Ambers pay the penalty
The Ambers put up a great fight but lost out to a late Yorkshire Amateur penalty ....
After four wins on the spin, The Ambers travelled to Leeds for their last road trip of 2018, and a visit to table topping Yorkshire Amateur. Jed Phillips was absent from the starting eleven due to injury so James Ashmore made his first start since September.
Unsurprisingly, the home side started well and took the game to The Ambers, an early scare being when a Jan Budtz clearance clattered against Fogarty but the ball bounced harmlessly wide. Handsworth responded well but it was The Ammies who went closest when Blakey got on the end of a headed pass at the near post, but Budtz reacted well to save with a strong hand.
The visitors got their first shot on target when Josh Nodder won a free kick 20 yards out and his strike from the set piece just evaded the onrushing Rikki Paylor and ended up in the arms of McLachlan. It was a good spell midway through the half from Handsworth as a curling effort from Ashmore just missed the far post before a Joe Thornton volley was well held by the home keeper at full stretch.
After a scramble in the Ambers box, the visitors broke well and won a free kick on the right. Josh Davies picked out Lee Cooksey whose header was met at the back post by Waide Fairhurst but his close range effort struck the woodwork, and from the follow up, Paylor’s header was palmed onto the bar by McLachlan before the ball was eventually scrambled away to safety.
As half time approached, Moke struck a decent effort just too high before some great play down the left by Brad Nicholson and Fairhurst set up Nodder but his thundering strike was tipped over by McLachlan who was really earning his money in the home goal.
If The Ambers had shaded the first half, then the second was a different story as The Ammies stepped up a gear and played some excellent attacking football which started to open up the Handsworth defence. Fogarty raced through and was denied by the legs of Budtz, before the big keeper then saved a point blank effort following a last ditch challenge by Nicholson in the six yard box.
The pressure was certainly building and a lung busting run by Henry down the left ended with the home skipper electing to shoot straight at Budtz rather than playing in a better placed team mate, whilst Tiani had two decent efforts kept out by Budtz as the attacking waves continued.
The ominous sight of top scorer Ash Flynn entering the game on 70 minutes did nothing to soothe the nerves, and it wasn’t long before Flynn had an opportunity, his free kick striking the post before Tiani netted the rebound from a clearly offside position.
In a rare Ambers attack, Ashmore sent Fairhurst racing away down the right and the strikers clever chip was only just too high to register. Alex Rippon replaced Nodder and Rob Chipps came on for his long awaited debut in place of Ashmore as the management team looked for fresh legs, but with seven minutes remaining, a misplaced header at the back let in Flynn who went down under the challenge of Budtz for a clear cut penalty, which the sub despatched to give the home side the lead.
Almost immediately, The Ambers hit back and were unlucky not to equalise when a cross from the left picked out Fairhurst at the back post but his effort was cleared off the line, and as much as The Ambers huffed and puffed, they could not find the breakthrough to grab the point that they just about deserved.