Wed 14
First team
R Ejupi (70'), C Marshall (79'), S Barker (88')
Handsworth 2 Garforth 3

Handsworth 2 Garforth 3

By Andrew Marsh
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Rinor Ejupi, Charlie Marshall and Sam Barker on target in stunning second half fightback.

James Burgess was back in the squad after missing the last two games, Liam Woods replaced the unavailable Jamie Barkway and Matt Ancliff was also back in the first eleven, moving to left back to replace the unavailable Fraser Hansen.

In an end-to-end start to the game, there was an early scare for The Miners when Joe Parkin’s cross almost deflected into the net off a Town defender, but Toby Wells managed to keep it out. Charlie Marshall hit wide from Alex Zachariou’s cross after a short corner, then Handsworth’s Jimmy Eyles headed just over the bar Jonathan Williams’ delivery. A break forward saw Marshall in with another chance but he could only put a low strike wide of the post.

The hosts were causing us problems down the right wing, and duly took the lead via this flank on 24 mins. Antony Mackie made his way into the box and supplied Mitch Dunne to find the net at close range.

Town were playing some good football but had yet to test Ben Townsend in the Ambers goal. A good move through the middle saw Sam Barker supply James Burgess, but his shot was straight at Townsend. Two minutes before the break we found ourselves two behind when a delivery from the left picked out Eyles who smashed into the net. Town could class themselves a tad unlucky to be two-down at the break after a enjoying a good share of the chances, but the hosts were able to punish us for not taking them and we found ourselves with work to do.

Paul Marshall’s side started the second half well and a succession of corners came to nothing, before Nick Thompson shot just past the far post when played in by Barker. With your match reporter being “stood in the wrong place”, according to a Handsworth supporter, perhaps it was to be one of those evenings. The introduction of Rinor Ejupi for Alex Zachariou on 67 mins however proved to be a game-changer. The attacking midfielder was straight into the action and after Burgess’ strike hit the crossbar, he was on hand to smash the ball home to score his first goal for the club. Ejupi almost played in Barker for a quick equalizer, but after some excellent footwork, his strike was over the bar.

Town continued to look the better side and the equalizer followed ten minutes from time. A break forward ended in Marshall getting the better of his man and finding the net with a well-taken strike. A fifth of the season for our top scorer.

The only real chance of the half for the Ambers came when substitute Sam Smith’s powerful shot was caught by Wells on the goalline at the second attempt. When it looked like The Miners would notch up their fifth draw of our eight games played, Ejupi turned provider for the winner on 88 mins; playing the ball across the box for Barker to slot home and claim his first goal since his return to the club.

Whilst The Miners have yet to recapture the form of last season, the never-say-die attitude hasn’t left them and we eventually found the quality to come away from a difficult venue with all three points. Town will look to push on this Saturday when we host Golcar United (kick-off 3pm) .

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Match details

Match date

Wed 14, Sep 2022






Premier Division

League position

Garforth Town