Hemsworth 3-2 Garforth Town
By Jonathan McGourty
Garforth came close to completing a remarkable comeback against promotion chasers Hemsworth Miners Welfare after a dramatic last 15 minutes. By Samuel Bannister
Town found themselves 3-0 down by the 70th minute, but two late Garforth goals meant the hosts were in fact hanging on at the end.
The game didn’t start in ideal fashion as Town gave away yet another penalty. A switch over to Hemsworth winger Bradley Dockerty – who scored four goals in the reverse fixture – was taken down by the winger with a sublime first touch, before Town right-back Matthew Wilkinson clipped him in the box. Nash Connolly stepped up to take for the hosts, but despite his effort hitting the inside of the post, the ball still deflected into the net to make it 1-0.
Dockerty had a chance to double Hemsworth’s lead when he curled a shot wide from the left-hand side. It came just a few moments after another cross had caused problems for the Garforth defence.
Joe Colley had a chance for Town on the stroke of half-time when his volley after a corner fell inches away from the goal.
A tactical change at half-time saw Mark Simpson replace Helmo Silva, but the second period didn’t start well either, as Hemsworth doubled their lead. Knight curled the ball in beyond the reach of Toby Wells to deliver a frustrating blow to Town’s hopes of getting back on level terms.
However, Town did have a chance soon after. Kane Bingley floated a free kick in, with Colley seeing his header bounce off the bar, only to hit the woodwork again.
On 66 minutes it was 3-0 as Andrew Higgins headed in from a corner. Garforth looked done and dusted, but a dramatic twist of events in the final 15 minutes almost saw things turn back around.
On 78 minutes, Hemsworth’s Jason Yates was shown a straight red card for a disgusting studs-showing ‘challenge’ on Billy Lumsden – just a few minutes after he had pushed the Town midfielder-turned-left-back to the floor, which the referee had been oblivious to. Yates had clearly lost his head, and it could have become a major turning point in the game.
Soon after, Wells had to save on the line to prevent a fourth goal for the hosts. And then, down the other end, Dan Williams pulled one back for Town. After Hemsworth’s Declan Parker gave the ball away in midfield, Colley intercepted it and passed forwards to substitute Mitch Hamilton. The goalkeeper tipped out Hamilton’s effort, but Williams was on hand to get to it first, and he lifted it over the keeper to make it 3-1.
Town were putting on the pressure, and after Lumsden’s free kick was tipped over the bar, a corner gave Garforth their second goal. Hamilton played it in, and as the ball was headed out, Lumsden received it. He played a cross back into the box, which was held up by Williams. Turning, the sub striker played the ball across the face of goal for Simpson to tap in at the far post.
As the game entered stoppage time, a Hemsworth breakaway saw Dockerty skillfully beat a couple of Town defenders, before Wells saved his shot. At the other end, Garforth had one last big chance, and came millimetres away from equalising. Simpson got in behind the defence, and one-on-one with the keeper, he tried to lift the ball over him and into the net, but the ball fell agonisingly wide, meaning Garforth were condemned to an unlucky defeat.
Town are back on the road next Saturday for a trip to Staveley Miners Welfare (3pm kick off)