Ainderby SC 2 Osmotherley FC 4
AINDERBY SC saw their promotion hopes suffer a potentially fatal blow last Sunday as two goals from Kyle O'Gorman was not enough to see off the challenge of an impressive Osmotherley FC.
Needing a win to guarantee a top three finish, Ainderby got off to the worst possible start, conceding goals in the opening ten minutes to Kieran Watson and Lee Holtby.
O'Gorman did bring the hosts level with a quick brace midway through the second half but late goals from Watson and Phil Hindson gave Osmotherley a deserved three points.
Ainderby manager John Dolan was disappointed with his team's first half performance. He said: "We were a bit flat at the start. We could have played a little bit better.
"We didn't counter-attack like we normally do and we didn't use the wings as much as we should have. A few stern words were said at half time and we came out fighting a little bit more. But it is the not the result we wanted."
Ainderby looked nervous from the off and they were behind after just eight minutes. A ball over the top from James Harrison caught the home defence square and Watson had time to pick his spot from eight yards.
And it was 2-0 moments later. Matty Croft whipped in a lovely ball from the right and it fell invitingly to Holtby at the far post who easily beat Ainderby goalkeeper Craig Owen.
Osmotherley looked like the side chasing promotion in an impressive first half display. It could have been all over before the break as Wayne Allen was denied by Owen before Shaun Harrison fired just wide.
Ainderby's only real effort at goal was deflected shot from Tom Chapman that barely troubled Anthony Barnes in the Ozzie goal.
Despite the stern words from Dolan, Ainderby were slow out of the blocks at the start of the second half as only a terrific save from Owen kept out Hindson, while a last-ditch goal-line clearance from Tom O'Gorman denied Watson.
But from out of nowhere Ainderby got themselves back in the match. They halved the arrears in the 67th minute when Osmotherley failed to clear a corner and O'Gorman turned the ball home with his weaker right foot from eight yards, and it was 2-2 six minutes later.
Chapman swung over a delightful cross from the right and O'Gorman sent a looping header beyond Barnes, who did manage to push the ball onto the underside of the crossbar but could not prevent it going over the line.
Ainderby now sensed the win they needed and they threw everything forward but Ozzie broke out to regain the lead 12 minutes from time. James Harrison headed the ball back across the goal and Watson was on hand to prod home.
The hosts heads went down after that and Hindson sealed the points seven minutes later. He was surely only trying to put the ball back into the box from out on the left some 30 yards from goal, but it flew straight over the stranded Owen to make it 4-2.
Dolan said: "It's been a tough season for us. We've battled really hard. We got ourselves right to the top but we have faltered in the last few games."
Ainderby can still seal promotion if they win their final match, but with title-chasing Catterick Village the opponents, they may well feel this was their best chance.