Garforth Town 1 - 0 Penistone Church: Church Lose narrowly 1-0 to Garforth Town
Church dominated long sections of the first half, Garforth shaded it with the solitary goal
Words By Martin Webb
Garforth Town 1 PCFC 0
Garforth have had a strong season and were only 1 point behind Church at the start of this match having been unbeaten in their last 9 matches. Church, ravaged with injuries, had suffered two successive defeats. Their faint chance of the play-off place was ended by mid-week results. Church though were still looking to turn their form around to stay in the top 5.
A strong contingent of Church followers were there to cheer on their side. The undulating pitch was rather soft and cut up in places during the match. A noticeable cool breeze gusted from one goal to another.
Garforth kicked off into the wind, gave the ball away and Church were briefly on the attack. Both teams struggled to settle in the first few minutes. Church won their first corner after 2 minutes.
After 10 minutes Church had settled into a pattern of stretching the Garforth defence down the right and breaking up Garforth's attacks through the middle. Church had a couple of corners in quick succession and could have scored when the ball found Ryan Johnson free at the far post. The ball bounced awkwardly.
Garforth had their first effort after 16 minutes, but Church blocked it and then went on the attack, but just could not quite finish.
After 25 minutes Garforth created a chance with a low cross but Wayne Hughes kicked the ball and Harry Ambler as they both went to deal with it Chris Snaith replaced the injured Ambler in the Church goal. 2 minuted later Garforth's top scorer, James Burgess twisted his knee and hobbled off and was replaced by Matt Antcliff up front.
With 5 minutes left of the first half Church worked the ball down the right and Reece High went narrowly wide with a near post header.
Goal 44 minutes. A neat series of forward passes from midfield saw Church outmaneuvered and Sam Barton took the ball into the box scoring low to the centre of the goal.
Garforth then had their best spell of pressure in the three minutes of additional time. Half time Garforth 1 PCFC 0
Church kicked off and pushed forward, but play broke down and the teams then traded possession.
Church had a great chance after 50 minutes when Josh Brown linked up with Tom Charlesworth. Charlesworth's 18 yard shot bobbled in front of the keeper who did well to save one handed.
Immediately Church were on the defensive and a goal line clearance kept it at 1-0.
Cameron Simpson was replaced by Ben Matthews.
Church played with 4 up front in a bid to get parity.
However it was Garforth that had the next opportunity, drawing another goal line clearance from the Church defence.
The game then flowed from end to end and Tom Charlesworth was unmarked for long spells. Church did not find the pass to exploit his space.
Garforth then broke through the Church defence, but the pitch ruined the opening with a huge bobble. Garforth then had a couple if corners in quick succession as they took control for a 5 minute spell.
Church steadied had a couple of openings but Garforth defended well.
With 10 minutes left Jack Roberts replaced the injured Wayne Hughes.
Kieran Ryan replaced Reece High with 8 minutes left. looked the more likely to score when Jack Roberts put in a great cross from the left. The keeper punched clear at full stretch.
Full Time Garforth 1 PCFC 0
An even match where Garforth managed to score one of their four chances. Church worked hard and defended well but did not quite have the guile up front to open the Garforth defence. Three defeats in a row has not helped their league position as Garforth leapfrogged over them in the table. Church cannot be faulted for their effort or application.
2022/23 NCEL Premier Division Table