Ten-man Tadcaster dig deep for a point on the road at Colne
Tadcaster Albion played out a second goalless draw in as many days when they travelled to Evo-Stik North play-off rivals Colne.
Yet the Brewers did so against the odds, having to cope for more than 50 minutes with a numerical disadvantage following the controversial dismissal of midfielder Pete Davidson before half-time.
Following on from his heroic save against Scarborough Athletic on Thursday night, Albion keeper Michael Ingham continued his terrific form by making three outstanding stops to keep the Lancastrians at bay in the first half.
On a pitch which had evidently seen a lot of rain prior to kick-off, Colne started the brighter kicking up the hill in the first half.
Harry Pratt pulled back to Matty Morgan who instinctively smashed goalwards towards the roof of the net, but Taddy’s giant Northern Irishman brilliantly tipped over with his left hand.
With the hosts causing Albion’s much-changed back four plenty of problems, Ingham then got down well to beat away Pratt’s effort moments later.
The Brewers, missing both Josh Barritt and Jason Mycoe, the centre-halves who started their previous game, had their backs against the wall during the opening exchanges but did improve as the half went on.
It was the home who continued to carry the greater threat, however, and they carved out their best chance of the match bang on the half-hour-mark but once again Ingham showed his class.
Pratt set the lively Oliver Crankshaw clean through on goal and he drove into the box and shot low, only for the Taddy number one to brilliantly deny him with his legs.
A slip from Harry Sheppeard then allowed Crankshaw to burst inside and into the penalty area again, only to see his strike kept out courtesy of an excellent low save down to Ingham’s right.
Albion created their best chance of the half 10 minutes from the break when Casey Stewart curled a delightful cross into the box, but Billy Whitehouse, who made a great burst into the box, could only guide it wide of the mark.
The game’s huge moment of controversy then arrived came four minutes from the half-time whistle and after a trio of successive corners for the Brewers.
Hakan Burton caught Chris Howarth’s clipped cross and set his side away, igniting a dangerous counter attack.
Gary Stopforth drove past the half-way line, travelling at some pace and being tracked by Davidson, who cynically clipped the heels of the Colne midfielder.
Referee Ian Walshaw decided that the foul warranted a red card and dismissed Davidson, much to the shock of the Tadcaster team and bench.
The sides went into the interval with the game still goalless, but 13 minutes after the resumption Will Annan beat two defenders down the left-hand side before forcing Burton into a save.
Despite kicking up the hill in the second period and having a man less, Taddy were in the ascendency and Stewart coolly glided past Andrew Hollins before seeing his powerful strike superbly blocked by Jonathan Hodkinson.
At the other end, Crankshaw’s deflected header had Ingham scrambling, but the ball bobbled wide of the right-hand upright.
Whitehouse continued to cause problems down the right-wing and when the former Leeds United man cut inside Hodkinson and pulled the trigger, the travelling Albion fans thought his strike was deflecting into the back of the net, but wide it flew.
Michael Morton’s team put in one almighty shift in the second period with just 10 men and they were looking the more likely to open the scoring.
Some more neat link-up play between Whitehouse and Stewart led to Sheppeard driving to the by-line and pulling back into the six-yard box, but his cross was just cleared away from the lurking Annan.
From the resulting throw-in, Whitehouse was wiped out from behind by Hodgkinson, but neither the linesman nor the referee felt the challenge was worthy of a penalty kick.
Another great chance came and went a minute later when Annan disguised a clever reverse through-ball in behind to Stewart, but gloveman Burton brilliantly kept out Taddy’s makeshift forward.
In the end, neither saw could muster up a crucial winning goal, but to a man, Tadcaster dug in admirably with a player less against a fellow play-off contender and will take plenty of positives from the result.