Eccleshill Utd 2 Goole AFC 1
The Vikings’ four-match unbeaten run was ended by an equally in-form Eccleshill United at Plumpton Park on Saturday.
Only a missed penalty midway through the second half stopped Goole AFC from coming away from Bradford with a hard-won point. In the end they went down by the odd goal in three. The fifth defeat so far this season, but once again by the narrowest of margins against a side that is currently third in the table and full of confidence from their 6-0 midweek thrashing of bottom club Hemsworth. Goole started sluggishly, and were made to pay in the sixth minute for their lethargy as Jonny Irving stole in at the far post to direct a downward header just inside Matt Zaniewski’s right hand post. The lead was short lived. But just as they have done on so many times this season, Goole refused to lie down, and hit back almost immediately in very similar fashion as the lively Silas Valladolid-Collins and Luke Williams were involved in a first league Goole goal for Shaun Heselwood, who finished well. He was the ninth member of Goole AFC to score for the club this season.
His goal in the 10th minute, was virtually a carbon copy of the Eccleshill goal, with a cross deep into the Eccleshill penalty area. Shaun raced into the box and directed his header inside the keeper’s right hand post, with the keeper rooted to the spot. The first half was one of Eccleshill throwing wave after wave of attacking endeavour, which foundered on the rock of the Goole defence, which was proving as sound as ever. In one such attack they managed to break away with Goole playing a high defensive line, and with a one on one situation, Mattie stood up to the attacker and forced the shot wide.
The half ended 1-1, with Goole holding their own, and despite the lack of possession, never looked likely to concede, and were still managing to create their own chances. Midway through the second half Williams was tripped just inside the Eccleshill penalty area. Josh Dacre stepped up to the ball and hit the ball to the keeper’s right, who made a good save. It could have been a different story had the penalty been converted. Goole at the time were the better side, but it unfortunately, allowed the hosts to turn the screw and Jonny Irving’s second goal of the game with 19 minutes remaining kept them well in the promotion frame.
Goole looked leggy and second best in the closing minutes. The missed penalty spot kick proved to be important. Before all this a Vikings side with Matt Zaniewski restored between the posts, were competitive and marginally the better side against former Vikings midfielder Lee Elam’s charges. A decent first half saw opportunities on both sides but Goole with confidence from their improved results and that continued early in the second half but it fell apart from that penalty save and showed once more they do lack a bit of experience to turn undoubted potential into a top half NCEL Premier Division team. They are not a million miles away and the return and hopefully regular input of Sam Cable will help. Next Saturday, October 9, Goole play Athersley Recreation at the VPG. Kick off at 3.00pm.