Beverley Town 3-1 Chalk Lane
Beverley played their final home game of the season on Wednesday as they faced reigning champions Chalk Lane, knowing three points would all but secure the title for Town.
Despite this, Chalk Lane started off on the front foot. The away side would utilise their quality on the wings to put balls into the box. Chalk’s attacks would create a number of chances from these balls but they kept going either just wide or over the crossbar.
Chalk Lane would keep this attacking intent throughout the opening 20 minutes until Beverley began winning the ball through successful pressuring from midfielder Michael O’Connell frustrating the opposition the entire game. Danny Norton would win the ball from one of O’Connell’s pick ups, the captain would attempt to get a through ball into the box but Chalk’s centre back did well to slide in at the last moment to block the ball from getting into a dangerous position.
Danny Norton would get another chance to create an attack when Bowes was brought down on the edge of the box. Norton stood over the free kick, but his curling effort wouldn’t end the deadlock as the ball would go over the bar a goal kick.
The Beverley backline would find himself busy as Grant Tait continued to pace down the wing but Bedford did well to cut out any attacks before they became dangerous.
Chance after chance kept coming for both sides but probably the best of them all came in the closing stages of the half as Olly Baldwin put in a low driven cross into the box to find Will Waudby. The winger seemed to have an open net to shoot into but the ball just evaded him and it went out the opposite side. The half finishing 0-0.
If the first half was a nervy 50/50 game with both teams squandering chances, the second half was all guns blazing for Beverley Town. Two quick-fire goals came to ease the nerves of the top of the table outfit. The first coming from a corner where Danny Norton received the ball at his feet on the line, flicking it up for himself to overhead kick it into the back of the net. The second was a patented Adam Bowes effort, Waudby swung the ball into the box where Bowes leapt above the Chalk Lane defender to get his head on it for 2-0.
The nerves of the first half had been cast away as the second half went on, any chances created by Chalk Lane were well cut out by the defensive line. Beverley used this period of dominance to ping balls into the box through the combination of Ryan Holmes and Olly Baldwin on the right hand side.
Jason Crisp would be introduced for Stu Oliver and this brought upon Beverley’s third. Crisp drifted out to the wing to collect the ball, crossing the ball early where Bowes repeated his earlier effort with a fine glancing header to make it 3-0 and out of sight for the top of the table team.
The rest of the game looked like a formality for Beverley, keeping possession and winning the ball back well in defence if needed. Chalk would find themselves a consolation goal in the final 10 minutes though from a free kick. Grant Tait stood over it and curled it beautifully into the top corner to get a deserved goal for himself for his individual performance in the game.
Beverley face Westella on Saturday, knowing 3 points secures them the title due to Westella dropping out the race, losing against Hull United in midweek. Westella will still be a tough opponent though, playing at home at their Hilltop ground. Mike Thompson’s side go into the fixture full of confidence though since it now seems a matter of when they will win the title, not if.
Beverley Line Up: James Hitchcock, Ry Holmes, Dean Larvin (Ryan McAllister), Michael O’Connell, Zak Oakshott, Kurt Bedford, Olly Balwin (Joe Norton), Will Waudby, Adam Bowes, Danny Norton, Stu Oliver (Jason Crisp)
Thanks to Riley Somerville for the match report.