yates capitalised on a misplaced defensive header and set up Joe Thornton, who skipped past a defender and fired home after just 55 seconds.
The visiting defence looked all at sea again shortly afterwards when Yates once again read a poor clearance but his volley from a difficult angle cleared the bar. The Ambers front men were giving the Town back line a real chasing in the early stages, but the visitors broke well after a volley from James Ashmore was blocked on the edge of the area, Simpson being stopped in his tracks by a perfectly timed challenge from Will Eades as he advanced menacingly towards The Ambers end.
Jon Froggatt was integral to the attacking play which was delighting the watching crowd and some great interplay with Thornton set up an excellent opportunity for Yates but his close range volley was well kept out by Town keeper Lawrie who stood up well to block.
Somehow, the visitors got to half time without conceding a second goal despite chances for Froggatt, Jamie Green and Alex Rippon in turn, all of which narrowly missed the target, as The Ambers completely dominated the game.
The Miners began the second half in much more encouraging fashion and created more in the first two minutes than they had done in the whole of the first period, but Gary Stevens remained relatively untroubled in The Ambers goal.
Adam Johnson was brought off the bench following a good display at Shaw Lane on Monday, and within five minutes of his arrival, he doubled the lead, heading home from an Ashmore cross after Green had played a lovely weighted ball inside the full back to set up the chance to cross.
Johnson then combined well with Yates to set up Rippon whose first time effort was bravely blocked by a Town defender, but from the resultant short corner, Green’s whipped cross again found the head of Johnson who nodded home his second goal in the space of three minutes to kill the contest.
Garforth began to see a little more of the ball in the late stages, Coupland drawing a good save from Stevens on one of the few occasions that Town got a strike away, but The Ambers continued to surge forward and sub Aaron Moxam was unlucky to see a close range effort blocked on the line, whilst also inadvertently deflecting a goal bound Froggatt effort away from the danger zone.
As the referee blew for time, it was generally agreed that it had been one of the best Ambers displays of the season, particularly in the second half, with the added bonus of a clean sheet.
HE Barnes Man of The Match – Jamie Green