Fri 27 Sept FC Oswestry Town 2 Barnton 1

FC Oswestry Town bounced back from their heart-breaking 1-3 league defeat away to Maine Road the previous Monday with a 2-1 home win over Barnton in their Hallmark Security League Division 1 South clash at Park Hall Stadium on Friday night.
Town’s defeat at Maine Road plus results elsewhere on Tuesday and Wednesday had seen them go into Friday’s game in 2nd place in the table, level on points with leaders Vauxhall Motors (but with an inferior goal difference) and a point ahead of 3rd placed Stone Old Alleynians.
Meanwhile, Barnton went into the game in 15th place out of 20 in the table, level on points with 12th placed Sandbach United, 13th placed Cheadle Heath Nomads and 14th placed Alsager Town but with the worst goal difference of the 4 teams.
The first chance of note came Town’s way with exactly 9 completed minutes played when Mike O’Reilly cut in from the left and beat his man before firing his shot not too far over the bar.
Another chance cane the hosts’ way in the 11th minute when Dave Howarth fired his left foot shot from the left wide of Barnton keeper Arran Lyons’ left hand post.
Just 30 seconds later (still in the 11th minute), a great chance came Barnton’s way when Jason McShane’s low through ball down the right of middle found Luke Sutton who ran on with only James O’Reilly back before seeing his right foot shot from the edge of the box rebound off advancing Town keeper Mason Springthorpe back off Sutton and out for a goal kick.
A chance came the visitors’ way just into the 28th minute when some good interplay down the left led to Sam Houghton firing his right foot shot from 18 yards past Springthorpe’s left hand angle.
Another chance came Barnton’s way in the 35th minute when Houghton’s free kick from the middle found Luke Wilson-Jones on the left who sent his downward header from 10 yards well wide of Springthorpe’s right hand post.
Town took the lead a few seconds into the 41st minute when Mike O’Reilly’s corner from the right found Steve Evans who sent his header from 12 yards into Lyons’ left hand corner.
The first chance of the second half came Town’s way right at the end of the 47th minute when Howarth ran down the right and beat his man before crossing to the near post where Mike O’Reilly sent his header from 6 yards over the bar.
Town suffered a blow in the 51st minute when Evans went down injured and was replaced by Sean Jones.
Town went close deep into the 58th minute when Liam Parry beat his man on the left before crossing to the far post where Gareth Partridge took a touch to control before having his right foot shot from 15 yards saved at his left hand post by Lyons.
Then at the other end in the 62nd minute, Barnton went close when Jordan Stafford ran forward through the right of middle and eventually sent a low diagonal through ball to Wilson-Jones, who took it in his stride and ran into the box before having his right foot shot brilliantly saved by Springthorpe who held it at the second attempt.
Barnton made their first change in the 66th minute when Hamish Essa came on to replace Sutton before Town made their second change in the 70th minute when Harry Bower came on to replace Parry.
Then in the 75th minute, it was 2-0 when Mike O’Reilly’s low left foot free kick from a central position 25 yards out somehow squirmed through Lyons’ hands and into the net for his 10th goal of the season in all competitions.
Barnton made their second change in the 77th minute when Macauley Clifton came on to replace Connor
Anderson before the visitors made their final change deep into the 79th minute when Ryan Wan came on to replace Ryan Botell.
Barnton went close in the 80th minute when Wilson-Jones’ right foot shot from 20 yards on the right was saved by Springthorpe.
Town went close to adding to their lead in the 82nd minute when Chris Craven’s low through ball on the left found Bower who ran on and into the box before having his left foot shot from 10 yards saved by Lyons.  The rebound fell to Craven whose right foot shot from 9 yards inside the left of the box was held by Lyons.
Then with 50 seconds of normal time left at the end, Barnton pulled a goal back when Houghton’s right foot free kick from 20 yards on the left hit James O’Reilly in the Town wall and the ball looped into Springthorpe’s left hand corner to give the visitors a lifeline.
Then with exactly 60 seconds of added time gone, Barnton went within an ace of a dramatic late equaliser when Houghton played a one-two with Jason McShane on the left before sending a low through ball to Wan, who took a touch before seeing his low left foot shot from 12 yards rebound off the inside of Springthorpe’s right hand post and across the face of the goal before the ball was held by a relieved keeper.
Town made their final change after 3 minutes 13 seconds of added time when Matt Cole came on to replace Howarth before the final blast of Leek referee Jack Birch’s whistle 40 seconds later brought the game to and confirmed Town’s win.
This result took Matt Burton’s side 3 points clear of previous leaders Vauxhall Motors at the top of table ahead of Motors’ scheduled away trip to Wythenshawe Town on Saturday.  However, that game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch so Town remain 3 points clear at the top of the table.
Town: Mason Springthorpe, Gareth Partridge, Chris Craven, Kevin Renshaw, James O’Reilly, Steve Evans, Lewis Jarman, Mike O’Reilly, Dave Howarth, Simon Smith, Liam Parry.  Subs: Harry Bower (for Parry 70), Sean Jones (for Evans 51), Matthew T Jones (not used), Matt Cole (for Howarth 90+4).
Barnton: Arran Lyons , Ryan Botell, Nathan Saunders, Jordan Stafford, Callum Richards, Luke Vayro, Luke Sutton, Sam Houghton, Connor Anderson, Jason McShane, Luke Wilson-Jones.  Subs: James McShane (not used), Macauley Clifton (for Anderson 77), Ryan Wan (for Botell 79), Hamish Essa (for Sutton 66).
FC Oswestry Town turn their attention to cup football this Saturday (5th October) when they make the long trek up the M6 to play Division 1 North side Garstang in the 2nd Round of the Cup, which is the sponsor’s name for the 1st Division Cup.
At the time of writing on Monday, Garstang are in 18th place out of 20 in the table level on points with 19th placed Cleator Moor Celtic but with a home game against bottom of the table Pilkington scheduled to be played tonight (Wednesday).
If Garstang win that game, they would move up 5 places in the table.