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Barnoldswick Town's injury toll is mounting as they suffer defeats
Barnoldswick Town's player-manager Paul Fildes was in the thick of the action at Liverpool. Picture: Pete Naylor
Barnoldswick Town 1, St Helens Town 2
Barnoldswick Town were under strength for their North West Counties League Premier Division match on Tuesday due to injuries and other commitments.
Neil Chapman, Aaron Hollindrake, James Nettleton, Andy Lee, Jake McEneaney were missing, and Town were only able to field three substitutes, one of which was keeper Lyle Davy.
However, Town started fairly well, Sam Howell combining neatly with Kieran Lee to send Joel Melia into the St Helens penalty area. He pulled the ball back into the danger area but a defender lunged to clear.
On nine minutes, Howell was again prominent, putting Paul Fildes through, but the ball seemed to get stuck under his feet, allowing the visiting defender to clear.
St Helens’ first chance came four minutes later when Shaun Judge picked the ball up and ran into the Town penalty area, his shot being beaten away by Billy Carrington.
Town tried to hit back straight away. Howell was brought down just outside the St Helens area by Daniel Wright, and Fildes took the free-kick but hit it straight into the defensive wall, his shot on the rebound being deflected for a corner.
Town’s injury woe’s sadly continued, Melia having to be replaced on 35 minutes by Callum Smith.
St Helens took the lead three minutes later when Judge got his shot away from an acute angle, the ball going under Carrington’s body at the near post into the far corner.
And, on the stroke of half-time, a free-kick had Carrington scrambling to tip the ball round a post.
It didn’t take Town long after the break to level. A great through ball by Danny Morton found Danny Boyle inside the penalty area and, as he twisted past a defender, he was brought down.
From the resulting penalty, his shot hit a post and bounced into the net.
But there was only parity for six minutes as St Helens regained the lead. A fierce shot across the Town goal was turned home by Paul Cook-Hannah almost on the goal-line.
Town almost equalised straight away. Lee went on a good run down the St Helens right and pulled the ball back towards the penalty spot to Chris Ridehalgh but a defender blocked his goal-bound shot.
However, St Helens were threatening to score more, Karl Bergquist hitting a post with a fierce shot, Phillip Williams bringing another good save out of Carrington, and Neil Weaver going close moments later.
Town were still trying hard for an equaliser, a Fildes shot being blocked on the six-yard line but only half-cleared.
The ball was played back into the area where Smith caught it perfectly, but Chris Williams again blocked the ball to safety.
Town made another substitution, replacing Howell with Harry Thompson in the 72nd minute but still St Helens threatened to make it 3-1, a cross from Weaver causing Carrington to tip the ball over at the far post.
Then, right at the end, a Thompson shot from the edge of the area led to St Helens keeper Ryan Taylor scrambling the ball around a post for a corner after it had taken a deflection.
AFC Liverpool 2, Barnoldswick Town 0
Once again Town had injury worries on Saturday, Andy Lee and Aaron Hollindrake being ruled out, so the re-signing of Bill Williams was a major boost.
There was a scare for Town in the second minute when Jake McEneaney went down under a strong challenge, but carried on after treatment, altho9ugh he was struggling.
The opening half-hour was mostly played in midfield, and the first clear-cut chance fell to Town on 30 minutes, Callum Smith wriggling past two defenders on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area.
Keeper Stephen Longrigg came out to narrow the angle and got his body in the way, the ball cannoning to the far post where Danny Boyle was alone seven yards out. However, Longrigg recovered to scramble across goal and block Boyle’s shot.
On the stroke of half-time, Kieran Lee got through on the Liverpool left but was tackled just as he shot across Longrigg, who saved with an outstretched foot at the near post.
Town were forced to make a substitution at half-time, Neil Chapman (groin) making way for Matthew Cavanagh.
McEneaney (ankle) went off two minutes into the second half, manager Paul Fildes coming on, and Liverpool took the lead in the 76th minute thanks to an unstoppable shot by Shaun Harris.
Three minutes into injury time with Town pushing forward, Liverpool were awarded a free-kick on the Town right.
It was taken quickly and, before the defence could regroup, Liverpool captain Liam Loughlin stroked the ball past Carrington.
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