Gargrave AFC

Cononley 2 – 3 Gargrave

September 10, 2008

By Bevan Bolland

Goals from Gargrave’s on-form frontmen Ben Brown and Christian Moon ensured Gargrave stretched their winning streak to three games.

The win also owed a lot, yet again, to the performances of their midfield trio, amongst whom, Sam Watson produced a man of the match display, as he deputised for the absent Liam Jameson.

The heavy pitch contributed to the majority of the first half being contested tenaciously in the midfield. Chances had been few and far between until Watson emerged from midfield with the ball before sliding a delicate through ball perfectly into the path of Ben Brown who expertly converted his first chance of the match.

Gargrave held their 1-0 lead as the half time whistle sounded, although how it wasn’t level only Cononley’s number 10 knows, heading a golden opportunity from 6-yards high over the bar.

The second half, rather unexpectedly, blossomed into an exciting spectacle.

Gargrave dominated the early exchanges of the second period, and deservedly scored a second goal. Moon nodding the ball over the line after a wicked deflection on Wilkin’s shot had left the Cononley goalkeeper stranded.

Cononley were there for the taking, but despite their control of the game, Gargrave failed to create further opportunities.

Against the run of play, Cononley snatched a goal back as Gargrave’s defence failed to deal with a seemingly harmless lofted ball into the area, and their number 15 stroked the ball into the net.

This goal renewed their vigour band work ethic, and for the first time in the game Gargrave looked vulnerable. An equalizer arrived. A Cononley corner was only partially cleared, landing at the feet of Cononley’s number 7, who turned his man, before curling a low drive from the edge of the area, into the bottom left corner. 2-2.

Level pegging was arguably a little unbefitting of Gargrave’s display thus far, but as the match wore on it was Cononley who looked the most likely to score a third. Dan Thompson had to execute a crucial last-ditch tackle, and goalkeeper Burns acrobatically tipped the ball over the bar, as Cononley pushed for a third goal.

This Gargrave team is full of character though, and despite having their lead erased, the players found enough in them to get themselves ahead once again. Ben Brown scored his second of the game, and eighth of the season when another through ball, this time from Hurst, evaded the Cononley’s backline allowing Brown to slide the ball into the net in a similar fashion to his first.

Brown’s second goal was just reward for his tireless display at the focal point of Gargrave’s attack. Whilst at times looking a little isolated up front, he had converted both the chances that had his fallen his way up to this point in the game.

The impetus had been sapped from Cononley’s game with that goal, and Gargrave had opportunities to wrap the game up, but Brown, surprisingly, spurned a chance for his hat trick, before, first Hurst, and then substitute Matty Brown went close. It lead to a tense final few minutes, but Gargrave held on for the 3-2 victory.

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