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Chadwick's goal save point for Town
8:37am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Sport
Ripon City 1 Otley Town 1
A fine goal by left back Dan Chadwick gave Otley Town a deserved share of the spoils in a scrappy game at Ripon. The fact that it came in the 90th minute suggests Town were a little lucky but in truth they fully deserved the draw and the point which keeps them away from the relegation zone.
Ripon lie fourth in the table but of late have been dropping points at home so it was a chance for Town to make some headway.
Unfortunately a plethora of player back words once more meant that the team was only settled at the last minute. In came keeper Danny Bradley for his first appearance of the year and 16-year-old Calum Ward made his debut on the left of midfield.
On the bench were two more 16-year-olds – Joe Firth and Ben Palmer. For the first 20 minutes it was cat and mouse with neither side in the ascendancy. In fact the normally excellent pitch at Ripon with its uneven surface was making control difficult for both sets of players.
Gradually Si Armstrong and Rob Carr began to influence the midfield area and exert pressure on a nervous Ripon rearguard.
From one of a number of corners secured on the right young Ward found himself free in the six yards box. Unfortunately in the act of shooting he was disturbed by another Otley player going for the same ball and ballooned his effort over.
Next to try his luck was Tristan Holdsworth whose speed bothered Ripon all afternoon. With a great run from midfield he outpaced the cover but with only the Ripon keeper to beat marginally over-ran the ball which gave the goalie a chance to block. From the resulting melee Scott Norton might have scored but his shot was cleared off the line.
Norton had another good chance soon after but he delayed his shot and was eventually crowded out by Ripon defenders. It wasn’t all one way however and Ripon also had a good chance with a free header which went wide.
By half-time Otley could feel pleased with their effort and additionally they had palpably the better chances to score. Bradley in goal had handled crosses well but had not been troubled otherwise.
The second half was a bit of a non event as both sides tried and failed to keep possession of the ball.
Ripon marginally shaded the territorial battle but they never looked like scoring until they were gifted a penalty in the 70th minute.
For once the reliable James Davey went to ground a little early while making a tackle and the referee had the easy decision of a spot kick. Ripon made no mistake with the.
It looked like Town were going to lose again in unfortunate circumstances and it was the last throw of the dice when the two young subs were introduced.
The change allowed Holdsworth to move forward alongside Waite and it was these two who created the assist for the late equaliser.
Picking the ball up mid way in the Ripon half Holds- worth’s sharp turn fooled two Ripon markers and his short pass to Waite was perfectly weighted.
The striker made ground before executing an equally good pass to the overlapping Chadwick, who, to the joy of the away support, skillfully passed the ball into the far corner of the net