Thackley 3 Athersley Recreation 2.
Thackley bank all three points but it was a nervy last fifteen minutes.
Thackley 3 Athersley Recreation 2.
Thackley entertained Athersley Recreation at the Mitton Group Stadium at Dennyfield on Tuesday night; both teams were looking for their first win of the season. In fact the ‘Penguins’ were looking for their first point, having lost their previous three league games. After picking up just two points from their opening three games, Thackley needed to kick start their season with a victory. Nicky Matthews was back after injury and Luke Robinson was starting after coming off of the bench on Saturday.
It was a pretty even opening ten minutes or so, both teams playing the long ball, the game moving from box to box with little possession by either side in mid field. Luke Wilson helped a Declan Dawson shot come cross over the bar before Thackley took the lead in the twelfth minute. James Ngoe went on a mazy run before feeding the ball to Nicky Matthews, he rounded the keeper then slotted home. Kris Hargreaves headed a dangerous looking cross behind before Thackley went two ahead, Pat McGuire sent Matthews down the line, his cross in front of goal was converted by Luke Robinson. Thackley were two up and looking comfortable, the only danger Athersley posed was from set pieces. Matthews saw his shot deflected for a corner and Adam Muller was inches short of converting a Robinson cross. Five minutes before the break the away side had their best spell of the half but the Thackley defence showed plenty of resilience. The Dennyboys were good value for their two goal half time lead.
Half time: Thackley 2 Athersley Recreation 0.
Kieran Scargill picked up the first, of what turned out to be numerous for the away side, bookings early in the second half. Five minutes in and Thackley had the chance to make the game safe. Matthews was racing through on goal and as he entered the area was pushed by the pursuing Ross Hardaker, referee Gareth Myers showed him a red card and awarded a penalty, Muller blasted over. Would it prove to be a costly miss? Mid way through the half Dan Broadbent came on for his seasonal debut replacing Matthews. Athersley’s ten men looked to be weathering the storm but the Thackley forwards were making it easy for them constantly being caught offside. Daniel Morton did well to save from Ngoe after he beat the trap and got clear, minutes later again he was clear, but this time fired wide. James Rothel replaced Pat McGuire; Thackley had the chance to improve their goal difference. However, it was Athersley that scored with thirteen minutes remaining. Broadbent’s back pass lacked enough pace to reach Wilson and Lee Garside nipped in to score and set up a tense finale. The game got a little fractious and Mr Myers had his pencil out on a number of occasions. Thackley’s Robinson ‘s name was added to that of Hardaker and Scargill, quickly followed by Dawson’s before Thackley made their final change, Redmond Lee coming on for Ngoe. Thackley restored their two goal advantage with six minutes remaining; Muller laying the ball into Robinson’s path following a free kick, he blasted it past Morton. Athersley were reduced to nine men moments later, Scargill kicking out at Robinson in front of the referee giving him no option but to dismiss the Athersley player. Substitute Spencer Sheppard was the final name to go into the referee’s book just before Athersley’s Garside scored the goal of the game. Picking the ball up on the right, he outpaced Broadbent before firing a cross field shot that hit the inside of the far post before entering the net. Thackley had the chances to restore their two goal lead in time added on as Athersley’s nine men pushed for the equaliser. Broadbent got clear but was denied by Morton, the away keeper then saved from Robinson before Lee should have done better after getting clear but his shot went wide at the far post. At the final whistle, Thackley had banked their first three points of the season; it had certainly been an eventful final fifteen minutes.
Full time: Thackley 3 Athersley Recreation 2.
Three valuable points for the Dennyboys will do their confidence no harm at all. The defence, after a few shaky games, looked much more composed in this game. The forwards scored three and should really have had a couple more. It was a pleasing performance overall all but a bit of a nervy final few minutes.
A bit of a lay off now until the FA Vase tie against Thornaby a week on Saturday, surely teams shouldn’t be having free Saturday’s at this time of the season.
Thackley: Wilson; Marsh; Hargreaves; Whiteley (C); Thompson; Basi; Muller; McGuire (Rothel 75 mins); Robinson; Matthews (Broadbent 65 mins); Ngoe (Lee 85 mins). Subs not used: Simpson; Gumboh.
Athersley Recreation: Morton; White (Wordsworth); Dawson; Bingley; Hardaker; Moxon; Reece (Hutchinson); Salmons; Garside; Briscoe (Sheppard); Scargill. Sub not used: Copping.
Thackley scorers; Nicky Matthews 12 mins; Luke Robinson 26 and 84 mins.
Athersley Recreation scorer: Lee Garside 77 and 89 mins.
Referee: Gareth Myers.
Photo: Thackley's Ryan Basi being presented with The Terrace (Saltaire) man of the match award by Mark Appleby.