Hornsea Town 0
Beverley Town 2
AFTER two weeks without a fixture Beverley returned to league action with a tricky away game against Hornsea Town. The game had been switched to Bishop Burton College’s artificial surface, due to a waterlogged pitch at Hornsea.
Town had to make numerous changes from their last game, with goalkeeper Adam Nicholson, Captain Jon Ricardo, Mike O’Connell, top goalscorer Rob Northern, Craig Palmer, James Whittingham and Mike Dixon all missing.
Sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Oliver Thane came in to make his debut. This meant that the average age of the starting 11 was 22 years old.
Town started brightly with the midfield three which included one-off captain, Nathan White, Ben Thomson, and Danny Norton dictating the play very well.
They should have taken the lead when a flowing move ended with a superb cross from Ryan Nicholls, which was headed over the bar by Richard Gibson.
Nicholls was providing an excellent outlet for the team and after another marauding run into the box, he squared to Gibson, whose first time shot was well saved by Hornsea keeper Richard Dexter.
Gibson atoned for this miss on 18 minutes, when a hopeful ball into the box was nodded over the keeper by Gibson to claim his fourth goal of the season.
The away side were well on top now restricting their opponents of time and space and they nearly increased their lead when a free-kick from Luke Thompson was pushed by the post.
Beverley came out very fast after half-time and were constantly pressing the home team’s defence.
For all their pressure Town could not find that all important second goal, a jinking run by Norton, led him to blazing his shot over the bar.
More good work by Thompson out wide culminated with him pulling the ball back to player-manager Dave Ricardo, but his technique was poor as he put the ball in with the sheep behind the goal.
Town were now really at full throttle, Thompson received the ball on the halfway line, powered past four players, but by the time he reached the penalty area, he seemed to run out of steam and sliced a left footed attempt wide.
Finally with 15 minutes remaining, full back Steve Graham who had had a very composed game at the back, drifted forward, before cutting inside to unleash a 25-yard drive past keeper Dexter.
As the game moved into the final moments, Hornsea were denied a lifeline, when a mix up between the goalkeeper and the defenders, led to centre-forward Tony Randle placing the ball into the empty net.
The ball appeared to have hit the back angle of the goal and bounce back into play, unfortunately for the home side the officials deemed the ball not to have crossed the line, so the goal was not given.
This was a big let off for Beverley, which meant the last five minutes became relatively comfortable for them to see out.
This was an excellent team performance from Town, and showed a real strength in depth of their squad.
But the team also know the importance of taking their chances, they were fortunate not to be only one goal ahead with 10 minutes to go, and this could have easily changed the face of the whole outcome, when the match should have been convincingly won much earlier.
On Saturday, Beverley entertain North Ferriby Reserves at Norwood. Town drew 0-0 in the corresponding fixture in September and know this will be another stern test for them.