After falling just short in the past two seasons, Tadcaster Albion made it third time around and achieved promotion to the Evo-Stik Division One North
After falling just short in the past two seasons, Tadcaster Albion made it third time around and achieved promotion to the Evo-Stik after beating Armthorpe Welfare 2-1 on a memorable night at the i2i stadium.
A header from Josh Greening in the first half and a precise finish from Adam Baker in the second was enough to see Taddy over the line and achieve greatness.
With two home games to go in two days The Brewers simply had to win just one of these matches to be crowned NCEL Premier Division Champions and achieve promotion into the Evo-Stik Division One North.
Let’s start right back at the start, manager Billy Miller made two changes to the side that beat Garforth on Tuesday evening with Adam Baker and Nick Black handed starts in place of Tom Corner and Conor Sellars.
There were a few suspicions of the match actually going ahead with constant rainfall in Tadcaster all afternoon however on arrival at the ground it was clear that the pitch was handling it well.
The i2i stadium was rocking pre-game, the clubhouse was packed to the rafters and after everything the club has gone through this season with the floods and Sonny’s devastating passing, the club and the town of Tadcaster needed a good night.
As the players emerged from the tunnel, unbelievably the snow started to fall, you simply can’t write these scripts, almost May and the snow was fleeting down as floods of fans heading for shelter.
Armthorpe Welfare were the visitors from Doncaster as they looked to spoil Tadcaster’s special night with themselves needing the points to secure their Premier Division status.
Unsurprisingly it was The Brewers that started the massive match on the front foot as they looked to establish an early lead to settle some nerves around the ground.
Taddy’s first half decent chance arose in the seventh minute and what a slick move was. Adam Baker started the attack, Josh Barrett turned it inside to Josh Greening who cruyffed perfectly into the path of the onrushing Baker whose strike flew comfortably over the mark.
The snow wasn’t stopping the brilliant Taddy fans as they continuously belted out the ‘Ohhh Jono Greening’ chant, much to Jono’s amusement.
The Brewers were upping the ante as the minutes ticked by and the snow began to relent and they came very close to taking the lead inside the first ten minutes.
Adam Baker was proving to be a useful outlet down the flanks in the early stages and it was Baker who drove at Matthew Cunliffe before firing inside towards Jimmy Beadle who let it run through to talisman Josh Greening but his dinked effort was well thwarted by Leigh Overton.
It was one-way traffic in favour of the boys in yellow as Armthorpe struggled to get to grips with the Champions to be.
Taddy were getting closer and closer to breaking the biggest of all deadlocks as Josh Barrett’s deep cross was headed agonizingly across goal by Josh Greening which bobbled inches wide of the post.
Wave after wave of yellow attacks were being made as it seemed only a matter of time until the first goal was scored but after fifteen minutes played The Brewers came even closer as the whole ground entered utter disbelief. They couldn’t believe it hadn’t gone in. Adam Baker marauded forward once more and played in the box of tricks that is Josh Greening who rounded the advancing goalkeeper and struck goalwards only to see his effort canon off the inside of the upright and roll across goal.
Leigh Overton was the man keeping Welfare in the match as Dan Clayton’s pinpoint delivery onto the head of Jimmy Beadle was beaten away by the goalkeeper.
I don’t know what the next stage up from utter disbelief is but whatever it is, the i2i stadium were definitely feeling it in the 24th minute. Josh Barrett’s lengthy throw in was met by Jimmy Beadle who yelled “JOSHHH” before intelligently side-footing back to Josh Greening whose drilled shot beat goalkeeper Leigh Overton all ends up but incredibly smashed off the post AGAIN and astonishingly back into Overton’s arms.
Armthorpe’s first effort on goal came in the 26th minute as Craig Aspinall’s clipped ball to the back post was prodded on target by Josh Schofield but was easy for Gary Stevens to clutch.
The Brewers did finally open the scoring however in the 32nd minute much to the delight of the 800+ watching on Taddy fans. Jono Greening’s corner found younger brother Josh Greening at the front post who glanced into the far corner for his 26th of the season. A huge goal in Tadcaster Albion’s history!
Taddy had the perfect platform now to go on and secure the title however the visitors did come reasonably close two minutes later as Ben Muirhead’s terrifically executed half-volley from 30 yards whistled narrowly over.
With half-time approaching, Taddy came incredibly close to doubling their lead and having one hand on the trophy but Leigh Overton again came up trumps for his side. Adam Baker drove down the inside left channel before seeing his cross deflected which looked to be going over Overton but the stopper did magnificently to claw it out at full stretch.
Half-Time: Tadcaster Albion 1-0 Armthorpe Welfare
Into the second 45 and Tadcaster were half way towards playing Evo-Stik football next season but there was certainly still work to be done, you felt one more goal would be enough.
Jimmy Beadle has been an outstanding captain for The Brewers this season and probably doesn’t get enough credit for what he brings to the side. It was in fact Beadle who came close to making it 2-0 with an acrobatic bicycle kick which just struck the wrong side of the net, the side-netting.
With that being said though Tadcaster did double their lead just nine minutes into the second half. Adam Baker will be the first to admit that he hasn’t been in his best form in the recent weeks but this goal will go down in Tadcaster Albion history for years to come. It was Baker’s blistering pace which allowed him to nip in ahead of the sliding Armthorpe defender. The winger had the composure and confidence to cut back inside allowing blue shirts back into the equation but Baker picked his spot and bent into the right-hand corner to send the fans into ecstasy.
Shortly after Josh Greening found himself in on goal again after a powerful Jimmy Beadle flick-on but Greening’s right-footed shot was well kept out by Overton.
It was The Brewers who were still dominating the vast majority of the contest and they thought they should have had a penalty after Jono Greening appeared to be blatantly pushed over by Ben Muirhead however referee Matthew Pope waved away.
Gregg Anderson and Andy Milne were rocks at the back for Taddy as ever. Every cross or ball forward that Armthorpe put on them they dealt with it with ease.
Tad were looking to round off a memorable night in style as they looked for a third goal. That third goal almost came with fifteen minutes to go as Josh Greening’s perfectly weighted through ball was met by Adam Baker who surged through on goal but Leigh Overton impressed again coming out to smother.
Credit to Armthorpe though who were fighting for their lives at the other end of the table and they never gave in and continued to push The Brewers. Substitute Luke Norbury thought he’d pulled one back with a couple of minutes to go but saw his effort hooked off the line.
From the resulting corner Welfare did pull a goal back to set up a slightly nervy stoppage time. Josh Schofield found himself unmarked at the front post and the number nine headed in from a curling corner.
The full-time whistle eventually came which sparked incredible and memorable scenes as fans flooded the pitch to congratulate every single player and management.
Full-Time: Tadcaster Albion 2-1 Armthorpe Welfare
Tadcaster Albion are the 2015/16 NCEL Premier Division Champions and have been Promoted to the Evo-Stik Division One North.