St Helens 4 Barnoldwick Town 3
TOWN lost a pulsating encounter with St Helens.
The visitors had new signing from Nelson Jack Horan starting at centre-half; in goal was Chris Taylor, replacing Edward Hall, who left the club due to work commitments, while Kieron Lee was on the bench for his first appearance since re-signing.
Town got off to a flying start after four minutes when Scott Byrom’s free-kick was headed clear towards the edge of the penalty area, where Chris Ridehalgh let fly with a cracking shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Ridehalgh made a great last-ditch tackle to deny Paul Cook-Hannah and Town immediately went on a quick counter-attack, Neil Stansfield putting his header wide from six yards.
James Rushton-Wood had a great chance for St Helens but cracked his shot wide of Taylor’s post but St Helens did force the equaliser after 28 minutes, a diagonal cross to the left-hand side of the Town penalty area being met by Karl Bergqvist, who rifled a fierce shot past Taylor.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Aaron Hollindrake’s crisp shot thundered just the wrong side of Rory Crowther’s right-hand post.
The second half started with Andrew Gillespie shooting straight at Taylor but Mark Threlfall gave Town the lead a minute later from the penalty spot.
Aaron Morris headed home unchallenged inside the six-yard box with six Town defenders around him for a St Helens equaliser.
Two minutes later they were in the lead when Jack McKay scored a solo goal.
It didn’t take long for Town to level, Harry Thompson crossing for Ridehalgh to head home.
Back came St Helens when another corner found Morris, who headed the ball to Gillespie who netted.
Hollindrake managed to fire a shot from the edge of the penalty area which skimmed the bar but Town’s frustration then boiled over as, Byrom was sent off for a reckless tackle on Lewis Saunders.
There was still time for McKay to rattle Town’s crossbar with a great shot from 30 yards.