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Four goals in last ten minutes secure dramatic FA Vase win for Barnoldswick
Barnoldswick Town 4 Maine Road 2
Town scored four times in the final ten minutes as they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a dramatic FA Vase first round tie at Victory Park on Tuesday night.
They had looked destined to make an early exit from the competition when Maine Road went 2-0 up in the first 16 minutes.
But they snatched victory by capitalising on their opponents being reduced to ten men after 74 minutes when Colin Gresty received a second yellow card.
Town were given a lifeline after 80 minutes when a long throw reached substitute Stewart Airdie and his pinpoint cross to the far post found Neil Chapman who made no mistake with a fierce shot.
Three minutes later and a fierce Liam Blades cross saw Maine Road’s Thomas Bailey put through his own goal with a thumping header.
Now it was all to play for with both sides going for a winner.
Bailey nearly made up for his own goal by going on a mazy run which ended with him forcing a good save from Marosi as the Town defence backed off.
With three minutes left Maine Road keeper Gregory Hall was again caught outside his area but Airdrie was unable to take advantage as he drifted out wide.
With extra time looking likely it was Blades again who crossed deep past the far post to where Airdrie was lurking almost on the goalline on the edge of the six yard box.
His deft header somehow drifted into the net to put Town in front for the first time with a minute left.
Maine Road then went straight up and won a free kick just outside the Town penalty area and even Hall the Maine Road keeper went up for it but the danger was cleared.
The ball was fed to substitute Liam Garbutt on the edge of the penalty area. He quickly brought it under control and lobbed the advancing Hall to put the tie beyond the reach of the visitors.
For much of the evening victory seemed a distant thought.
Things started badly for Town when they went behind after just ten minutes.
Their lack lustre play saw Billy Priestley have to concede a corner.
From the flag kick full back John Mason side footed the ball firmly home giving Marko Marosi no chance.
Six minutes later and the visitors scored again. Matthew Warburton tapped in from almost on the goal line with the Town defence claiming offside.
It could have been worse for Town. Two minutes later another defensive lapse let in Bailey who forced Marosi to dive to his left to tip hi shot round the post. With four minutes of the half left Aaron Hollindrake headed just wide, then a minute later he saw a shot go just the wrong side of Hall’s left hand post. Top scorer Mark Threlfall wriggled free on the Maine Road right and his cross found Chapman. It looked all over he would score but a desperate late tackle saw his shot blocked from just inside the six yard area.
Town sent on Garbutt at the start of the second half to replace Carl Ellerton.
Town went on the attack straight away and Blades’ cross was headed by Threlfall against the bar. The pressure was beginning to build on the Maine Road defence.
Town then made a double substitution, in a bid to salvage the game with Stewart Airdrie and Harry Thompson replacing Ashley Alderson and Aaron Hollindrake after 66 minutes.
Maine Road still posed a serious threat and were creating chances, but Town stood firm.
Just when it looked as if time was running out on Town’s Vase hopes, Gresty saw red and the complexion of the game started to change.
The dramatic finale sending the Town fans home happy.
Town now meet Armthorpe Welfare at home in the second round, a team they recently beat 4-1 away in the West Riding County Cup.