After a triumphant start to the season with a victory against Tadcaster Albion, Thackley AFC faced Barton Town in their first away game of the 2023 season. Despite putting up a valiant effort, Thackley fell short in a closely contested match, ending with a 1-0 defeat against Barton Town.

The match saw some last-minute changes for both teams. Thackley had to call upon Damba as their goalkeeper due to the unavailability of three goalkeepers who featured in pre-season games. On the other hand, Barton Town replaced their hat-trick hero from the previous match, Tom Waudby, with Scott Mathews in a similar lineup that secured a victory against Rossington Main.

Barton Town made an aggressive start to the game, quickly setting the tone by sending long balls towards striker Cable. Thackley’s Hudson had to clear the ball for a throw-in to avoid danger. Both teams showed early signs of attacking intent, but Barton Town’s Cable missed an opportunity to put his team ahead as his shot went wide of the right post. Thackley AFC responded promptly, and Greaves came close to scoring with a half volley that hit the crossbar.

The game started to heat up, leading to some contentious moments. Ellison-Tope was sent to the sin-bin in the 18th minute after showing dissent towards the referee’s decision and delaying the restart by kicking the ball away. Barton Town faced their own setback as Hotte had to be replaced by Davie due to an injury in the 22nd minute.

Throughout the first half, both teams struggled to capitalise on their chances, resulting in a goalless draw at half-time. Thackley AFC had more opportunities, but they failed to convert them into goals.

The second half started with Thackley’s bright attacking play, with Chippendale and Everingham linking up well down the right. However, Greaves missed a chance to score as he flicked the ball wide of the left post. Barton Town also had their fair share of opportunities, but both defences held firm.

In an attempt to change their attacking dynamic, Thackley replaced Ellison-Tope with Asa Mitchell in the 59th minute. Thackley pressed for a breakthrough, winning a central free-kick in a promising position, but Chippendale’s effort was well saved by Barton Town’s goalkeeper, Musselwhite.

The game took a dramatic turn in the 90th minute when Barton Town was awarded a penalty after North was brought down in the penalty area by Thackley’s Hudson. North calmly converted the penalty, securing a late 1-0 lead for Barton Town.

Despite Thackley’s efforts to equalise, Barton Town held on to their narrow lead, ending the match with a 1-0 victory. Thackley AFC’s management and players will be disappointed with the result, but they can take pride in their spirited performance.

The defeat doesn’t dampen Thackley AFC’s spirits, as they now shift their focus to the 2023-24 FA Cup campaign, where they will face divisional rivals Goole AFC at Dennyfield. The team hopes for a positive outcome in the upcoming fixture and looks forward to the support of their fans.