A below par performance saw St Helens Town slip to only their second home league defeat of the season this afternoon at Brocstedes Park.
The opening exchanges appear promising for the hosts as inside the first minute Andy Gillepsie was released and drove away from the Holker backline before firing just wide. Moments later another attack saw Declan Gregson fire into the side netting from an acute angle before Town were caught by a sucker punch. In Holker’s first venture forward Martin Grundy found a yard on the right of the area and crossed hard and low towards the far post where the ball deflected off Adam Lawrence and gave debutant Mathew Hodge no chance in the home goal.
Town were rocked but bounced back and attempted to get on level terms a foray into the box by Stephen Rigby appeared to be stopped by foul means as he was felled from behind but play was allowed to continue. Moments later a fine move saw Gillespie win the ball and feed Charlie Duke on the edge of the box he in turn found Johan Du Toit who fired goalwards but his effort was parried by Oliver Bell in the Holker goal with the rebound cleared to safety.
The visitors second venture into the Town box was as dramatic as the first as a long ball saw Hodge win the race arriving before the striker but the loose ball broke to Jordan Brough and as he shielded the ball on the goal line Rigby inexplicably tackled through the back of him and a penalty was awarded, Brough stepped up and fired the ball high and wide of the right hand post to spare the Town man’s blushes.
After the restart Town pressed further forward a free kick on the left was sent deep to the far post and was met by Du Toit who headed it back centrally where it was collected by Matty Lennon and his poked effort was held by Bell. Soon afterwards the scores were level as a Josh Hoult inswing 0corner from the left was too hot for all in the box and went into the net without a touch. Unfortunately this was to prove as good as it got for Town.
Hodge was called into action when he had to be alert to deny Brough in a one on one and a right wing cross from Jamie Pattinson found Bradley Hubbold who was denied by a great challenge from Lawrence. A couple of minutes later it was almost a carbon copy as Grundy sent the ball in from the right but this time John-Paul Stanway collected and side-footed home. Town almost restored parity when Lennon’s flicked headed was well fielded by Bell.
Late on Hodge was again called upon as this time he denied Stanway in a one on one duel before in added on time Holker were awarded a second penalty for a needless foul and a change of penalty taker saw Hubbold step up but this time Hodge went full length to his left to deny him only for the striker to react quickest to tap the rebound home into the empty net to put the result beyond doubt.
St Helens Town visit New Sirs to take on Daisy Hill this Saturday (31st October) in NWCFL, Division One action with a 3pm kick off.