Gargrave AFC

Gargrave 4 – 2 Pendle Athletic

September 2, 2008

By Bevan Bolland

Gargrave produced another 4-2 win tonight against a battling Pendle side as their season begins to pick up pace.

The first half was a tightly contested affair with plenty of full-blooded challenges flying in. Ben Brown opened the scoring by slotting home after being put clean through.

Pendle’s midfield got to grips with the game though after that and an equaliser was on the cards. It duly arrived when a ball from the halfway line cut Gargrave’s static backline wide open, and the Pendle striker knocked it past Wilson and into the bottom corner. Pendle’s confidence grew and began asking more questions of the Gargrave defence.

Pendle had a golden opportunity after Kendall mistimed a tackle in the area but the resulting penalty was blazed over.

Honours were even at half-time, and Gargrave needed to increase the tempo if they were going to notch their second consecutive win of the season.

Manager Luke Boatwright had ordered a “bigger effort” in the second half and the players didn’t disappoint. A more fluid Gargrave side emerged playing slick short passes and making better use of the ball. The midfield trio of Jameson, Hurst and Orme stamped their authority on the game and dominated the second half. The wide-men, Moon and Wilkin, found themselves in a lot more space as the Pendle defence began to drop off. The defence also tightened up, limiting Pendle to very few opportunities.

It didn’t take long for Gargrave to retake the lead. A corner from the right was met powerfully by Hurst’s head, and Moon guided it into the net from a couple of yards.

A third goal soon followed, neat interplay between Moon and Wilkin in the inside-right channel released Wilkin, who found Brown in the area, Brown sidestepped his marker before drilling a low shot into the bottom left hand corner. In truth the Pendle goalkeeper should have done better with it though.

Gargrave’s fourth arrived just past the hour mark. Ben Brown’s ambitious overhead kick somehow found its way into the net, Moon swears he got a touch to it, but the decision as to whose goal it really is will have to left to the Craven League’s dubious goals panel to decide once they have seen the video replay.

The foot was taken of the pedal slightly after Gargrave had extended their lead to three goals, but the Pendle keeper was still tested by a header from Hurst and shots from Wilkin and Jameson.

Pendle grabbed a superb consolation with only 10 minutes to go, when Wilson who had produced a marvellous save from a similar shot earlier on the game, was beaten by a 20-yard strike which flew into the top right-hand corner from Pendle’s number 7.

There was still time for Gargrave to almost score a fifth. Substitutes Matty Brown and Tom Varey linked up well, leading to Brown’s shot from the edge of the area being tipped around the post.

All in all, it was a solid performance from Gargrave, and the players should go into the next match, against WFC Clitheroe on Saturday, full of confidence.


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