Slam Dunc! Easley leaves it so late
A LAST-minute strike from Town captain Duncan Easley gave them a share of the spoils in this entertaining game that stretched Town's unbeaten league run to nine games. Visitors Hadley, champions for the last two seasons, went into Monday's game with only
A LAST-minute strike from Town captain Duncan Easley gave them a share of the spoils in this entertaining game that stretched Town's unbeaten league run to nine games. Visitors Hadley, champions for the last two seasons, went into Monday's game with only one defeat in their previous nine outings and on this particular evening showed they were a capable outfit. Town started well and took the lead in the fourth minute. Dean Chaffey's long throw into the area was not controlled by the Hadley centre-half and Robbie Wilmott reacted quickest to rob him and side-foot past the keeper from 10 yards. The visitors then took a strangle hold on the game and coped better with the rock-hard Norton Road pitch. Their passing and movement caused Town a few problems but never threatened Damion Williamson's goal. The defence looked composed enough to deal with all situations before Hadley drew level after 22 minutes with their first real chance of the game. An unchallenged right-wing cross was met by a forward unmarked eight yards out, and his cushioned header backwards was volleyed in by Danny Gruar from 16 yards. Hadley continued to press and took the lead 10 minutes before half-time in controversial circumstances. A long free-kick into Town's area was about to be headed by Jamie Babbage. He was clearly shoved in the back but the referee failed to see the offence. The ball found Gruar, who took advantage of the time and space left outside the area to smash a shot inside Williamson's near post. Both teams had plenty of ball after the break but Hadley did brign three smart saves from Williamson, which forced boss Paul Attfield into a tactical change. He gambled by playing three players up front with the introduction of senior player Lee Ridings in an unfamiliar attacking roll, but the move gradually paid off as the half progressed. With the change of formation, in an attempt to get an equaliser, the game became a fast end-to-end affair with both teams looking like scoring. With time nearly up, Town won a corner after some intense pressure. With nearly everyone venturing forward, Wilmott's corner was headed towards goal by Carl Smith and Easley prodded the ball over the keeper from inside the six-yard box.