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Lowly Town are out of luck
11:03am Thursday 17th October 2013 in Sport
East End Park 4 Otley Town 3
Otley Town once again had to make numerous changes to their line up for this West Yorkshire League Premier Division away encounter with East End Park.
Of the 13 players involved in the previous week’s West Riding County Challenge Cup win at Carlton, seven were missing – either injured, banned or unavail- able.
This meant Town had to juggle the pack once more giving first team debuts to 17-year-old Declan Adams and Pudsey St Lawrence cricketer Adam Waite.
The one piece of good news was the return of experienced defender Jamie Simms after six weeks on the injured list.
Otley started the brighter of the two teams but were rocked after only five minutes when the referee gave a penalty against Simms which enabled the home side to take the lead.
Town were stunned by the decision but they settled down to play some good football and young left back Adams looked completely comfortable in his role.
One of the problems this season has been the lack of a settled back four and this has made them vulnerable to the counter attack and set pieces.
It was from a corner that they fell further behind.
The powerful presence of East End’s big centre back and centre forward caused a distraction.
The low cross was cleared by Town but the ball was quickly returned to the danger area and East End skipper Hainsworth jumped higher than everyone else to score with an unstoppable header.
Town were up against it. They were two goals down without doing too much wrong and could easily have capitulated completely.
It was to their credit that the players regrouped and tried man- fully to get to half-time with- out further damage.
Their hopes were shattered with another disputed decision. Town claimed that two of their defenders were being held when East End scored after a goalmouth melee .
Town were upset that the referee allowed the goal to stand.
The half-time team talk was a difficult one for the manager.
Town had played some good football and only the final ball or strike on goal was at fault.
Despite their feelings of injustice they knew they had to pull a goal back quickly.
Five minutes into the second half and the plan was on track when Jermaine Wilson neatly collected Tristan Holdsworth’s low cross and scored from close range.
Better was to follow for Town as Scott Cater intercepted a wayward back pass on the hour mark, stepped round a defender and shot low into the corner Town were now up for it and all over the home team who were at sixes and sevens.
It seemed only a matter of time before Town would level things up such was their dominance.
A couple of decent chances came and went and Adams had the home keeper scrambling with a 35-yard strike.
This was all before the hammer blow. East End, in probably their first attack of the second half, scored when their big striker collected the ball up in the penalty area and held off two poor challenges before poking the ball into the net.
When Chris Page picked the ball out of the net it was almost his first touch of the half.
At 4-2 and with only minutes remaining it was all up for Town – they had given everything in the second half but the three goals conceded early in the game were just too much to pull back.
Scott Cater did get a consolation for Town in the last minute after Wilson had sliced open the home defence with a great turn of pace.
Apart from the draw at Leeds City this was probably Town’s best performance and is something to work on with more players coming back into the squad.
Town are on Wharfedale FA Cup duty on Saturday with an away tie at Bramhope (2pm).West Yorkshire League division 1