Brewers move into play-off contention after crushing of Droylsden

Aiden Savory in action during Tadcaster Albion's 4-0 win over Droylsden. Picture: Matthew Appleby
Aiden Savory in action during Tadcaster Albion's 4-0 win over Droylsden. Picture: Matthew Appleby

Tadcaster Albion recorded a fourth straight league victory, beating Droylsden 4-0 to climb into an Evo-Stik North play-off spot.

With the top three sides in the division currently looking likely to be promoted automatically due to an FA re-structure of the football pyramid, a seventh-placed finish would be enough to secure a play-off berth come the end of the regular season.

And on Saturday, a Josh Barrett double plus strikes from Billy Whitehouse and Chris Howarth helped Michael Morton’s men to an emphatic victory that lifted them into position number seven.

With his team unbeaten in six league matches, Morton named the same starting XI that did the business against Kendal and Glossop.

Aiden Savory came within a lick of paint of giving Tad a seventh-minute lead when a corner was cleared to him and he unleashed a fine volley that thumped off the left-hand upright.

At the other end, Droylsden’s Sefton Gonzales rolled Fraser Papprill and crossed for Ciaran Kilheeney but the visiting skipper couldn’t find the desired contact.

Gonzales then had the Bloods’ first effort on target, however Michael Ingham was equal to it and patted away his close-range shot.

With the visitors still looking for their first victory of 2018, they enjoyed plenty of possession in the Tadcaster sunshine without creating any real opportunities to test Ingham further.

The majority of the opening period was largely uneventful in terms of clear-cut openings, until the final knockings that is.

Two minutes before the break, Taddy edged ahead when Pete Davidson cleverly hooked a corner back into the box and Barrett arrived round the back to nod home.

The Brewers’ lead should have been cancelled out right at the start of the second period as Droylsden broke from an Albion corner and a cross dropped kindly for captain Kilheeney, but he blasted inches wide from the edge of the penalty area.

It looked as if the Bloods would be made to pay for that profligacy when Casey Stewart jinked inside and slid Savory in behind, but the striker poked agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

The away team didn’t get quite as lucky just after the hour-mark, however, defender Barrett doubling both his and Tadcaster’s tally for the afternoon.

Whitehouse’s corner was kept alive by Papprill and although Savory’s close-range effort was somehow blocked on the line, the ball fell to Barrett who struck a sweet effort into the roof of the net.

Morton’s men almost had a third just moments later after Jacques Kpohomouh got caught napping by Stewart, who nipped in on goal but was then denied by gloveman Richie Branagan before the aforementioned defender made amends by blocking Savory’s follow-up.

With the game rapidly slipping away from them, Droylsden were then put out of their misery 14 minutes from time.

Natural right-footer Whitehouse bamboozled everyone when stepping up to take a free-kick with his weaker left, but incredibly the former Leeds United youngster clipped beautifully over the wall and into the near corner of Branagan’s net.

Albion weren’t done yet, and they added another goal on 85 minutes following a scintillating move.

Domaine Rouse tried to power beyond Corey Roper, but a slightly heavy touch gave young Brewers right-back Harry Sheppeard the chance to intercept and launch a counter-attack.

Running with the ball at pace from deep inside his own half, he continued to power forward into Droylsden territory before being fouled by Liam Daly as he struggled to keep up.

Nevertheless, the youngster stayed on his feet and drove all the way into the penalty area before calmly pulling a perfect pass back to Howarth who powered in his second goal of the season to wrap things up.