Thackley made the journey over the Humber Bridge on Tuesday night to play Barton Town Old Boys for the first time in their history. Unbeaten in their last two matches, the Dennyboys were looking for all three points which would lift them into second position in the league, although they have played more matches than most other clubs. The Swans, had been on the wrong end of an 8-1 result on Saturday, so perhaps there was likely to some backlash from the home side. Thackley currently have a problem with injuries and unavailability, eight players were missing for this match, six through injury and two unavailable. Six players not included in Saturday's squad at Bridlington were on duty for this game. Josh McClean, Jamil Joseph and debutant Daniel Freeman were in the starting line up, Deroy White, Luke Rhodes
and Mike Garrod
were on the bench.
Adam Nicholson was the first keeper to see any action in the opening minutes, saving easily from Andy Philp after he latched onto a long clearance. Five minutes in and Thackley again were threatening, Jamil Joseph chased down a back pass, Nicholson's intended clearance hit the away striker and the ball rebounded towards the line, full back James Anderson got back to clear the danger. On ten minutes the home side mounted their first attack of note, Simon Spencer firing wide from outside the box. The Dennyboys were having the majority of the possession, they were trying to play football in the breezy conditions, whilst the home side were content to play the long ball for their forwards to chase. A quickly taken corner on twenty minutes and Chris Davey
's shot just cleared the bar. Half way through the first period and the away side added to their injury problems, Joseph limping off with a torn hamstring, Mike Garrod
, making his seasonal debut, was the replacement. On the half hour, Thackley got the goal they were looking for. Josh McClean floated a ball into the danger area, the keeper and defenders hesitated enough to allow Davey to pounce and stroke the ball into the net. Three minutes later and the Dennyboys thought that they had got their second, Daniel Freeman heading in from close range, but it was disallowed for offside. Davey provided Andy Philp with a chance to compensate but he put his shot wide of the post. Three minutes before the break and Barton had a chance to equalise. Philp pulled Declan Marshall back just outside the box, Rob Northen's free kick was curling inside the post when Matt Convey, in the away goal, got this hands to it and pushed the ball round the post. A minute later and Thackley were two in front, McClean and Philp combined well, they found Garrod who slipped past a defender before slotting the ball past Nicholson. Before the referee did call time on the first half, Spencer got free in the box but he shot into the side netting. The Dennyboys went in at the break with a two goal lead that their play deserved.
Phil Lake replaced Anderson at the start of the SECOND HALF
. Again it was the away side that were first to threaten. Some good interplay between Brice Tiani, who is looking better with every game, and Philp, set McClean free on the right, but Davey failed to get his head to his cross at the far post. With the second half ten minutes old, Barton got back in the game. The assistant indicated a foul, when it looked as if Freeman had won the ball fairly, it was wide on the right, Northen looped the ball towards goal and somehow it curled over Convey and into the top corner. The goal seemed to lift the home side and they began to knock the ball about a bit more. Richard Medcalf saw his curled shot from the edge of the box go inches wide, before a similar Spencer effort suffered the same fate. Barton were looking for the equaliser and both teams made substitutions. Gareth Owen replaced Spencer for the Swans and Luke Rhodes
, making his first team debut, replaced McClean. Thackley had some defending to do but Rob Morgan and Freeman, at the heart of Thackley defence, were coping with any danger. Northen had a goal bound effort blocked before Owen fired tamely at Convey. James Bamford replaced Northen and Deroy White came on for Davey as the game entered the dying minutes. There was a heart stopping moment for the away fans when Owen, with the goal at his mercy, fired wide. However, the one goal margin was maintained to the final whistle and all three points were on their way back to Bradford.
Thackley are now unbeaten in three and have moved to second place in the league. Unfortunately, they do not have a match on Saturday because of Parkgate's reinstatement in the FA Cup. Thackley's next match is on Saturday 24th September at Pickering Town in the FA Vase.
I do think at this time of the year, to go nearly two weeks between matches is ludicrous, but with the injury problems that the team has at present, perhaps it is a blessing in disguise.
Just one final note, it was my first visit to the Euronics Ground, it is one of the nicest I have encoutered during my time watching non league football.
Barton Town OB team : Nicholson; Atkinson (Lake); Garth; Radley; Dexter (C); Marshall; Cooper; Tomlinson; Spencer (Owen); Medcalf; Northen (Bramford).
Thackley team : Convey; C White; Whiteley; Harding; R Morgan (C); Freeman; McClean (Rhodes); Tiani; Joseph (Garrod); Philp; Davey (D White). Sub not used : Bower.
Barton Town OB scorer : Rob Northen 55 mins.
Thackley scorers : Chris Davey
30 mins; Mike Garrod
Attendance : 80.