OTLEY Town missed the opportunity to get back into the promotion race with this disappointing performance at high flying Shelley.

Apart from a twenty five minute period mid way through the second half - when they outplayed their opponents but could not capitalise - it was a miserable day for Town.

Shelley dominated the opening half hour and would have had the goals to show for it but for two very good saves from Joe Mash.

Despite knowing the importance of this game and it’s outcome, Otley never really got going in this period and were duly punished when naïve defending let in the dangerous Shelley left winger. Otley were struggling for possession yet they did fashion two chances just before the break.

First Pete Long, playing in a more forward role, broke through the Shelley rear-guard und unselfishly squared the ball to Mark McGee.

McGee just ten yards out hit it first time but the Shelley keeper spread himself and saved with his legs. Next Lewis Morgan in a similar break got sight of goal but dragged his shot narrowly past the post. This was a warning for the home side.

And as if the penny had dropped - Town came out fighting in the second half and began to build up some pressure. Harry Hawkins playing on the left had the beating of his full back and on numerous occasions got away from him only for the final pass to let him down.

Hawkins is a fine prospect for Otley with an abundance of natural talent but he lacks experience and with it decision making. This of course will come with good coaching and games under his belt.

Callan Parker-Wells is a player who was in a similar situation a couple of years ago but now in his early twenties and in his fourth season with Town he’s maturing into a very good player.

In this game and particularly in the second half he took the game by the scruff of the neck, dominated play, and was desperately unlucky when he burst through Shelley defence and hit the inside of the upright - the ball rolling agonisingly along the goal line.

This was Town's chance as they were all over Shelley but try as they may they could not get on the scoresheet. Shelley through fair means or foul (time wasting and professional fouls in abundance) held firm and typically, having weathered the storm, went to the other end and scored their second - a penalty after Mash had pulled a player down.

This was a sickener for Otley as their play had deserved an equaliser but it’s so very important to capitalise when in the ascendancy.

With time running out Otley used their subs and pushed players forward in a bid to get something from the game.

Shelley still managed to keep a tight defence and then punished Otley by scoring a third on the break.

Over the ninety minutes Shelley deserved the points but 3-0 did flatter them somewhat. Town's management will look back on the first half and be very disappointed with the lack lustre attitude of the team.

Callan Parker-Wells was the stand out player for Town and as such picked up the MOM award.

Town will look to bounce back on Saturday with a visit to Pool.

The Reserves host Huddersfield Amateur, while the Thirds host Padiham and the Fourths travel to iPlay.

In other news, Otley Town AFC have confirmed details of the 2022 Junior Football Festival after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Festival, will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May.