Ammers within one point of safety following draw at Parkgate

Yorkshire Amateur moved within one point of safety, finishing 0-0 at Roundwood Sports Complex, denting Parkgate’s title chase of the NCEL Division One.

One goalmouth saw most of the action. Ammers started the quickest, Ousainey Juwara’s first-time shot tipped over by Jordan Greaves early on. But Parkgate increased the tempo in the second-half, coinciding with Ross Duggan’s half-time introduction, his late header unable to be converted whilst Joe Ludlam couldn’t keep his effort below the bar, having been teed-up on the edge of the box.

Safety could be confirmed for Ammers before they play again.

Marcel Chigumira returned to Ammers’ starting line-up alongside four others; Liam Parker, Craig Maynard, Amari Smith & Fin Wade.

Birama Diallo saw the space early, first wide left and then more threatening through the centre, quickly between two challenges but the path to goal closed off, his final touch, into the box shielded back to Parkgate ‘keeper Jordan Greaves.

When Parkgate’s long, forward pass on 10 minutes landed at Ammers’ full-back Kadeem Morton’s cushioned-header clear, Diallo was offered another chance to run through the middle, Chigumira’s support wide-left ignored. Again, the space was too tight for his control on this occasion.

Ammers’ attempts at directness rather landing in clear space behind the Parkgate back line confirmed the different intentions of either side despite the similarities in their methods.

Jack Viles’ fully outstretched leg blocked his bottom left corner on one of multiple close calls for the hosts, deflecting off bodies of Ammers defenders several times before they were able to counter. Juwara, who’d already backed himself from distance earlier with a curling, right-footed effort round the far post, looked to goal from a similar position but decided to pass to Wade to his right, who returned the ball back central to Diallo. The inverted winger got his shot away without enough power to threaten Greaves’ goal.

The intertwining trio of Chigumira, Diallo & Juwara combined to test Greaves on 24 minutes. Diallo went round Rob Ludlam as he travelled inside from the left before finding Chigumira inside the box with his back to goal, setting Juwara with a first-time touch, the recipient conforming to type with an immediate strike, tipped over by the ‘keeper.

Liam Parker was the closest to Parkgate’s goal from Morton’s in-swinging cross from the left inside the final minutes of the first-half, providing a defender’s finish, a ‘delicate’ touch with his side-foot unable to direct the ball on target to keep the score level at the break.

It was a fast restart from the visitors, testing Viles in The Ammers’ goal within a few minutes.

Liam Royles was under a direct ball into the Ammers’ box moments later, meeting the flight at the back post with a side-footed volley across the face of goal but no one else had kept up with the pace.

Parkgate’s possession provided Brandon Whitfield a shot from distance on 67 minutes, towards the near, left-hand post and deflected, causing Viles problems to keep hold, rather confirming it wide with a parry.

Jack Haslam, sporting the Terry Butcher head bandage following an earlier clash of heads with Ammers defender Maynard, was the latest to attempt to breach Ammers’ goal. He’s floored with a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge and clearly still feeling the effects of the bang to his head as he started the appeals – dismissed by the ref.

Ross Duggan’s introduction at half-time offered Parkgate an outlet through his hold-up play but he had chance to face and run to goal on 74 minutes. Upon reaching the box, his intentions to shoot were clear by the shifting of his body from left to right to try create a sight of goal past the pressure, the shot blocked and into the arms of Viles.

He met Ludlam’s cross from the right, at the back post with a header goalward, unable to convert into the opener as the game edged towards added-time.

Parkgate had provided the majority of the pressure in the closing half hour and had time remaining to tee up Ludlam on the edge of the box for a first-time half-volley, the man of the moment under the bounce of the ball, raising it over the bar.

The point gained upon the referee’s whistle matched Glasshoughton Welfare’s result against Brigg Town to leave Ammers six points clear of Glassy with two fixtures remaining for both sides involved in the race for safety, Ammers’ goal difference the inferior of the two.

Confirmation could be sealed before Ammers’ next fixture on Wednesday when Horbury Town visit The Southerns Stadium. Should Glasshoughton Welfare fail to beat Harrogate Railway on Tuesday, Ammers will be safe regardless of our final two results.

Tickets for the visit of Horbury Town, Wednesday 17th April: Adults – £6, Concessions – £4, U16s – £3.