A disappointing spell early in the second half saw Ryburn squander a two-goal lead and come away from a cold, sunny Centre Vale Park with nothing to show for their endeavours, despite scoring four goals away from home against one of the better sides in the league. A minute’s silence was respectfully observed before the kick-off to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, where 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives.
Straight from the kick-off, the home team pressed forward, but the Ryburn defence absorbed the early Todmorden pressure very well. After fifteen minutes, a long-range effort from Luke Hartley
on the left-hand side went just to the right of the Tod goal. A minute later, a Tom Fryer clearance found Jimmy Long alone up front. Having fended off two Todmorden defenders, the striker’s shot went inches wide. After nineteen minutes, george bailey
fashioned a spectacular goal out of nothing to open the scoring for the visitors with a 25 yard screamer from the left. At this stage, Ryburn were the stronger team, pressing forwards with composure and thoughtful, probing interplay. In the twenty-second minute, a Ryburn corner on the right-hand side fell to Jamie Rodd
on the edge of the penalty area whose first-time shot almost found the back of the net. The following minute, a rare Todmorden attack saw the Ryburn defence exposed and a close-range shot levelled the score. The visitors showed their resilience at this point and kept pressing forward, with some very pleasing link-up play between Jamie Rodd
and Josh Hartley
in the final third of the pitch. The incessant Ryburn pressure forced a corner-kick on the right hand side in the thirtieth minute. Andrew Marshall put a teasing ball into the penalty area and Jay Karabel, rising like a salmon on a Scottish loch, met the cross with a beautifully timed header to give Ryburn a well-deserved 2-1 lead going into the half-time break.
The home team started the second half on the offensive and they replied with an equaliser straight from the restart, catching the Ryburn defence cold. Once again, the visitors had to dig deep and showed a great deal of composure in the face of a spirited Todmorden attack. Once again, Luke Hartley
, proving very effective on the right, threaded a delightful ball through to Jamie Rodd
, who, in turn, found Jimmy Long, who tucked the ball away to restore the Ryburn lead after forty-two minutes. Two minutes later, Luke Hartley
released Jimmy Long through the middle. His fiercely struck shot was only parried by the Todmorden goalkeeper and the ball broke to Jamie Rodd
, who made no mistake with the follow-up to increase the lead to two goals. At this point, the visitors were in control of the game and looked to be heading for victory. However, with eighteen minutes remaining, Ryburn appeared to switch off and let Todmorden right back into the game, conceding two sloppy goals in two minutes. Uncharacteristic defensive errors allowed the home team to take the advantage. The home team were clearly galvanised by this lapse in concentration from the visitors and pressed forward to score their fifth goal ten minutes from time.
An inconsistent team performance from Ryburn, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.