OUFC 3-0 Athersley Rec
Mid-Season Friendly – 12/12/2020
Ossett United 3-0 Athersley Recreation
49 - A lot of football is about numbers, be it goals scored, points won or the attendance amongst other things, but the number that starts this report is number of days since Ossett United last took to the field thanks to the most recent lockdown.
With the Northern Premier League current paused, but hopes that will soon change following the news from DCMS that supporters, although in limited numbers, can return to non-league grounds, Ossett United manager Wayne Benn arranged a mid-season friendly with Athersley Recreation.
One positive of the enforced break was the opportunity for the players suffering injuries were able to return, with key central defenders Jack Cowgill and Eddie Cass both named on the team sheet.
Pre-match no one expected a pretty game with a heavy pitch underfoot but those in the ground, and watching via the live stream, will have been pleasantly surprised by the Ossett United performance with plenty of good football on show.
It was a positive start with United winning an early corner and a new look forward line of Green, Normanton and Dyche causing problems. All three looked lively and it was Normanton who went close with a whipped shot inches wide.
Charlie Farrar in the visitors goal was on top form making a number of key saves to keep the scores level, and it looked for all the world that was how it would be at half time until a free-kick was awarded to Ossett United in the 41st minutes.
Green stood over the ball 25 yards from goal, his curling effort looking destined for the top corner until it took a wicked deflection off the wall leaving Farrar no chance as the ball looped into the opposite side of the goal.
Dyche was unlucky not to double the lead as the half time whistle blew with the visiting number one making another point blank save.
Wayne Benn made eight changes at half time but that did not change the flow of the game with United continuing to press forward. Reggie Waud doubled the lead as he held off a defender well before firing a well struck shot into the near post.
A third followed soon after from Aaron Haswell, one of the most improved players this season. The goal I am told was excellent – I’d love to describe it in detail – but I had taken this moment to go to the snack bar for a much needed hot drink!
Ossett United saw out the game with few problems, but a cameo appearance from the visitors veteran player/manager Shane Kelsey, formally of both Ossett Town and Albion, almost brought a consolation goal. Cutting in from the right hand side his well struck shot dipping wickedly just over the cross bar.
It was a good work out for both sides, hopefully we don’t have to wait 41 days for a game again this season.