Two goals just enough for Barnston AFC
BARNSTON coped admirably with losing four players for Saturday’s league game away to Kirby, by taking home all three points thanks to a superb first half display.
Goals from Tim Shaw and Jimmy Laird ensured that AFC got the job done in the opening 45 minutes before the game descended into a war of attrition.
Luke Nash, James Laird, Campbell Wilson and Adam Emery filled in for James Cordery, Dave Canning, Dan Debley and the in-form Jay Haberland, who were all missing.
Seemingly not disrupted however, AFC took the lead after a scrappy opening 10 minutes.
Adam Emery whipped in a left hand corner which everyone at the near post missed. The ball found its way through to Shaw who bundled into the net for a one-nil lead.
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The one-goal cushion allowed the visitors to take complete control and, after 23 minutes, they doubled the margin.
Centre back Jimmy Laird found himself in the Kirby penalty area unmarked and scored to make it 2-0.
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With 30 minutes gone a wonderful passing move found Emery who slid in unmarked at the far post, but the ball bounced immediately in front of him and up over the bar.
Barnston just could not find their finishing touch and Kirby managed to pull one back. On 41 minutes a poor pass from right back Liam Crane was picked up by the Kirby midfield who launched a counter attack.
Kevin Spencer at left back missed the chance to clear and goalkeeper Jon Eastaugh was forced into a one-on-one battle with the home striker. He narrowly lost and conceded a penalty.
The Kirby forward made no mistake, and put his side back in the game at 2-1 with four minutes until half time.
The Barnston half time mantra would have been “more of the same” but when they came out both teams found it difficult to put any real chances or flowing football together.
The game petered out and Barnston where grateful for their three points. Manager Leighton Williams was delighted at his side’s first half display.
“It was not a great second half performance,” he said. “But the first half performance had bordered on awesome.
“The second half showed that we now have a steel and a belief which will allow us to battle for points, rather than cave in and give away the soft points that we gave away earlier in the season.”
The win puts AFC just four points of the promotion places in division one of the Suffolk and Essex league.
This Saturday they travel to St Osyth for a 3pm kick off.