Trinity boss, Neal Bishop tweaked his side with George Hornshaw, Fraser Preston and Andrew Wright all omitted from the starting line-up. Hayden Cann started at right back, Joseph West was restored at left back and Harry Lewis was handed his second debut, having returned for a second spell on loan from Scunthorpe United earlier today. The manager looking for strength and power within his line up, to combat the conditions, and the opposition.
Lewis was inches away from a dream return, when he got on the end of a Curtis Durose centre. But he couldn’t keep his effort down, after Durose’s initial corner was cleared. The ball coming back to the on loan Rotherham United man. His drilled cross found Lewis steaming in at the back post, but he couldn’t keep his effort grounded. With centre back, Cogill powering in just behind, perhaps a call and a leave would have been enough, but as it was, fine margins fell the wrong way.
Trinity opened the game looking to impose their game on Liversedge. And tried to pass with purpose. One such move saw Jay Glover rasp an effort a yard wide of Patrick Boyes’ left hand upright after good play involving Liam Waldock and West.
A crunching challenge by Danny Ellis on Waldock saw the experienced centre back spoken to by referee Mr Hall, after an advantage was awarded, with no such advantage forthcoming. And the defender free to play on without any further sanction, the Blues started to lose their rhythm. Frustration beginning to creep into the play. And edgy longer balls seeing Donaldson more and more isolated up top.
And with Donaldson being increasingly frustrated, as he found himself on the end of more unwanted attentions, he occupied the thoughts of the Liversedge rear-guard, but Durose was unable to make the most of being played in behind. He couldn’t find the cut back to Waldock, breaking from midfield.
Unable to find a way through a stubborn Sedge defence, six minutes before the half time interval, Trinity conceded a soft free kick, which was put behind for a corner. Unable to clear their defensive lines, Sedge were able to scramble the ball home through a crowded six yard box. And the home side had the advantage, their strong, gritty performance deserved. An avoidable goal to concede. And the type that adds to the pressure the lads are finding themselves under, of late.
Half time: Liversedge FC 1 Gainsborough Trinity 0
Out for the second half, Trinity had a game to chase, but despite seeing lots of the ball, rarely troubled the Liversedge defence who stood firm. Club Captain, Andrew Wright on in place of Isaac Rice, looked to get the Holy Blues ticking, but Hardacre’s long throw was causing problems. And with Boyes taking liberties at the restart, and the referee allowing increasing levels of time wasting, Bish’s boys were facing a losing battle.
A double change, saw Jack Dyche and Fraser Preston replace Lewis and Durose, and the fresh impetus almost had an instant impact. Wright, Waldock and Preston combined on the right hand side, only for the low centre to be diverted narrowly past the near post – a number of corners came and went, as the Blues tried to pin Liversedge back, but no one possessed the key to unlock a steady rearguard action.
Appeals for a Trinity penalty were dismissed as Danny Ellis barrelled into Donaldson, the free kick awarded where Donaldson landed, less than half a yard outside the box. Ellis was unable to talk himself out of a booking this time, as Trinity failed to muster a shot on target, from the resultant free kick.
Liversedge continued to play for time, ensuring they kept Trinity at arms length. To a man, had a job, had a purpose – and carried their instructions to a tee. Much to the frustration of the travelling Trinity contingent. Deep in stoppage time, the normally ever reliable Waldock had two chances to salvage a point from the jaws of defeat, but on both ocaassions, he failed to make the contact he was looking for. His first attempt looping up into the air, which Boyes in the Liversedge goal was able to gather at a stretch.
Moments later, Donaldson’s neat flick around the corner found the number ten in space inside the box, but his touch deserted him, as a poor first touch meant his second failed to trouble Boyes who comfortably gathered the scuffed effort. And the away goal drought extended to 270 minutes.
The Holy Blues return to the Dave Longstaff Martin and Co Arena on Saturday, for only the second time since the end of November, as we welcome Whitby Town. Neal Bishop’s side will be looking to continue making positive strides at home, despite the lack of games over the past couple of months, as we look to make our Northolme home something of a fortress. And a place opposition players dread playing at. To help that process, we need you backing the side in good numbers. Come on you Blues! To coin a phrase, ‘Bring a Mate along, and Boost the Gate.’
Liversedge: Patrick Boyes, Jack Hardacre, Connor Smythe, Luke Dean, Daniel Ellis, Kurt Harris, Nicky Walker, Jack Stockdill, Nathan Cartman (Jack Carr) Joe Walton, Ben Atkinson. Subs not used: Casey Stewart, Josh Barrett, George Proctor, Jordan Porter
Gainsborough Trinity: Matt Yates, Hayden Cann, Joseph Westm Isaac Rice (Andrew Wright) Jamie Bramwell, Dylan Cogill, Curtis Durose (Fraser Preson) Jay Glover, Clayton Donaldson, Liam Waldock, Harry Lewis (Jack Dyche). Subs not used: George Hornshaw and Bailey Conway
Referee: Jack Hall
Match report by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)