03 Apr 2019 in Match Reports
Sam Heathcote celebrates Town's opener
Jerome Wright calmly slots home from the penalty spot
Town BYRNE bright as they record a seventh game without defeat against Ellesmere Rangers
Brad Byrne secured his latest brace in style, taking his tally to 15 goals for the season and quelling Rangers’ resistance.
Twice Byrne provided breathing space for Town, his first coming five minutes into the second half to ease any tensions.
Jerome Wright’s first-time ball across the 18 yard area found the forward who teased the defender before rifling into the bottom left corner, past the stranded Richard Cowderoy.
Ellesmere dragged themselves to within touching distance of Town 22 minutes from time when William Wells was unleashed down the left flank, where he broke into the area and expertly dispatched his finish across Mason Mostyn’s goal.
Byrne sealed the three points for Town in second half stoppage time following Ben Steer’s stirring foray down the left wing before cutting it back inside to allow Byrne to niftily shimmy past his marker and blast home a sizzling strike.
It took Town only 12 minutes to take the advantage when Sam Heathcote arrived late in the area to finish an in-swinging Wright corner that was mishit at the near post by Byrne to provide the simplest of tasks for the onrushing defender.
However, Town were pegged back to parity following a driving run from Wells who sent in a perilous ball across the corridor of uncertainty only to be turned into his own net by the unfortunate Lee Gregory.
The impactful Byrne was once again involved as he was brought down inside Rangers’ area, leaving the referee unhesitant in awarding the penalty kick.
The responsibility lay on the shoulders of captain Jerome Wright who displayed no signs of wavering as he slotted his penalty away with tremendous accuracy, sending Cowderoy the wrong way.
Rangers were reduced to ten men with 13 minutes left to play when Jamie Hyne crudely hacked down Justin Pickering who had begun to gallop forward from left-back.
The opposition goalkeeper Cowderoy prevented Town from running away with the match as he pulled off a string of terrific saves throughout, displaying cat-like reflexes to shut out a near post header from Byrne.
Ash Leather too knocked on the goalkeeper’s door after he made one of his trademark marauding runs down the right flank only for it to be palmed away at the near post.
Jamie Baguley forced yet another fine save from Cowderoy from a venomous freekick that was met by the fingertips of the Rangers keeper.
Mostyn displayed his goalkeeping prowess once again as he subdued the threat of Joe Briscoe who had created space on the edge of the area only to have his strike thwarted smartly by the Town shot-stopper.
Goal scorer, Heathcote showboated his defensive attributes, making a goal-saving last ditch challenge to prevent the home side from drawing level late on.
A very hard-earned three points for Town but a well-deserved victory nonetheless against a much-improved Rangers side.
With no fixture scheduled for next Saturday, Town look ahead to the 13th of April where they venture away to New Mills in an attempt to do the double over their rivals but for now can bask in a seventh successive game without loss.
Match report by Harry Shephard