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It's a real struggle for Otley Town
6:00am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Sport
Otley Town 0 Ripon City 2
Otley Town did little to persuade their supporters that this Premier Division campaign would be anything other than a struggle with perhaps their least inspiring display of the season so far against an average Ripon side.
Having conceded far too many goals this season, manager Danny Gallagher decided on a 5-4-1 formation with a view to shoring up the defence but it soon became clear the Town players were uncomfortable with this structure.
In the first half, Town were just not at the races and might easily have conceded three or four goals had the visitors brought their shooting boots.
In the event, they managed to go in at half-time only a goal behind, which came from a Ripon corner – a powerful but long-range header planted beyond Chris Page in the Town goal.
It was hard to recall the veteran Ripon goalkeeper having a shot to save in anger as the home side huffed and puffed to no tangible effect.
The exceptions to this were the exceptional Joe Currie and hard-working Sam Jewell.
In the second half Town improved marginally, with the introduction of Tristan Holds- worth in particular finally giving Town some pace down the flanks.
He was a player capable of beating an opponent and thereby creating space for others to exploit.
However, despite this the home side were still unable to conjure up any chances of real note, a couple of pot-shots from long-range notwithstanding, and Ripon sealed the game with a second goal ten minutes from time.
Town keeper Chris Page had a fine second half and was the main reason Ripon failed to score more than one.
This Saturday Town are in action in the West Riding County Cup at Sherburn White Rose (1 pm).
Given Sherburn are struggling in Division One, Town will hope to progress in the competition and secure some much-needed confi- dence.
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