Tadcaster Albion 1 Spennymoor Town 2
Tadcaster were narrowly defeated by a very strong Spennymoor Town side on Saturday afternoon, but Paul Quinn’s men can take heart and more positives from an impressive battling display against a team from a higher league. Albion started the game very brightly.
Following the announcement of his signing in the week, Kieran Burton was heavily involved, getting in behind on the left-hand side and producing two crosses in quick succession, both hastily cleared by the Spennymoor defence. The Brewers continued to get amongst the National League North side. Eddie Church was a constant threat, causing havoc with his movement, hold up play and link-up play all game. Debutant Des Amponsah was consistently threatening on the wing, linking up with Burton and Church and getting at the visitors‘ backline at every opportunity. With an almost impenetrable back four, Tadcaster’s new shot-stopper Harrison Davison-Hale was first called into action around 20 minutes in, getting down low to his left to save Spennymoor’s first real effort on goal. Tadcaster was unlucky not to go ahead short after - courtesy of Amponsah. Church did well to hold the ball before laying it back to Junayd Cassius-Gill whose outside of the foot pass dropped in front of Amponsah, but the attempted lob, unfortunately, landed on the roof of the net.
Five minutes later, the hosts broke the deadlock - a quick counter-attack led by Amponsah finding Cassius-Gill wide, who then delivered a perfectly weighted pass to Simon Russell. The skipper’s initial header was denied well by the keeper, but he made no mistake with the follow-up, volleying home to give Tadcaster a deserved lead, 1-0. Despite the home side being in the ascendancy at the Global Stadium, Tadcaster wasn’t ahead for long. A couple of minutes later, Spennymoor were level - a looping header from their left winger nestling into the far corner for 1-1. Then came a flurry of efforts from the visitors, which Harrison Davison-Hale was equal to, making several impressive saves low down to both corners of his goal.
Tadcaster made just two changes at the break, Cassius-Gill and Rinor Ejupi were replaced by Oli Norman and Marco Basic. The hosts started the second half strongly, as they did in the first half, with substitute Norman getting involved and forcing a couple of corners which ultimately came to nothing. Spennymoor began to regain more of a foothold in the game and managed to muster a couple of good chances themselves. Firstly, a powerful header was impressively tipped over the bar by Davison-Hale, whilst the second attempt drew another terrific stop from the keeper, the pick of the bunch, a fantastic save at full stretch to deny a good effort from the edge of the box. Just before the hour mark, the visitors took the lead from the spot. Davison-Hale was unlucky in catching the striker in a one on one - the referee pointed to the spot, and despite diving the right way, the Spennymoor player converted. Moments after the goal, Tadcaster made four changes seeing Jack Crook, Damien Giliga, Harry Lee, and Tom Evans all come on to replace Corey Roper, Simon Russell, Kieran Burton and Des Amponsah.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, Davison-Hale made way for substitute keeper, Ally Hughes, and was warmly applauded off by the fans - a superb display with several brilliant saves. Following the changes, the game became a little scrappy. Tadcaster could not quite get a hold of proceedings, and the visitors looked that bit more assured as expected. That said, in the last ten minutes, the hosts almost got themselves level with two final chances. Giliga was millimetres away from getting his head to a Marco Basic delivery, and Eddie Church got a proper sight of goal only to see his powerful effort well saved at the near post. Another positive display from Albion against a very strong side. The Brewers more than held their own with a particularly impressive first 45, more than matching the visitors on the day. With the squad more settled, there were notable performances from every player - Paul Quinn could not have asked for more.
Report from Olly Wood and photos courtesy of Keith Handley.
Keeper Harrison Davison-Hale goes full stretch to save a Spennymoor effort. (29-07-41 SU)