Slazenger Mens 3rd’s knew that only a win would do, however the last encounter with Chapeltown 4th’s had been a cup match which had ended 4-1 to the opposition. As another team chasing promotion, it was going to be a tough encounter for the Horbury men.
As such a close encounter, it began fast with both teams trying to gain the upper hand . Slaz surged forward and had a couple of early efforts go just wide of the mark. Chapeltown were dangerous on the break, using some swift and accurate passing to make inroads into the defence. However, these were dealt with early on and Slaz soaked up the pressure. Some attacking runs from Ste Roberts in the centre and and Alan Perry put Chapeltown under pressure and it looked as though Slaz were on the ascendancy.
It was shortly after that Slaz scored; a shot was cleared by the keeper, only to fall at the feet of John Toon; mis-hitting the ball which arced over the keepers head a into the net – an incredible first ever goal which left John dumfounded! Slaz continued to pile on the pressure, and secured a second before half time – Jack Mumford flicking the ball past the keeper to give the visitors a 2 goal lead.
At the break, it was Chapeltown who came out with greater intent. With a change in formation, they found a hole in the Slaz midfield, and scored 2 in the opening 10 minutes. It looked as though Slaz may conceded a third, but keeper Ralph Toon pulled off two incredible saves to keep the team in the game. The horbury side regrouped and dug deep. A line ball from Rowan Tejura found winger Ian Hedges, who carried the ball down the wing and, cutting into the D, forced the ball past the keeper to net the third. With this lead, Slaz pressed harder, with increasing incursions into the opposition’s half. A short corner was won by the team and Paul Johnson rifled the ball in from the top of the D with 10 minutes remaining.
Slaz continued to press, with team going close on several occasions; Steve Johnson, and Andy Birkett both missing great opportunities. However, the game ended 4-2.
With 3 games left, Slaz stand 2 games in hand, 5 points behind 2nd place and promotion. The league may well be decided on the last game.