Point for Town-but could have been two



GREAT HARWOOD TOWN earned a useful point away to promotion rivals Chadderton as the Showground side returned to action for the first time in a fortnight.

But it could so easily have been two points for Malcolm Darling’s men had they made more of their chances. Chadderton only had one real attempt on goal in open play and that brought a fine save from Harwood ‘keeper Dave Mottershead early in the game.

The home side took the lead on the half hour, however, when Mottershead was adjudged to have pushed a striker as a corner came over and Chadderton scored from the spot.

Up to then, Harwood, looking short of match practice after a blank Easter following a 2-0 victory at home to Skelmersdale in their last match, had been kept at bay by a lively Chadderton midfield but after going a goal behind, the visitors really started to come to life.

They equalised shortly before half time when Simon Vercoe’s long throw-in was flicked towards goal by Mark Bennett and went into the net off a Chadderton defender.

In the second half, Chadderton didn’t create anything of note and Harwood were the only ones who looked capable of winning the match. They failed to put away their chances, however, and had to be content with a draw.

Their best opportunities fell to Paul Goldsborough and Neil Callen, with Goldsborough breaking clear early in the second half and having a great chance if he had chipped the keeper, but he chose instead to pass to Bennett, who was offside.

Central defender Callen had gone up into the Chadderton penalty area for a set-piece. That was half-cleared and Steve Benko crossed the ball back into the goalmouth. With former Rossendale man Callen shaping up for a clear header, he had the ball taken off his forehead by a timely intervention from a home defender.

In the end, Harwood had to be content with a point and still have an outside chance of promotion.

Town boss Malcolm Darling, however, admitted that his side had looked badly in need of games and Mark Jones, back in the side after an extended spell out with injury, looked particularly out of touch.

Mr Darling didn’t think that Chadderton looked a side who were currently among the front-runners for promotion, however, and had Harwood made more of their opportunities, it could so easily have been maximum points.

“We didn’t play well and looked as if we needed games,” said Mr Darling,

“Because of postponements and re-arrangements, we had a blank Easter and it showed.

“I suppose I would have been happy with a point on paper before the match, but Chadderton didn’t impress me at all and we should really have pinched both points.”

Harwood’s line-up: Mottershead, Moran, Astin, Callen, Martin, Vercoe, Geldard, Jones, Benko, Bennett, Goldsborough,. Sub: Miller (not used)

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©2009 J Fenton