Town welcomed Beeston St. Anthony's to Ben Rhydding this weekend as both teams looked to maintain there 100% start ot the season.
Both teams started with a high intensity and some committed but fair tackles that demonstrated the importance of this early season fixture. As such possession changed constantly throughout the first twenty minutes with the quality on the ball from both teams not quite up to the standard expected. Beeston were compact and difficult to play through looking to frustrate then use their fullbacks to exploit space in wide areas. Town continued to probe and as the half went on started to find space centrally but unfortunately the quality and decision making wasn't quite right. This resulted in a competitive first half with a couple of half chances for both teams.
The second half would see an improvement from Town as they looked to make a breakthrough and continued to probe. Ironically the opening goal woud come from a long ball upfield. The bounce allowed Benji Claydon to nip in before the Beeston centre half, Claydon then proceeded to take on the second Beeston centre half but was pushed out wide. The young forward then showed the composure to pick out the run of Harry Brown. Brown took a wonderful first touch past his marker before firing into the net at the near post, 1-0.
From here Beeston committed more and more forward in search of an equaliser but Town looked relatively comfortable until they conceded a corner in the 70th minute. The ball was whipped in for the Beeston front man to head into the top corner, 1-1. Frustrating for Town as the Beeston forward looked unmarked and didn't even need to jump.
Town still had a feeling they could go on and win the game but another mistake would cost them the lead at a crucial time in the game. A bouncing ball would see Darren Munday head back to his goalkeeper James Hirst. Hirst made the call it was his ball but the Beeston wide man would get his toe there first, his effort would glide wide and out of play. Unfortunately Hirst tripped the Beeston man as the ball went past him and Beeston correctly had a penalty and Hirst a yellow card. Up stepped the Beeston left back and made no mistake from the spot, 1-2.
With ten minutes remaining Town changed formation in an attempt to find an equaliser. The change paid off with five minutes on the clock as excellent work by new signing Joe Chilaka would see him beat his man on the right hand side bfore cutting the ball back to MOM Harry Brown. Brown made no mistake from eight yards as found the corner of the net, 2-2.
Town now had the momentum and so nearly took the three points in the final minutes. First an excellent cross by 16 year old Alfie Heaton just evaded the diving header of Nicc Hewitt and then excellent work by Harry Brown saw his half volley whistle just past the post and both teams had to settle for what was overall a fair point.
Both teams remain undefeated with Beeston showing their trademark work rate and competitiveness whilst Town showed real resilience and character to secure a point.