TOWN let victory slip from their grasp in the closing seconds of their FA Vase First Round clash with Yorkshire visitors Parkgate. Leading 2-1 Town only had to run the clock down, but were caught deep into injury time when Parkgate equalised with virtually the last kick of the 90 minutes and then went on to lose 4-2 in extra-time.
Early pressure brought two home corners, but Parkgate responded with a break from Hannity who went on a surging run forward which was ultimately thwarted by a good save from Town keeper Lee Novak.
Further pressure from the visitors saw them produce three corners in quick succession before a break from Osman after 25 minutes led to a clearing header from the Parkgate defence.
The initiative was then taken up by Town in what was becoming an end-to-end thriller and, after 36 minutes, the home team went ahead. Osman latched on to an in-swinging corner which caused havoc in the visitors’ box and, despite a block from goalkeeper Bailey, Kieran Hoult put in the rebound.
Parkgate hit back with centre forward Forbes-Swindells dominant, it was no surprise when he blasted a free kick home courtesy of a slight deflection off the Town wall just four minutes before the break.
Parkgate started the half as they had finished the first with early pressure, but Town then roared back and Newcombe headed over the bar, the goal seemingly at his mercy, after good work from Osman.
Newcombe was to go close again immediately afterwards when keeper Bailey fumbled and it was from Newcombe’s corner on 52 minutes that a free-for-all in the visitors’ box led to a foul on Hoult and Newcombe buried the penalty to put Town ahead again.
Town had most of the game in the remaining period and substitute Ste Edward had a number of chances, the best a shot which brought a fine save from Bailey. Osman created two further chances which fell to Sykes-Wright, the first well saved by Bailey, the other going narrowly wide.
With five minutes of added-on time played Parkgate turned on the pressure for one final chance to take the tie into extra-time. A quick break resulted in another excellent save by Lee Novak. The corner drew in every Parkgate player to Town’s box and the ball was scrambled over the line by Patterson for the leveller.
Extra-time was, unfortunately, one-way traffic.
Town had given everything and, physically and psychologically, they were drained when after only four minutes of the re-start, Forbes-Swindells scored to put Parkgate ahead.
Town rarely threatened after that and the tie was already lost when Crompton, under pressure from the advancing Hannity to clear his box, only succeeded in hitting the Parkgate player and the ball looped over the hapless Novak into the open goal.
Alsager Town are the visitors to Edge Green Street on Saturday 20th October, 3.00pm and Town will play landlords Ashton Town in the Liverpool Senior Cup on Tuesday 23rd October, kick off 7.45pm.