Hall Road Rangers 1 Brighouse Town 3
A fortnight after knocking Rangers out of the FA Vase, Town returned to Hull for a Baris NCE League Premier Division clash and came away with three deserved points courtesy of a Tom Matthews hat-trick.
Town took the lead in the fifth minute when James Hurtley’s first time pass from midfield caught full back Andy Coverdale unawares and Matthews rounded the advancing keeper Mike Burley before scoring from an acute angle.
Jonny Slater responded by shooting wide but Town were bossing the game and Joe Mitchell fired just over the bar from the edge of the box.
The visitors were good value for their second goal on 21 minutes when Matthews ran onto a Danny Naidole pass but was brought down just inside the box by Player/Chairman Jamie Barnwell and Matthews picked himself up to blast home the penalty.
Hall Road’s second real attempt on goal brought the first save from Tom Taylor who watched the ball well to turn Slater’s long range effort round the post.
Town continued to dominate and Boafa sliced his shot wide as the keeper rushed to meet him. Brighouse threatened again a minute later when Hurtley won a crunching tackle in midfield and released Luke Gibson whose dangerous cross was well defended for a corner. Gibson took it and found the head of Nick Jaggar whose effort was saved by Burley. The keeper immediately punted the ball long and Town were nearly caught out as Mark Griffin was inches away from controlling the ball before Taylor gathered.
Town twice looked like they had scored a third goal they’re play deserved before the break. First, Luke Gibson did brilliantly to win the ball back inside the box and set Matthews up to connect perfectly only for Burley to make a stunning point blank save, turning the ball away for a corner. Naidole swung the ball in and Jaggar thumped a header past Burley on for Alex Knaggs to head the ball off the line.
After having chances to put the game out of sight, Town were rocked when Hall Road managed to pull a goal back in the first minute of the second half. Slater tempted James Sutcliffe into a challenge inside the box and duly went down for a penalty. Adam Crane confidently despatched the spot kick.
Town’s response was excellent and Matthews broke into the box before laying the ball back for Mitchel, and then Hurtley, to have goal-bound shots blocked. Similarly, a solo run into the box from Danny Naidole saw him check inside and also have his shot cleared away.
Naidole was in the thick of the action; fouled right on the edge of the area, he took the free kick himself and brought another top class save from Burley in the home goal.
Hall Road were hanging on, and Town brought on fresh legs in the form of Ryan Hall for Luke Gibson on 58 minutes. A minute later Town made it 3-1 when Matthews ran onto a superb pass from Adam Wilson to slam the ball past Burley.