Among a number of enforced changes to the lineup, 'new' signing Sam Barker went straight into the first eleven. The midfielder has made the move from neighbours Tadcaster Albion for a third stint at the club. Leaving Cedar Ridge is Jack Lazenby who signed for Division 1 Harrogate Railway last Friday. Barker went straight into the first eleven, replacing Nick Hutton. Charlie Marshall donned the number 9 jersey to replace the unavailable James Burgess, while Alex Zachariou, Nick Thompson and Lee Turner were back in the first eleven.
After the disappointing showing against Knaresborough the other week, this was better from The Miners, and while not doing quite enough to win the game, a point was well deserved. Donning our new all-green away strip (replacing one that we've sported since 2017-18, one of the longest running in the NCEL?), the first chance of the game fell to Lee Turner who fired over the bar from Matt Ancliff's cross. Down the other end Toby Wells was forced to punch off the line Craig King's corner kick.
Garforth took the lead on 11 mins via a cracking strike from Charlie Marshall. Receiving the ball on the left from Ancliff, he bent the ball around Barton 'keeper Charlie Dixon into the top corner of the net for his fourth of the season. Sam Barker hit wide shortly after when the ball was worked back into the box after Dixon headed clear outside his box. Another chance for Barker saw a shot saved after good link-up play with Marshall and Ancliff. The hosts enjoyed chances of their own from set-pieces; Harrison Coley's rising strike was just over the bar from a free-kick on the right wing and Wells saved on the line a close range effort from Scott Matthews' free-kick. In between that was another chance for Barker who almost caught Dixon out with a fierce strike on the edge of the box which the 'keeper managed to turn wide at the near post. In injury time Barton's Ben Hinchcliffe shot just over the bar after another foray down the right.
The home side started the second half the stronger and only three second half minutes had passed when they found the equaliser. Coley received the ball in the box and was given space to shoot low into the bottom corner of the net. The Swans thought they'd taken the lead soon after when scorer of the winning goal in May's League Cup final Tom Waudby turned home a left wing delivery, but the offside flag was raised. Another chance saw Waudby put a glancing header wide from King's cross. Town came back into the game with a succession of corners won which sadly came to nothing, then a long range effort from Fraser Hansen was just over the bar.
Wells saved a powerful low strike on 77 mins with the loose ball cleared by a defender in the six yard box, then substitute Joe Mitchell's low shot was straight at Dixon. The remainder of the game saw a couple of half chances as both sides searched in vain for the winner. Sub Chris Spinks shot narrowly beyond the far post for Barton, then a defensive mix-up which left Swans stopper Dixon stranded looked to have let in Barker but he was denied by the recovering defence.
A good point at a unhappy hunting ground for the Miners; a first point here in five attempts. The Miners are back in LS25 this Saturday when we entertain North Ferriby (kick-off 3pm).