REPORT | Greening Returns To Give Tad The Boxing Day Blues
By Jay Taylor
Tadcaster Albion’s eleven game unbeaten run came to an end as the familiar faces of Pickering Town earn smash-and-grab result.
Former Albion favourite Josh Greening proved to be the match-winner on his old stomping ground volleying home the winner on 77 minutes.
The home side had more than the lion’s share of possession but were wasteful in the final third, something that continues to hinder the Brewers on their own patch. Paul Marshall’s Pickering side defended strongly all afternoon and took their one big chance with aplomb, a result that sees Albion slip to fourth.
Billy Whitehouse and Paddy Miller were both recalled back into the starting line-up in place of Aiden Savory and Josh Barrett. It was a somewhat slow start to the contest with the early kick-off perhaps having an effect on both sides’ intensity following the Christmas Day feast. Town stopper Charlie Andrew was called into action just short of the quarter of an hour mark after Casey Stewart jinked inside George Bissett and fired towards the bottom corner only to see his long-range effort pushed wide.
Tadcaster were dominating possession in the final game of 2018 but were struggling to get into a rhythm and carve out clear cut openings. If any player was going to break the deadlock in the first half though it was going to be Albion’s number 10 Chris Howarth as his first attempt arced agonisingly wide of the top corner after a neat turn. Howarth was pulling the trigger once again three minutes later picking up a loose ball but firing narrowly over the mark from the edge of the box.
Taddy were slowly starting to up the ante and you got the feeling that if they could get their noses in front in the first half, they’d go on to score more, however chances continued to go begging. Pete Davidson strolled through on goal after a lovely one-two with Joe Lumsden but the midfielder never looked comfortable on his left foot dragging well wide.
The best chance of the half fell to that man Chris Howarth though after Charlie Andrew spilled Whitehouse’s cross but the Albion attacker could only slide across the face of goal as the angle tightened up. Taddy’s top scorer Joe Lumsden was having a fairly quiet afternoon in his standards but his first real opening arose five minutes from the break after rounding goalkeeper Andrew but he could only fire over from close range.
Pickering had a game-plan and were sticking to it as they held out for the half-time interval, however Ged Dalton had a great chance to test James Hodges on 43 minutes only for Harry Coates to recover with a brilliant last ditch challenge. Jack Vaulks did something similar up the other end blocking superbly keeping out Joe Lumsden’s well-caught volley.
Simon Collins’ side have caught many teams out on the break this season, usually away from home, but they should have recorded another counter-attacking goal four minutes into the second half. Lumsden carried the ball into Town’s half with a 3 v 2 scenario unfolding, however after sliding to Casey Stewart, his through ball towards Billy Whitehouse was greeted with an flag and plenty of groans.
James Hodges certainly wasn’t busy in between the sticks for Tad but when Billy Logan did record a shot on target for the away side, the goalkeeper was equal to it. The Brewers were finding no problems entering into Pickering’s penalty box, but they were just taking too long to decide whether to pass or shoot. Lumsden did well to jink down the outside of Vaulks but Andrew rushed out to block the poked shot. The second half followed in similar vein to the first; Taddy dominating but struggling to find a way through a resolute Town back-line.
The pressure was undoubtedly intensifying on the Pikes dressed in pink as the Taddy faithful became louder and louder in the hope of an opening goal. Casey Stewart went close on 72 minutes flicking a header backwards over the bar after Roper brilliantly kept alive. Less than a minute later and Albion came even closer to finding that elusive opening goal. Right-back Ellis Barkworth controlled expertly before thundering a delightful attempt with the outside of his boot off the far post with Andrew well beaten.
With 13 left on the clock, that elusive goal was eventually scored but not for the side in the ascendency as Pickering took the lead against the run of play. An inch perfect impressive chest down in the air from Billy Logan teed up Josh Greening on his favoured left-foot and he rifled a sweet-as-you-like volley into the back of the net from just inside the box.
Taddy pushed hard for a point in the dying embers and they thought they had their breakthrough nine minutes from time when Billy Whitehouse chopped inside but rolled inches wide of the post with substitute Savory unable to provide a crucial touch. For all of the pushing that the home side were doing, you got the feeling that it was going to be Pickering’s day as Vaulks and Niall Tilsley headed everything away to see out the victory.
Full-Time: Tadcaster Albion 0-1 Pickering Town
Tadcaster: Hodges, Barkworth, Walters (Barrett 84), Roper, Coates, Miller, Whitehouse, Davidson©, Lumsden, Howarth (Savory 74), Stewart
Unused: Hardy, Mycoe, Rose
Pickering: Andrew, Bissett (Lund 82), Danby, Barkway, Vaulks, Tilsley, Logan, Thompson© (Freer 65), Blott, Dalton (Turnbull 74), Greening
Unused: Taylor, McAughtrie