Ambers roar back against Lions to take the points
The Ambers came from behind to beat Albion Sports 4-2 ....
A trip to Leeds saw The Ambers leave The King of Soho Stadium for a league fixture for the first time this season, and after four defeats on the spin, it was imperative that they somehow carved out a positive result against Albion Sports. Jas Colliver kept faith with the starting eleven who unluckily bowed out of the League Cup in midweek, and they carried on in the same positive style that was on show in the second half on Tuesday.
A bright opening almost bore early fruit when a Danny Buttle cross was met in the area by Jon Froggatt but somehow home keeper Clarke managed to keep the close range effort out with a point blank save. The left wing supply route was being well used and Lee Hill was next in line to put his head on a Buttle cross but this time Clarke’s job was an easy one to gather.
It was certainly not one way traffic and the home side were technically very good across the pitch and Keita should perhaps have done better when a lucky deflection sent him through the middle but Phil Barnes spread himself well to keep the shot out.
Buttle continued to be the most effective outlet and a 60 yard run and cross saw Jake Currie glance his header wide, whilst Cameron Rigby on the other flank also offered some excellent wing play when the ball went down the right. The breakthrough finally came after 35 minutes when a high looping cross was fumbled by Clarke, Buttle reacting first to control the ball and fire it home past a defender on the line to re-open his Ambers account.
The Lions responded well and Barnes was forced into making good saves from Bartle and Fairhurst before the equaliser arrived rather fortuitously when a long range shot was deflected into the path of an unmarked Bartle who squeezed the ball home from an acute angle.
The second half began with Froggatt bursting through the middle before being forced wide and an early substitution saw Jed Phillips replace James Ashmore, but within a minute, Keita went down in the box after a challenge from Ollie Yates, and Albion were given the chance to take the lead. However, Ruhanduka saw his effort sail over the bar much to the relief of Yates. Albion scented blood though and six minutes later an excellent curling strike from Kroma beat Barnes all end up and Handsworth were behind.
Alec Denton then came on in place of Rigby and within a minute, The Ambers were back on level terms when a Buttle free kick was met at the back post by Hill who forced the ball home. Handsworth now had some belief and began to force the issue. A Buttle cross raised a vociferous penalty appeal for a handball, and from the resultant corner, Lee Cooksey’s header was cleared off the line.
The Manager made his final substitution with 20 minutes remaining when Josh Hemmingway replaced Currie, and within minutes, the sub beat his man on the right before being pulled back near the corner flag. Buttle extracted maximum gain by picking out Brad Nicholson at the far post and the young full backs towering header rocketed into the net to put The Ambers back into the lead.
Handsworth were now dominant and on the hunt for more goals. Froggatt was inches away from converting Buttle’s cross and was then kept out at point blank range again by Clarke following Hemmingway’s pinpoint delivery, but a minute later, the veteran front man got the goal he deserved with a classic header following another excellent cross from Hemmingway. Phillips almost put the icing on the cake late on with a 35 yard drive that whistled just over the bar, but on the whole, it was an excellent performance by The Ambers who were well worth the three points. The value of having a strong squad was there to see, as all three replacements from the bench made positive impacts on the game.