NCEL Division One – 1st February 2020
Once again Selby Town fans made up a significant proportion of the assembled host, but this time they were not sent home happy by The Robins. Town did not play the tricky conditions as well as their hosts, and once again, shot themselves in the foot by going down to ten men. Selby were a long way from their best, and so ended the game, as a frustrated, well beaten team. In losing Town not only lost their recent unbeaten record, but the chance to gain ground, on all their immediate rivals.
The team was as started the game on Wednesday, excepting that goalkeeper, Teddy Marris had been recalled by his parent Club, Alfreton Town. This meant a start for new signing Marcus Deighton. Unfortunately he had a debut, which he will want, to quickly forget.
Before the game kicked off there was a minute’s silence for Jordan Sinnott, so tragically killed on a night out last week.
Selby were facing a strong wind in the first half. It was soon obvious that Town were going to struggle to cope with that wind. Ryan Gothard misjudged a clearance header, which went for a corner, straight from the kick off. There was near panic as a goal kick, from the new goalkeeper didn’t make much distance, and found a Rangers forward not far from goal. Ryan Gothard took on the kicking duties, and such was the wind, struggled to do much better, as the ball reached so far before being blown back towards the Selby goal.
The opposition were playing balls quickly into the air to get behind the Town defence. The Town defence was struggling to judge clearance headers, and often the ball went past them, meaning they had to turn and chase the attackers. Hall Road Ranger’s players were generally quicker to knock downs, and loose balls, and won more than their share of 50/50 tackles.
Town’s front three were stranded, at the very edge of the range of a hoofed clearance, only receiving the ball, as they raced back into midfield, facing their own goal. The long grass, and bumpy pitch, was making it hard to play passes in behind the opposition defenders, who were just not finding the Selby attack difficult to cope with.
At the other end the new goalkeeper’s nightmare began in earnest. As he collected a ball, just before it went out for a goal kick, he somehow dropped it at the feet of a Hall Road Rangers player. Wide of the goal and near the goal line , the resultant shot rolled across the goalmouth before being scrambled away. A defence that was in need of reassurance,was being made even more nervous, as the ‘keeper’s handling was again suspect, and he showed a marked uncertainty when it came to commanding his area.
Luke Sellers needed extended treatment on the side-lines, after a clash of heads.
It didn’t look likely that Selby would keep the rampant opposition at bay for long, and sure enough Hall Road took the lead from a free kick on the edge of the area. Selby’s wall was lined up to cover the near post, but the kick struck the inside of the far post before going in.
Buoyed by the goal, Hall Road pressed forward causing constant problems to the harassed defence.
At about the half hour mark, Selby finally saw some pressure on the Hall Road goal. A promising move was spoiled as Josh Walker was caught offside. Town had a header over the bar,from a corner.
This didn’t last as Hall Road doubled their lead. The ball was worked up Selby’s right, and after the ball was partially cleared, a whipped cross was sent into the middle, to be met by a diving header into the net.
Just as it seemed that things could just not get worse for The Robins, their self-discipline let them down again. Carl Stewart was clearly frustrated by events, and took his frustrations out on the Assistant Referee, who called over the man in the middle. He brandished a red card, after the briefest of conversations with his assistant.
Down to 10 men Selby were under the cosh, but had a chance to reply when a Josh Walker block set him free behind the defence. Unfortunately he delayed, allowing the defender to deflect the ball for a corner.
It looked as if Town would go into the break three down, but Marcus Deighton distinguished himself with a super save, one on one, with a Hall Road forward.
Luke Sellers, who had been struggling after his clash of heads was withdrawn at halftime. Ali Ann was his replacement, playing on the left side of a back three, as Town set about trying to use the wind to their advantage to reduce the deficit.
Looking much more comfortable, the tactic nearly payed off immediately. Liam Flanagan got behind the Hall Road defence. With all the Selby faithful expecting to cheer a goal, they had the sight of Liam Flanagan, head in his hands, as the ball skewed wide of the post. Almost immediately he had another shot which went wide.
Hall Road were being pushed back and defending deep, often keeping only one up front and relying on quick counter attacks. Casey Stewart rescued his defenders as a counter attack got in behind them. Uncertainty with the goalkeeper was to the fore again.
At the other end Town were just not able to fashion that clear cut chance. Josh Rogerson, almost playing as a right winger, sent in a cross which landed on the top of the net with the goalkeeper scrambling. Ex-Robin, Jody Barford, in the Hall Road goal was giving a masterclass in commanding his area, claiming, and punching crosses, and corners.
Town made further changes. On came Sam Cable, and Danny Walker, to facilitate Sam Cable playing in the middle alongside Liam Flanagan, with Danny Walker playing down the left.
Almost immediately Liam Flanagan was through on the keeper again. Unfortunately, it was another head in hands moment, as he couldn’t believe that, his dink over the onrushing keeper, had just cleared the bar.
Selby fans were hoping that this would herald more constant pressure, and inevitable goals. Unfortunately, Hall Road were still able to mount attacks against the stretched Selby defence, and from one of these attacks they extended their lead. Working down Selby’s right a shot came in from about thirty yards. It flew past Marcus Deighton who wasn’t able to get anywhere near it, and Selby heads went down.
Selby continued to press. Danny Walker cut in from the left, and put the ball into the middle. Sam Cable was able to turn the ball into the net, for his first goal since his return.
Raring to go to further reduce the arrears, Liam Flanagan again had a decent chance, but failed to hit the target. Good chasing of a lost cause, by him, earned Selby a corner, which was met by a firm header from Ryan Gothard. Unfortunately it went just wide. Town had a free kick, which led to an almighty goalmouth scramble. The ball just would not drop for a Selby player and Hall Road gratefully cleared.
It was looking as if it just wasn’t going to happen for Town, and sure enough the body blow to end all hope arrived. It was one of those awful goals, which feature on end of season “blooper” DVDs. A ball was played back to the goalkeeper to kick out. He made an absolute hash of the clearance. A big swing, and the ball skewed off his foot into the goal, much to the merriment of the Hall Road players and supporters, and the disbelief of those from Selby.
Selby kept going. First Casey Stewart, then Sam Cable forced the ‘keeper into saves, before Sam Cable beat the goalkeeper, with a long range shot he got hands to, but couldn’t keep out. There was time for another Liam Flanagan shot to be deflected wide before the final whistle was sounded.
A disappointed Selby team trooped off. Tempers flared as both teams headed for the changing rooms, with players having to be restrained.
The Robins must put this bad day behind them, and be ready to go again on Wednesday evening at Worsbrough Bridge Athletic. Another tough fixture. It goes without saying that the team will appreciate your support to help them back on track.
Hall Road Rangers: Jody Barford, Tommy Waud, Callum Stone, Chris Murray, Alex Knaggs, Karl Fitzgerald, Lewis Andrew, Dave Harrison, Charlie Birley, Richard Medcalf, Dan O’Connor.
Subs: Will Broadley, Kallum Findley, Luke Bullement, Dylan Muggeson.
Selby Town: Marcus Deighton, Josh Rogerson, Luke Sellers, Danny Snaith, Ryan Gothard, Brett Lucas, Casey Stewart, Kain Rogerson, Liam Flanagan, Carl Stewart, Josh Walker.
Subs: Charlie Clamp, Danny Walker, Sam Cable, Alasan Ann, Myles Lawman.