TOWN travelled to high flying Witton Albion and came away on the wrong end of a heavy defeat, after being forced to play with 10 men for over 70 minutes after the dismissal of Dale Wright, (pictured above) for an elbow on former Town midfielder Matt Cross.
Manager Shaun Reid naming the same starting eleven that defeated Ossett Town 2-0 at the weekend and introduced youngster Tom Everson to the substitute bench.
It was the home side that started brightest, with striker Ashley Stott beating the Town offside trap early on, only to be denied by Paul Pritchard, who produced the first of many saves on the night. The Welsh keeper was soon in action once again to deny winger Danny Andrews with his feet.
Town soon got into the game, with midfielder Dale Wright, seeing his angled drive smack away off the outside of the upright. It was as close as Town would come to scoring
all night, as the home side soon took the lead, striker Stott picking up a pass, before taking a touch and spanking a bullet drive low beyond Pritchard and into the net.
Town’s Owen Roberts seeing his powerfully struck free kick spilled by Matt Cooper who recovered to cloear the ball before the on rushing Town attack could gather.
Town were reduced to ten men in the 19th minute, when Wright was shown a straight red card following a clash with Cross. After the dismissal, the game mainly became one way traffic, with Witton mounting attack upon attack on Pritchard’s goal, striker Alex Titchiner forcing a fine save from Pritchard, before the home game found a second goal, which effectively ended the game as a contest, Stott finding a yard of space in the box, to slide a cross home beyond Pritchard and into the corner.
Former Town midfielder Chris Gahgan was next to go close, seeing his powerful drive palmed into the air by Pritchard, who gathered at the second attempt, before captain Mike Tomlinson blocked an effort from Andrews for a corner. Twice more before half time, Pritchard produced fine saves to keep the deficit to two goals, with midfielder Michael Reid shooting narrowly wide of the upright shortly before the referee blew the whistle for half time.
The second half began in the same manner as the first half ended, with Witton in complete control, Pritchard once more denying Gahgan, whose shot from distance looked to be dipping in. Six minutes into the half and Witton extended their lead, when Gahgan finally found a route past Pritchard, slotting home a cross from close range.
After going three goals to the good, the home side made three substitutions which had no effect on the pattern on the game, and the home side extended their lead in the 78th minute, when winger Andrews was given time and space at the far post to shoot through a packed penalty area and beyond Pritchard into the net.
Just three minutes later, Witton completed the scoring, Stott driving home a free kick from the edge of the penalty area, beating Pritchard at his near post. The final chance of the game fell to Cross, who shot straight at former colleague Pritchard in the Town goal.
Liam Shipton (above) takes on former Town player Matty Cross while (above) Ged Kinsella looks for a way through.
Town: Pritchard, N Jackson, Roberts (Anderson, 79), Wright, M Jackson, Tomlinson, Reid, Kinsella (Hamid, 51), Hardwick, Thompson (Ness, 40), Shipton, subs not used: O’Brien, Tom Everson