Tadcaster Albion close in on NCEL title as Corner downs Garforth Town again

Tom Corner scored the winners in consecutive matches against Garforth Town (Photo: Ian Parker)
Tom Corner scored the winners in consecutive matches against Garforth Town (Photo: Ian Parker)
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Billy Miller insists Tadcaster Albion still have work to do after his side moved within one win of the NCEL Premier title on Tuesday evening.

A 14th minute strike from Albion striker Tom Corner was enough to see off Garforth Town in an almost carbon copy of the victory secured against the same team three days previous.

The two wins have piled the pressure on rivals Handsworth Parramore who must now beat Pontefract Collieries on Wednesday night to keep the title race alive.

The Brewers now sit four points above second placed Handsworth with two matches remaining for each side.

Even if Sheffield side Handsworth beat Pontefract, Tadcaster will secure the championship and a rise into the Evo-Stik First Division North with victory over Armthorpe Welfare at home on Thursday.

“It’s still in our hands but it’s not job done just yet,” said Miller.

The NCEL table

The NCEL table

“You take nothing for granted at this level of football. We have run on empty again tonight and the lads have put in a terrific shift.”

It didn’t take Tad long to assert their top of the table class on the fixture as Josh Greening swept a curling effort narrowly over in the first minute.

Greening was involved in the game winning moment on 14 minutes too as he nodded forward into the feet of Corner, who shot into the bottom corner on the turn.

The goal was almost identical to the striker’s winning strike on Saturday and in a similar fashion, Albion controlled the flow of the match from the breakthrough

Jimmy Beadle headed a corner wide at the near post while Luke McCrum could have done better with a header inside the Taddy box for Garforth.

Albion should really have held a two-goal advantage at the break. Ex-Premier League man Jonathan Greening had time to pick his spot but his one-on-one effort blocked by Town keeper Dominic Smith’s feet before his follow-up was blocked on the line with Smith still sprawling around on the floor

The title chasing visitors remained in cruise control after the break despite the dangers of only holding a one-goal lead.

A poor header from Josh Greening was easily gathered by Smith before Corner nodded a bouncing ball trickling wide shortly before he was substituted for Carl Stewart.

At the other end the lively Curtly Martin-Wyatt had an effort blocked by Gregg Anderson on a rare occasion that the Albion defence was breached.

Indeed, Anderson proved an imperious figure throughout for Tadcaster, and his partnership with Andy Milne laid the foundation to avoiding a nervous finale for the top of the table side.

Miller added: “It’s another massive step to where we want to be. We keep talking about that lifeline, we have that four point gap now. Psychologically, they can’t afford to lose now but if they don’t lose, it puts pressure back on us for Thursday night when we play Armthorpe.

“It’s difficult at the moment to keep everybody grounded. We are so close. One win out of two  takes us over the line and we haven’t been beaten back-to-back over the course of the season. 

“But when you look at the number of games in the number of days, we have to just take care and do the right things because there’s still a bit to do.

“We have planned for this for a long time. We always said we wanted to be in and around it. When you look at it, being so close, the last thing we want to be is the bridesmaid now. 

“We want to go into Saturday either having won the league or having given ourselves a massive chance.

“The lads deserve it now but they have just have to do that little bit of extra work to get over the line.”