REPORT | Stewart On The Double Again At Ossett
By Jay Taylor
Tadcaster Albion gave themselves a glimmer of hope of reaching the play-offs going into the final day of the season after victory at Ossett Town.
Casey Stewart clearly enjoys playing against Ossett as after scoring a brace at Albion last week he was at it again at Town netting a first-half brace which in the end was enough to see the Brewers return to North Yorkshire with all three points. It certainly wasn’t plane sailing though as the soon-to-be merged Ossett United threw everything at the Brewers in the second half seeing no fewer than three efforts cleared off the line. Nevertheless Taddy defended their mud-bath and water zone admirably and the three points gives them a chance, an outside chance at that, but it’s a chance. They have to beat Mossley at home on Saturday and also rely on other results going their way, stranger things have happened.
Michael Morton made three changes to the side that played out a goalless draw at Atherton on Saturday with Ellis Barkworth, Will Annan and Chris Howarth all earning recalls in place of newly-signed Sheffield United man Harry Sheppeard, Aiden Savory (injured) and Pete Davidson (away).
After the constant and continuous rainfall on Tuesday, the pitch at Ingfield was soaking wet, especially one corner which saw lots of standing making for a splashing match. The goalmouth nearest to the main stand was another noticeable section, what could only be described as a huge mud bath in the six yard box making for an interesting encounter. Credit to the officials who used their common sense to let the game go ahead as well as the Ossett ground staff for doing all they could.
The rain never relented as the match got underway but it was the Brewers who started with a greater initiative and went perilously close to breaking the deadlock after just three minutes. Will Annan, on loan from Hull City, drove dangerously at full-back Alex Low before jinking inside and bending a shot agonisingly wide of the left-hand upright with goalkeeper Leigh Overton well beaten.
However Overton was beaten and the net was bulging six minutes later as Taddy took an early and deserved lead. Scoring goals has been somewhat of a concern in recent weeks but Casey Stewart, back being utilised as a false nine continued to quash those worries. It was a bitterly unfortunate goal to concede for Town though as Alex Peterson’s back-pass stopped sharply in the standing water before Stewart pounced and powered past Overton much to the delight of the travelling Taddy fans.
Taddy will undoubtedly be delighted to see number one and Team of the Season goalkeeper Michael Ingham back between the sticks as he made a top save to push Corey Gregory’s long range strike away before Roper superbly cleared with Fabian Bailey storming in. The Brewers continued to be the side in the ascendency as they were playing some sumptuous splashy football with Casey Stewart causing problems down the middle with his brilliant close control and trickery.
Tadcaster somehow didn’t manage to double their lead half-way through the half when Stewart was instrumental once again knocking it past Peterson with ease to glide into the box before his ball across the face was somehow not converted by Will Annan from just a couple yards out. The mud-filled six-yard box seems a fair scapegoat. Stewart was proving to be too hot to handle in the splashy conditions as the number ten jinked inside once more before seeing his low drive well saved by the foot of Overton. Nevertheless Taddy did have their two-goal lead a minute later on 25 minutes when a corner was taken short to Billy Whitehouse who’s inviting clip into the box was glanced into the back of the net by that man Casey Stewart. Albion, just like the rain, weren’t letting up as another ominous attack saw Will Annan’s fierce strike blocked by Peterson before the home side eventually volleyed clear.
Ossett came out in the second half and increased their intensity dramatically as Nicky Boshell’s sliced volley bobbled inches wide which began to send the warning signs out. It was most definitely a game of two-halves at Ingfield as Lee Ashforth’s side applied serious pressure on Ingham’s goal with Alex Peterson’s header cleared off the line by Aaron Hardy.
Town continued to look incredibly dangerous with wave after wave of attacks as Boshell’s long-range effort was comfortably caught by Ingham before a free-kick was turned into the side-netting. Taddy were defending for their lives as they looked to hold on for a first win six as Mitch Langton and Josh Barrett both threw their bodies on the line making excellent blocks. Albion were really up against with their backs against the wall as they continued to defend for their lives with Ellis Barkworth clearing off the line twice from set-pieces, the second of which a terrific piece of defending to keep out Isaac Assneso’s towering header.
Taddy eventually rode the crest of the Ossett wave as the contest hit a lull for the final ten minutes. Town did have one final chance to pinch a goal back and make it a nervy finale for the Brewers but a downwards header got stuck in the mud quite literally before Ingham gleefully claimed.
Full-Time: Ossett Town 0-2 Taddy Albion
Ossett Town: Overton, Low, Assenso, Wright, Peterson©, Gregory, Bailey, Yates, Pembleton, Boshell, Jackson
Unused: Ellam, Mackie, Bingley, Nelthorpe, Nicholson
Tadcaster: Ingham©, Barkworth (Milne 74), Hardy, Roper, Mycoe, Barrett, Howarth, Langton, Annan (Pugh 73), Stewart, Whitehouse (Greening 81)