Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 1-2 Garforth Town
Garforth progressed to the next round of the FA Vase, with 17-year-old Joe Colley scoring an excellent first goal for the club (report by Samuel Bannister)
Despite being given a tough test by hosts Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, Town managed to put their name in the hat for the First Round with a 2-1 win. James Beaston captained the side on his landmark 100th appearance for the club, starting as a right-back.
It was Ryton & Crawcrook who started the brightest, with Jamie Dunn seeing a left-footed volley go over the bar within the first minute. The hosts kept up the pressure with a string of three successive corners, but Garforth held firm – surely a relief for the coaching staff after conceding two goals from set pieces in midweek against Knaresborough.
There were some faint cheers from the home crowd a quarter of an hour in, as they thought their team had scored from a cross from the left wing. However, it had actually hit the sidenetting.
Garforth went on their first meaningful attack soon after, with a better spell of possession. Alex Low carried the ball out from defence and played a diagonal ball up to Curtly Martin-Wyatt, but it was slightly overhit, meaning the striker couldn’t fully control it.
Ryton & Crawcrook had their best chance to take the lead on the 20-minute mark, as Tyler Davis swung a free kick from the half way line into the box. His teammate’s header went narrowly wide.
Niah Payne had a speculative effort for Garforth after the ball had bounced off a defender. Payne swung at the ball with his left foot, but his shot missed the target.
The home side gave Garforth a scare again with some good play down the left-hand side. Jack Moody dribbled forward, passing inside to David Luke. Luke laid it off to Dunn, who curled in an inviting cross, and the attacker in the middle was millimetres away from connecting with the ball. Albion continued to look good in possession, and Andrew Collins was the next to almost benefit from their ability in keeping the ball. He had a chance from the edge of the box after another good move from his team.
Despite Ryton & Crawcrook’s pressure, Garforth keeper Toby Wells hadn’t had much to save, but that changed in the 37th minute as he was forced to smother the ball from Davis, who had been played through by Luke.
It had been a poor first half performance from Garforth, and the second half didn’t start in an ideal manner either. Davis received the ball on the half way line before skipping past Kieran Holmes, ultimately shooting wide of Wells’ goal. Next, Davis tried to chip Wells from the edge of the box, but the keeper was equal to it.
On 56 minutes, Garforth decided to make a double substitution, with Curtly Martin-Wyatt and Billy Lumsden being replaced by Mark Ferguson and Joe Colley. The change had a quick positive impact, with Colley putting the visitors in front just six minutes after coming on.
The youngster, a product of the club’s Development Team, received the ball in midfield, taking it forward into the space. He decided to try his luck from distance, and it was a decision that paid off, as his powerful right-footed effort flew past David Hansen to nestle in the bottom corner. It was a well-deserved first goal for the club for Colley, who has impressed since making the step up from Nick Fletcher’s side.
However, less than a minute later, Albion were back on level terms. Wells misjudged a cross from the left, with the ball sailing over his head as he came off his line to clear it, and Jasper was there at the back post to head home.
With around twenty minutes left, Colley’s fellow sub Mark Ferguson also had an impact, as Garforth worked their way back in front. Devonte Morton flicked the ball round to Ferguson, who ran inside towards the box. The substitute attacker spotted Morton’s run, squaring the ball back to him, eliminating the opposition keeper from the game. Morton calmly tapped home into an empty net to score his fourth goal of the season.
Once again though, Ryton & Crawcrook went straight back on the attack, and Wells was called into action with a stunning triple save. A free kick from the left went deep, with Wells tipping the initial header away, before impressively diverting the immediate follow up away while falling backwards. Somehow, he even managed to keep out the third attempt, claiming the ball in his hands. It was a remarkable piece of individual brilliance from the keeper who kept Town’s noses in front.
Albert Ibrahimi, playing on the left wing after a half-time formation change from Garforth, turned and beat Albion captain David Below, playing the ball across for Payne. However, a defender was able to block just as the right winger was about to shoot. A few minutes later, Colley had a chance to double his personal tally for the afternoon, but his shot from the edge of the area went over.
As the hosts refused to give in, midfielder Sean Keyes made a couple of important blocks on the edge of the box, setting up a potential counter attack, which nothing came from.
As the game approached stoppage time, Town tried to keep the ball in the corner, but Payne lost the ball after chipping it through. Albion went on a quick counter, which ended with substitute Mason Stephenson shooting over. In injury time, they continued to look for an equaliser, with Low having to head clear a cross.
In the end, Garforth managed to hold on for the win, but know they are capable of performing much better. Ryton & Crawcrook really made a game of it, and will feel like they deserved at least a draw. However, it is Garforth’s name who goes into the hat for tomorrow’s First Round draw, with the Miners now looking to go on a cup run to build some momentum