Report by Rod Hadley:
Danny Harvey heads home but the 'goal' is disallowed
The Pitmen dominated long periods of the UniBond League opening day fixture away at Ossett Town but fell behind to a goal in the 15th minute which was against the run of play.
Early in the game Danny Harvey sent a long ball forward to Ross Dyer who laid the ball out right to Louie Briscoe. The former Leek layer cut to the bye-line from where he hit a low cross into the six yard box. Dyer attempted a back heel which Liam Richardson did well to save at the base of the left hand post.
New signing Adam Connolly who signed from Cheltenham Town on the eve of the game conceded a foul just outside of the penalty area. The opportunity to put pressure on the Pitmen’s defence was wasted when Tom Claisse over hit his free kick pushing the ball out for a goal kick.
Dyer was being frustrated by some rough handling and was especially upset when the Referee waived play on after a tackle from behind left him hobbling for a few minutes.
An ambitious shot from the left by Darren Thornton failed to trouble Stuart Brock as it crossed the field of play and went out for a throw in 6 yards from the corner flag.
The assistants flag halted a number of Pitmen attacks but the flag in the 10th minute seemed very dubious when Anthony Maguire’s long ball up the left found Dyer who appeared to have made a well timed run to break clear.
Tom Marshall was spoken to by the Referee when he questioned another decision after Dyer had been tackled by Claisse. The resulting free kick found Tyrone Barnett who headed the ball down to Dyer. The ball was then fed to Briscoe whose route to the goal was blocked so he laid the ball out left to Maguire. The full back sent in a high cross into the 6 yard box where Richardson collected under pressure from Barnett.
The next move of the game saw Briscoe in action again, this time he set up Connolly for a shot from the edge of the box which Richardson saved on his goal-line.
Briscoe was causing the Ossett defence all sorts of problems and was becoming quite a handful; a long ball down the right wing by Sean Platt was well taken by Briscoe who then proceeded to beat two defenders before hitting a cross into the box for Mark Briggs
Against the run of play Ossett took the lead when a cross from the right was not cleared, the ball fell to left winger Darren Thornton who hit a firm shot which went into the net off the right hand post giving Stuart Brock no chance of making a save.
The game became a scrappy affair with the home team breaking up a constant wave of Pitmen attacking moves. Marshall hit a good cross from the left for Barnett but as he went to control the ball in a good position out wide right he must have took his eye off the ball as he completely missed the ball allowing it to go out for a throw in.
Ossett centre back Rob Pacey under hit a header back to Richardson which Barnett pounced upon but Richardson had spotted the danger and raced
off his line to collect the ball off Barnett’s boot as he was about to shoot.
The Referee had to restore order in the 25th minute when a melee broke out after Ossetts Ashley Longstaff had thrown the ball into Danny Harvey’s face. When the order had been restored Harvey and Longstaff were cautioned.
Despite the Pitmen’s pressure they should have gone further behind when a long ball from the left found Ben Hardy free on the right, he raced into penalty area and with only Brock to beat he pulled his shot wide of the left post.
Within a minute of this let off the ball was played up field to Marshall who was now playing more as a winger than a defender, he hit a great ball from the left to the back post where Barnett hit a first time shot but he was denied what looked a certain goal by an instinctive save from Richardson who somehow managed to get across the six yard box to parry Barnett’s shot away.
Briscoe continued to be the Pitmen’s most dangerous forward and after
winning a tussle for the ball with Chris Fawcus but on this occasion he sliced his cross straight into Richardson’s hands.
Ossetts goal was having a charmed life when Barnett hit a fierce shot from the edge of the box which went just past the left hand post after receiving a slight deflection. Danny Harvey headed the ball into the net from the resulting corner but the goal was disallowed after the Referee had blown for a push when the ball had been flicked onto Harvey.
As the half ended the Pitmen won a series of corners which failed to create a chance to level the scores before the half time whistle.
Early in the second half Pacey allowed the ball to bounce over his head which allowed Briscoe to race into the penalty area and with only the keeper to beat he frustratingly hit his shot straight at Richardson.
Briscoe continued to be the liviest forward and after another run forward it took a number of defenders to halt his progress on the 18 yard line.
Tom Claisse was cautioned for a heavy challenge on Anthony Maguire; Mark Brigg’s free kick was cleared out to Adam Connolly who from 25 yards hit a weak shot through a crowded penalty area which Richardson was able to collect.
Marshall continued to hit good balls in from the left, from one cross Barnett was unable to get his head onto the ball then after making a late run Sean Platt was unlucky not to get a touch on the ball as he slid in at the back post.
In Ossett’s first attack of the second half which was in the 60th minute a long ball was taken on by Longstaff and with only Brock standing in his way it was the Pitmen keeper who won the battle as he spread his body and managed to deflect the Ossett players shot.
Briscoe had the ball in the net when Connolly slipped the ball past Ossetts back line but on this occasion he was clearly standing in an offside position.
However he was not to be denied in the 75th minute when Barnett chased a ball to the right hand side bye-line. He controlled the ball then hit a cross into the six yard box where Briscoe raced into to hit the ball home much to the relief of every Pitman supporter in the ground.
Richardson continued to win his battle with Barnett when in the 79th minute he dived full length to tip round the post a firm shot which the Pitmen’s centre forward had hit from the edge of the box
Orlando Junior who had come on for Harvey in the 65th minute had moments when his runs earned a number of corners and free kicks as the Ossett defenders attempted to stop him by any possible method. David Briggs was cautioned late in the game for a reckless challenge on the Brazilian.
Ossetts frustration continued to boil over, Ben Hardy was booked after he lost his cool and tried to start a fight and as a result was shortly taken off by the Ossett management before he got sent off.
Briscoe was still attempting to find the way through for a winner and in injury time he took a pass from junior but despite being inside the 6 yard box he could not get the ball fully under control.
At the final whistle the point away from home was greeted more with disappointment than being happiness. During the game the Pitmen had three goals disallowed and had a corner count of 15 to 2 which showed their domination but with Richardson in sparkling form they had to return home with one point instead of all three that their form on the day deserved.