First-half goals cement Millers’ place among the playoff contenders

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New Mills AFC 3

Goole 1

New Mills cemented their place among the leading pack in Division One North with a win over Goole on Monday evening.

In blustery conditions, and on a playing surface that was not conducive to passing football, both sides struggled to settle.

Nicky Platt had the Millers’ best effort on eight minutes, fizzing a half-volley wide from 20 yards, while at the other end Grant Allott saw his header cannon back off Karl Stone’s crossbar.

On the half-hour the game finally burst into life. First Dave Fitzpatrick saw his shot from 25 yards clawed wide by keeper Neal May, and Platt fired just over from the resulting corner.

Just a minute later The Millers broke the deadlock. Michael Bowler powered forward and his low cross was swept home by Platt.

The visitors were level within five minutes as Sam Egerton mistimed his defensive header from a long ball, leaving Bill Law clear on goal and he made no mistake from 12 yards.

The equaliser forced The Millers into action and at last they began to take control. On 40 minutes Chris Luby flashed in a cross that was headed just wide by Daniel Grimshaw, and then a minute later May produced a wonderful save to thwart Grimshaw from close range.

Just two minutes before the interval The Millers went ahead for the second time. A well-worked move saw Luke Horrocks find Platt who fired across the keeper.

A minute later and it was 3-1. Fitzpatrick’s wicked low cross from the left was cleverly diverted past May by Carlos Meakin.

Both sides rarely threatened in the second half as the conditions worsened and slick football became an impossibility due to the high wind and difficult surface.

Horrocks went closest for the home side early in the second half, while Fitzpatrick cleared off the line following a Goole corner.

Soule took the opportunity to rest his strikers, bringing Michael Fish and Steve Moore into the action, but they struggled to make an impact as The Millers eased to victory.

Worryingly for The Millers, Meakin was carried from the field in the dying moments, victim of an over exuberant challenge by a defender.

New Mills: Stone, Bowler, Fitzpatrick, Innes (Moore), Chadwick (c), Egerton, Meakin (Wallwork), Platt, Luby (Fish), Grimshaw, Horrocks. Unused subs: Battersby, Young.