Setback in Liversedge promotion push

Setback in Liversedge promotion push

LIVERSEDGE failed to move back into the automatic promotion places as they were held to a draw by struggling AFC Mansfield (1-1).

They dominated much of the game only to go behind with 10 minutes left when Ross Duggan slotted the ball in, but Mark Simpson’s header in the final couple of minutes saw them snatch back a point.

While undeniably two points dropped for the second week in succession, it least allowed them to extend their unbeaten run to nine matches, although they remain outside the top three on goal difference.

The wind played its part in making this a tricky match – at one point in the first half, visiting goalkeeper Hugo Warhurst tried to pass out from a goal kick and managed to put the ball straight out for a corner.

There was little in the way of chances in a scrappy start to the game, with the first save being made by Warhurst midway through the first half to keep out Michael Bottomley’s stinging half-volley from distance.

Liversedge came much closer a few minutes later as Liam Marsden’s trademark long-throw caused havoc for Mansfield and the ball fell for Emile Sinclair to turn and smash against the post.

They continued to build pressure with successive corners resulting in Oliver Fearon heading at the keeper from close range. Tom Jackson had an effort blocked and Bottomley was kept out by Warhurst as the visitors held on to half-time.

Mansfield still had a threat on the counter and they fired a warning shot at the start of the second half as Gavin King flicked a corner over the bar.

At the other end, Bottomley’s fierce drive from the edge of the area looked destined to finally break the deadlock only for Warhurst to again come to his side’s rescue with a great save to palm it wide.

The stopper wasn’t done there, displaying brilliant reactions to stop a shot from centre-back Jack Steers going in after another Marsden throw.

The chances dried up as the second half wore on and Mansfield started to gain some confidence. Matt Wilson and Jordan Annable both headed wide before Duggan cut inside from the right following a counter and his low effort managed to sneak underneath goalkeeper Josh Lill at his near post.

Simpson failed to convert two big chances, heading a free-kick wide and then seeing Annable block his point-blank effort, before getting an opportunity he couldn’t miss as a corner fell all the way through to him at the back post and he nodded in from just a couple of yards out. 

Skipper Jackson’s dissent saw him sent to the sin bin and Sedge had to see out injury time a man down to settle for the draw.

Liversedge’s League Cup tie at Penistone Church was postponed on Wednesday with a new date yet to be arranged. They aren’t in action this weekend but will look to put the pressure back on the leading sides at the top of the division when they make the short trip to mid-table Eccleshill United on Tuesday (February 19, kick-off 7.45pm).

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