Town suffer narrow defeat against Chalk Lane

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Scarborough Town were unlucky to finish the game empty-handed after a good performance against a competent Chalk Lane outfit.

Town fielded a teenage strike force of Jackson Jowett and Shane Holt, with Andy Wardell returning to the side to add his experience further back.

The first chance of the game fell to Town, with Jamie Bradshaw breaking through to clip the ball over the keeper but just wide of the post.

Then a last-ditch tackle denied Holt as Town forced a succession of corners.

A 25-yard free kick from Martin Barnes curled wide, and another free kick was deflected to safety after Bradshaw had been fouled following good work from Ricky Greening.

On 25 minutes Chalk Lane were indebted to keeper Chris Sinclair for an amazing double save when faced with the onrushing Town duo of Ben Luntley and Bradshaw and a total lack of covering defenders.

Bradshaw seemed to have chipped the ball over the keeper, but Sinclair got a fingertip to it and deflected the ball away from its goalbound flight but Luntley hared after the ball to turn the ball into the net from a narrow angle, only to see Sinclair appear out of nowhere to put the ball around the upright.

Chalk Lane were playing some neat possession football in midfield but were unable to force their way past Ricky Nock and Josh Clayton at the heart of the Town defence. The visitors had a couple of long-range effort which were way off target.

At the other end Jowett sent a shot screaming over the bar, then Luntley set up Holt who drew another great save from Sinclair.

Very much against the run of play Chalk Lane took the lead on 41 minutes when the ball fell kindly for Jordan Hunt to slam the ball past Rob Clark in the Town goal.

A couple of corners brought chances for Town, with Clayton heading over the bar and Danny Collins having a goalbound header deflected to safety, then Ricky Greening’s shot was pushed round the post by the agile Sinclair.

Town keeper Clark had barely touched the ball in the first half, but as the second period got under way he made a great block to deny Alex Britton and then frustrated the same player with another good save in a one-on-one situation.

Town were soon back into attacking mode, however, and good work from Wardell set up a shooting chance for Bradshaw who drew another fine save from Sinclair.

An incisive run from Clayton led to an opportunity for Luntley but again the keeper threw himself into the path of the close-range shot to keep his goal intact.

On 70 minutes a free kick from Barnes finally beat the keeper but came back off the crossbar, then Greening made a good run but was thwarted by a superb one-handed save from Sinclair.

Town must have realised it wasn’t to be their day when they piled men into the box and set up a mad scramble which saw the ball ricochet off the foot of the post and away to safety.

Town still kept up the pressure and Sinclair got down well to save a Wardell effort, while in a rare sortie Chalk Lane broke through and Mike Robinson hit a scorcher which was brilliantly tipped over by Clark.

Town notched up a further series of corners but were unable to get a clear sight of goal, and the final chance fell to Clayton who blasted the ball just too high.

Town: Clark, Wardell, Nock, Clayton, Barnes, Bradshaw, Collins (Rennison 80), Greening, Luntley, Holt, Jowett (Gill 56).