REPORT | Bulls Hold On To Frustrate Brewers
By Jay Taylor
Tadcaster Albion failed to find the net for a third consecutive match after playing out a goalless draw at AFC Mansfield.
TAFC made a couple of changes to the side that was unlucky to leave leaders Morpeth Town empty handed on New Year’s Day as Aaron Hardy and Aiden Savory both earned recalls.
Albion seem to be doing everything but put the ball in the back of the net at the minute, however that’s the all important part of ‘The Beautiful Game' of course. Having said that, this encounter could not possibly be described as ‘The Beautiful Game’, far from it in fact. On a pitch which was never going to allow fast-flowing slick interplay, Taddy started on the front foot and were almost ahead on 12 minutes when Casey Stewart’s teasing cross was sliced inches wide of his own goal by Jordan Annable.
After suffering with a goal drought of late, the Taddy fans weren’t necessarily bothered as to how the net was struck, they just wanted to score again and Aiden Savory couldn’t have gone much closer two minutes later. The versatile forward must have thought he’d done enough on his return to the side when Hardy curled into the box and Savory flicked a header towards the near post only for goalkeeper Jason White to superbly tip onto the inside of the upright. Fortunately for the plucky hosts, no blue shirts were on hand to turn home from a couple of yards.
With Albion dominating proceedings, Simon Collins was forced to make an early change as defender Paddy Miller tweaked his groin slightly which led to him being replaced by Josh Barrett on a precaution measure. The cycling track around the Forest Town Arena was denying any real flow as twenty minutes passed with about ten minutes of actual match time. Nevertheless the woodwork was being rattled for a second time eight minutes from the break. Casey Stewart once again got the better of Jimmy Ghiachem down the right before crossing to Chris Howarth at the back post who could only head on to the top of the crossbar. Albion really should have been in front at this point as goalkeeper Jason White had been bypassed and the number ten just had to hit the target.
Josh Barrett and Harry Coates were having very little to do in the Bulls’ half as Taddy continued to press hard for the opening goal. Casey Stewart was instrumental in creating another good chance again on 41 minutes when he cleverly spun away from Ghiachem setting Howarth in down the right but Corey Roper couldn’t generate enough power to head past White.
The second half followed in similar vein with the Brewers the only side looking like scoring. Having said that, the feeling of it’s going to be ‘one of those days’ started to reverberate amongst the Tadcaster supporters as AFC to their credit were determined not to be beaten. Joe Lumsden, who was the last player to find the net on December 22nd, went close to ending the duck bending a free-kick narrowly wide from 27 yards out.
As the match surpassed the hour mark, it started to open up with greater gaps appearing all over the pitch. It was still one-way traffic though as Lumsden couldn’t quite connect with a volley in the box before Howarth fired over after galloping into a plethora of green grass. It was the two aforementioned players that carved out arguably the best chance of the afternoon though as Howarth excellently slid Joe Lumsden clean through on goal only for an immense and equally crucial touch from Jason White deflected the ball agonisingly wide.
Northampton Town loanee Joe Iaciofano netted a hat-trick for Mansfield last week and he showed glimpses of his ability after a clever sequence almost saw the striker break Taddy’s back-line, but Barrett and Coates were solid in defence. As time hurried along, frustration only grew as Tadcaster huffed and puffed in the final third. Goalkeeper White was proving to be a real thorn in Taddy’s ranks as he made another impressive stop, this time with his foot to once again keep out Lumsden after Corey Roper found the front man with a divine ball.
Tadcaster earned their first point of 2019 but it strangely felt like a loss as they couldn’t make their dominance count once more, against a Mansfield side who held on for a terrific goalless draw to help their survival bid.
Full-Time: AFC Mansfield 0-0 Tadcaster Albion
Bulls: White, Marsden, Ghiachem©️, Lindley (Wall 67), Annable, D’Laryea, Whaler, Healey, Fearon, Iaciofano, Buxton
Unused: Ryan, Dawes, Dudley, Crosby
Brewers: Hodges, Hardy, Walters, Roper, Coates, Miller (Barrett 17), Stewart, Davidson©️, Lumsden, Howarth (Whitehouse 70), Savory
Unused: Barkworth, Mycoe, Rose