GOAL - 2 Minutes – Parramore got off to the worst of starts when a hopeful punt up the pitch was misjudged by the home defence, which let in Handsworth behind the defence on the right. The ball was crossed in low for Scott Bates to force home from 6 yards.
It appeared to be de ja vu for the home side as they couldn’t really get going. The defence was a little shaky and Handsworth were having some joy putting the ball onto the defence and picking up the scraps. Gavin Allott looked like he might create something for Parramore down the left, jinking inside past a player and laying off for the waiting Lee Thompson, however the ball didn’t make it to the midfielder and was cut out early.
It was fairly even and tense in terms of possession, although Handsworth looked like their game plan was beginning to take hold. It was end to end stuff, committed and fast paced, both sides were taking turns to move forward and test their counterparts defence. Parramore had a few decent moves involving Danny Lindley on the right, getting beyond his man, but Handsworth were defending well.
Lee Holmes almost scored with a spectacular volley from an Allott lay off, but it was narrowly wide of the post. Andy Dawson was also in with a chance; his headed effort from a corner was held by the Handsworth keeper. At the other end, Parramore were looking edgy, Sam Smith was released through 1-on-1 and it took a remarkable save from Steve Hernandez to keep the score at 1-0.
Parramore were looking a little better in the final few minutes of the game and could have added a goal. Lindley again involved, his great run down the right crossed but missed everyone out. The half had probably been Handsworths, they had an intensity that Parramore needed to at least equal in the second half to have a chance to break through the defence. Parramore had a few half chances but Handsworth 2-3 clear chances that Parramore were lucky to have escaped.
Half Time – Parramore 0-1 Handsworth
An even start to the half gave Parramore hope of growing into the game. The home side were passing better that the first half but unfortunately, the moves were breaking down. Handsworth pushed forward whenever possible and forced a few early corners. But Parramore showed a little bit of fight and created a decent chance, a free kick to mark Wall into the area was nodded into the mixer and Lee Thompson almost headed the ball home, but an excellent save denied him.
GOAL – 57 Minutes – Parramore were killed by cheaply giving the ball away in midfield and giving the attacking impetuous to Handsworth in the final third. Handsworth muscled their way into the left of the area and the ball was played into Scott Bates for him to round Hernandez, unchallenged, and slot the ball into the empty net.
Parramore were visibly dejected after the goal and if was clearly hard for them to find any fluidity or rhythm. Handsworth had their tails up and were looking the better side, comfortable to concede possession in the Parramore half but working hard to win it back when the home side ventured into their territory.
Handsworth almost got another goal when their right back took the ball from the right flank into the centre to shoot, left footed, from 20 yards but the shot flashed wide. Parramore got a free kick on the right of the Handsworth area; it seemed a goal would only come from a set piece; the cross was met by Allott but parried away. Parramore were throwing it all at it now and pressing forward without creating too much, although Thompson had another header saved after a decent cross from Staniforth.
News was filtering in that Glasshoughton were drawing with AFC Emley after being 2-0 down. As the result stood, Parramore would finish 3rd on goal difference. Parramore needed a goal and 3 strikers were sent on, Gavin Davis, Tom Nolan and Liam Morris. Parramore pushed and pushed, Handsworth were running the clock down when they could and the home side attacks were still fruitless.
Glasshoughton had scored to make it 3-2 to them in their game and with only 2 minutes left, there was no chance of scoring 3 goals for Parramore. The whistle blew on what had been a fantastic season, soured by how close promotion at the first time of asking was. But Handsworth were the better team on the day and no complaints about the result.
Full Time – Parramore 0-2 Handsworth