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Frustrating times for Barnoldswick
Barnoldswick Town 1 Runcorn Linnets 2
Barnoldswick’s season is becoming one of frustration following Saturday’s home defeat and the postponement of Tuesday night’s home clash with Bacup Borough.
It means Town have now had eight matches called off this season – seven at home – and they face the daunting prospect of an away trip to Premier Division leaders Maine Road on Saturday.
The loss to Linnets was particularly disappointing because Town were hoping to build on the encouraging 4-1 win at Stockport Sports.
The only change to the line up saw Jack Overson replace Liam Garbutt on the subs’ bench.
Town set off brightly and forced an early corner, but they were rocked when Linnets took a fourth-minute lead.
A needlessly conceded corner was followed by a poor clearance which allowed the unmarked Matty Cross to head home.
Worse was to come. Just three minutes later Billy Carrington had to dive to his left to save a free kick.
Town failed to clear and gave away another free kick. The ball was played beyond the far post where it was headed across goal for Cross to net with an overhead kick which went in off the underside of the bar.
Runcorn were then on the rampage trying to finish the game off, and had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down in the tenth minute.
All Town had to offer in return was a Mark Threlfall shot that went wide of Adam Judges’s left post after 13 minutes.
Danny Boyle missed Town’s best chance of the first half when his shot sailed a foot over Judge’s crossbar from eight yards out.
Runcorn should have gone three up when a cross to the far post saw the unmarked Ross McDowell head wide from three yards out.
Aaron Hollindrake went close while Threlfall thought he had scored shortly before the break.
A through ball into the Runcorn penalty area broke kindly for him but his shot was parried upwards and backwards by Judge, just over the bar.
Nine minutes into the second half Threlfall scored a brilliant goal.
He collected the ball midway inside the Runcorn half and ran at the defence before unleashing a tremendous shot from 25 yards that flew into the net.
Matthew Atherton missed a golden chance at the other end as play became open.
Threlfall headed over from an Andrew Lee free kick before new signing Oliver Devenney was sent off after 62 minutes for violent conduct.
He was brought down heavily on the halfway line which led to players from both sides getting involved pushing each other around.
The linesman called the referee over and said Devenney had struck a Runcorn player, so he was shown the red card.
Although they were reduced to ten men, Town still looked like they could rescue a point.
A Liam Blades cross was headed over by Hollindrake, then the striker shot just wide after a tricky run.
Carrington had to bring off a great save after 66 minutes when he saved a one on one situation just inside the Town penalty area.
Three minutes later he was relieved to see a fierce cross from the left of the Town penalty area crash off the bar and go out for a throw in on the far side.
Town sent on Paul Fildes and Harry Thompson but it didn’t bring the equaliser they were looking for.
Carrington had to bring off a brilliant double save to keep it at 2-1.
The first one saw him throw himself full length to push the ball wide of his left-hand post, then he was up like a flash to make another diving save when a Runcorn player tried to force the ball into the empty net.
Town nearly stole a point in injury time. Billy Priestley headed a cross against the Runcorn bar, but the ball bounced away to safety.
Town should have got something from this game, but they have to learn that you cannot leave players unmarked in the penalty area, and not be punished at this level.