Ollerton Beaten by In-Form Hallam
Ollerton suffered their second successive defeat on Saturday.
Photo by Ian Manewell.
Ollerton Town worked hard but ultimately failed to really lay a glove on an in-form Hallam side on Saturday afternoon as Dave Winter's men were defeated 2-0 at Sandygate.
Ollerton were literally up against it in the first half, playing against the huge slope on the pitch at the oldest football ground in the world and they found themselves 1-0 down at the break thanks to Ben Thornton's header. It could have got worse just before the interval but Kieran Watson saw his penalty saved by Ollerton 'keeper Ben Woodcock.
The Town would have had hopes of getting something from the game after the restart but they failed to really trouble Hallam stopper Andrew Sneath and were reduced to ten men when Ben Bowring was shown a second yellow card. That allowed the home side to take control of the contest and they sealed the victory in the final few minutes, Mitch Husbands converting.
The first chance of the game went the way of Ollerton. Left back Jake Tittley delivered a ball into area which Hallam failed to deal with before Gav King saw a chance saved by Sneath.
However, in the 12th minute, Hallam took the lead with their first opportunity. A cross from the right found the head of Ben Thornton and he did well to direct the ball into the corner, past the dive of Woodcock.
Hallam were peppering the Ollerton area with several crosses from wide but their five-man defence was standing firm. The home side's next chance fell to Sam Smith who smashed a shot way over the bar from the edge of the area.
Just after the half hour mark, Ollerton had two chances in quick succession to draw level. In the 34th minute, top 'scorer King went through on the left of the area but after doing well to create space, he dragged his shot wide of the post. Two minutes later, King was involved again as he teed up Matty Thompson but the midfielder's low shot was easily saved.
Just before half time, Hallam were given a great chance to take control of the game as they were awarded a penalty. The usually-prolific Kieran Watson stepped up to take it but he saw his poor effort parried away by the legs of teenager Woodcock in the Ollerton goal.
Watson was wasteful once again, ten minutes after the restart, as he spurned a good opportunity, blazing over from inside the area.
On the hour mark, Lewis Bingham picked up the ball in a dangerous area but after twisting this way and that inside the Hallam box, the opportunity was ultimately smothered out.
In the 67th minute, Ollerton went as close as they had all game. Bingham's corner from the left was whipped to the near post where Gav King flicked the ball over Sneath but his header was cleared off the line by a Hallam defender.
With fifteen minutes to go, Ollerton were reduced to ten men when Ben Bowring was shown a second yellow card in controversial circumstances with Bowring, and his team mates, claiming he had won the ball.
Two minutes later, Hallam could have secured the three points but Reece Treasure's ball across the box was smacked against the bar from close range.
With the clock running down, Ollerton kept plugging away and could have drawn level when Sam Stretton's long throw made its way to Thompson on the edge of the box but his goal-bound effort was blocked before it could test Sneath.
It was then Hallam's turn to try their luck but they once again wasted a decent opportunity which left the majority of the 351 in attendance disgruntled.
The home side were almost punished for their wastefulness in front of goal as Ollerton created another opportunity but Lewis Bingham's lifted effort from just outside the six yard box was easily claimed by Sneath.
Hallam's man advantage had started to show more and more in the final stages of the game and in the 88th minute, the home side got the second goal to secure the three points as Mitch Husbands fired under Woodcock from the left of the area.