Corner On Target Again Against Garforth As Tad Need One Win From Two Remaining Games
A second 1-0 win in four days over local rivals Garforth Town puts Tadcaster Albion on the brink of the title and promotion.
It was the recent acquisition of Tom Corner who scored the only goal of the game after coolly slotting into the bottom corner after fourteen minutes.
Taddy boss Billy Miller made just the one change to the team that beat the same side on Saturday with Gregg Anderson replacing Adam Baker which saw Jason Mycoe move back into his more familiar central midfield role.
It's a lovely set-up at nearby neighbours Garforth with the one big main stand and a pitch which was looking lovely in the Yorkshire sunset.
Tad's top marksman Josh Greening hadn't scored in the last three outings which is a rarity to see him out of the headlines, but the forward came close to scoring his 26th goal of the season in the very first minute. A clipped ball forward was brought down effortlessly by Greening who waited for the perfect opportunity to curl towards the top corner but his effort landed just on top of the goal.
As the sun disappeared, the wind picked up and the temperatures plummeted drastically, it felt like November, not the end of April.
It took the home side eight minutes to warm up and weave into the match as Curtly Martin-Wyatt got the better of Dan Clayton before firing a dangerous ball across the face of goal which was missed by all.
Dominic Smith in the Garforth goal was looking less than comfortable with swirling crosses being fired into his box. Josh Greening's corner after eleven minutes the perfect example as the stopper completely missed the ball which almost dropped to defender Andy Milne for a tap in.
The constantly vocal Taddy fans were given something to shout even louder about in the fourteenth minute as The Brewers nudged in front. Alali headed a Conor Sellars cross into the air to which Josh Greening met in the air elegantly on his chest before striking a shot/cross (only Josh knows) which incidentally fell to Tom Corner who controlled and confidently stroked into the bottom left corner.
Just what Billy Miller and Matt Heath ordered, an early goal to give them the platform to go on and win the match. Corner has been a very good signing for Tadcaster, not just because of his aerial threat but he has scored some important goals.
The Brewers had a decent half chance to hit Garforth with a misery compiler almost immediately after the opening goal. A short clearance was met by the onrushing Josh Greening who chested and struck a half volley with his weaker right foot on target but Smith got down well to his right.
Taddy were having the better of the play in the first half as the home battled well and fought hard but lacked the creativity in the final third as Jimmy Beadle headed wide of the mark from a Greening corner.
Luke McCrum did have a half chance for Garforth as Mick Jones picked out the unmarked defender who headed four yards wide from twelve yards out which was followed by a speculative curler from Tim Robertson which flew way over the target.
For the vast majority of the first half Taddy dominated possession and seemed to be in cruise mode after Tom Corner's fifth goal since joining The Brewers however it was very nearly 2-0 and should have been as half-time loomed.
Josh Greening soared down the right and intelligently flicked over McCrum's head to brother Jono Greening. The chasing back Jassim Alali was undone by the flight and trajectory of the ball which saw Greening one on one with goalkeeper Dominic Smith.
Greening's first poked effort was stopped by Smith's feet and it looked like all the world that his second effort was going to make the net ripple but as he took it round Smith and fired on target Greg Kidd had unbelievably got back to clear off the line.
Half-Time: Garforth Town 0-1 Tadcaster Albion
The first chance of the second half came after four minutes and what a good chance it was for Taddy. It was Josh Greening again as Sellars' floated delivery landed on the head of the unmarked Greening who diverted his header on target but straight into Smith's hands.
Garforth were certainly giving it more of a go than Saturday's match at the i2i stadium as the tall figure of Curtly Martin-Wyatt looked to get going on a few occasions but support for the striker was limited.
Also, every time they did test The Brewers' defence it was most definitely the latter that came out on top. Gregg Anderson was a warrior at the back along with the solid consistencies of Andy Milne, Josh Barrett, Dan Clayton and goalkeeper Gary Stevens.
A controversial moment arose in the 64th minute as Jimmy Beadle was adjudged to have dived I believe in the penalty area but wasn't shown a yellow card. It's hard to tell when watching from afar but there was certainly contact with the Tadcaster skipper however the man in the middle thought there wasn't enough in it.
Gary Stevens wasn't being tested in the Taddy goal as the snow remarkably started to come down in Garforth, it was an incredibly cold evening and the match itself kind of reflected the weather as it wasn't a classic.
Although having said that Taddy had a good chance to double their lead and put the game to bed and it came from the best passage of play in the match. Jono Greening was once again having another consistently brilliant game drove out wide to the left before pulling back inside to Josh Greening who superbly rolled Alali and played in the surging forward Beadle who back-heeled first time to Tom Corner who just couldn't bend it round Smith.
As every side does, Garforth had a spell in the match and it came with roughly fifteen minutes to go. They did give Gary Stevens something to do eventually as Martin-Wyatt carried the ball towards the edge of the penalty box before playing the ball sidewards to the all alone substitute Mark Simpson but his left footed attempt was tame and easy for Stevens to pick up.
Mark Simpson came close to snatching a draw in the fixture on Saturday coming off the bench and he was looking lively again after coming on. He was once again played in down the left hand side but the phenomenal work rate of Conor Sellars saw the Taddy wide man slide and block the dangerous cross.
The Brewers should have wrapped up and the match and sealed the three points with thirteen minutes to go. One long swirling goal kick from Stevens bounced over the top of the Garforth back line and was met by Tom Corner who just had to help it on over the goalkeeper but he helped it on just wide of the left-hand upright.
I'm sure a few nerves were jangling around the Taddy fans' stomachs with ten minutes to go but the lead never looked massively under threat. Every time The Miners did get a cross in or play a ball over the top, Gregg Anderson was there to head clear. Tim Robertson did come close to finding the corner of the net but saw his powerful strike from 23 yards whistle wide.
On another day Josh Greening could have had a hat-trick as another chance squirmed away from the forward with Josh Barrett's super cross miscued by the ever prolific striker.
Curtly Martin-Wyatt had one final chance to pinch a draw in the dying embers. The forward stole the ball off Jimmy Beadle on the half-way line who then saw the whole half open up in front of him but as he got near the penalty box he was forced out to the right and his effort at goal was comfortable for Stevens.
In the end Tadcaster held on to their one goal advantage to put them on the brink of the title and promotion. There wasn't a great deal in the match but Tom Corner's precise finish was enough to seal Taddy's second 1-0 victory over their local rivals in four days.
Full-Time: Garforth Town 0-1 Tadcaster Albion
If Handsworth lose at Pontefract on Wednesday Tadcaster will be crowned Champions but if they win, Taddy have to win on Thursday against Armthorpe or Saturday against Athersley to see them over the line and into the Evo-Stik.