Tenacious ten-man Town salvage a point

07 Aug 2019 in Match Reports

Byrne strikes

Byrne equalises

Byrne celebrates

Kinsey galvanises troops

Town embrace

Intro: Just the second match of the season saw a meeting between two teams hotly tipped to occupy one of the top four promotion places at the end of the campaign. A pleasant Summer evening saw the second biggest League crowd of the day looking forward to an entertaining encounter.    

First Half:

Kicking down the slope the hosts were the ones applying early pressure, but the Town defence was on top form in dealing with the threats


GOAL!! The 4th minute saw Kris Holt's ball chested down by James Cottee and he slid the ball across to the unmarked Lee Gavin who fired high into the right side of the net. Not the start Town wanted but strangely it turned out to be the host’s only shot on target throughout the game.


Undeterred by the early setback the visitors settled down to apply pressure of their own, mainly through Aaron Dwyer who was head and shoulders the best player on the field. The wide man’s ventures down the left were causing all sorts of problems for a defence that didn’t seem to know how to handle him.


A series of corners for Town, mainly earned by Dwyer proved fruitless mainly due to the strength in the air of West’s Central defenders.


It looked for all the world as if the visitors had levelled the scoring on 24 minutes when Dwyer linked well with Dean Warburton whose cross was met by a Liam Crellin-Myers’ glancing header. As the ball nestled in the bottom corner of the net Town’s celebrations were cut short by a raised Linesman’s flag, although it seemed the front man had come from behind his marker to make the connection. No VAR unfortunately!


Crellin-Myers was in action again on 34 minutes, this time as the provider, his cross from the left just failing to meet Dom Smalley’s flying header.


Further first half action for the home side saw Jamie Cottee find the tops of the trees behind the goal from a good position and captain Kristian Holt denied by the offside flag after finding the back of the net.

Second Half:

The second period saw Wythenshawe take charge of the game as the hosts threats on goal became few and far between.


It was Dwyer again creating the openings, setting up chances for Grant Spencer and Smalley while West were reduced to shots from distance, none of which troubled custodian Callum Jakovlevs.


On 56 minutes Spencer’s free kick was headed over the bar for a corner and three minutes later Smalley’s effort from the edge of the box suffered a similar fate, scraping the top of the woodwork on the way.


There was a blow for Town on 70 minutes when Jerome Wright collected a second yellow card and was pointed in the direction of the changing rooms.


It didn’t seem to  affect the ten men as only one minute later Dwyer’s blast from the left edge of the box saw Goalkeeper Andy Jones tip the ball over the angle of the bar and post.


GOAL!! The inevitable came on 81 minutes when a free kick near the halfway line was cleared only as far as Brad Byrne and sidestepping a defender, he drove the ball right-footed past Jones and into the bottom left corner of the net.


There was a further blow for the visitor’s when Dwyer was injured and effectively out of the game but even so the nine men looked the most likely to pick up the points.


As injury time approached a corner saw Matt Eckersley head over the bar but that would have been an injustice if it had gone in.


As it was a relieved West were satisfied with a share of the points and Town were looking forward to a visit to Barnton on Saturday.


-Robert Astles


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