A SUPERB second-half goal from Graham Caygill last Saturday, his third of the week, gave Northallerton Town a hard fought but important victory at Brandon United.
There had been very little to choose between the sides for much of this scrappy encounter played on a difficult pitch, but Caygill scored a goal of real quality 20 minutes from time to give Peter Mulcaster’s side a second away win in five days.
The Town boss said: “Brandon had a good result in midweek against North Shields so they were cock-a-hoop and they made us work hard. We didn’t really get out of second gear which we are disappointed with really. But a win is a win.”
Mulcaster was able to name the same side that had played so well at Birtley the previous midweek, giving a second start to on-loan Horden goalkeeper Steven Hubery, while Caygill was looking to continue his good goal-scoring form.
But Town were slow out of the blocks in a very low-key first half. In fact the most interesting aspect of the opening 45 minutes was a freak hailstorm that took everyone by surprise.
Neither side was able to fashion many chances and in fact the only one of real note did not arrived until eight minutes before the break when Colin Anderson’s shot was easily saved by Brandon goalkeeper Chris Sawyer.
But Town began to turn the screw after the restart. Grant Hickman saw a header tipped over the bar by Sawyer before skipper Gav Parkin and Anderson again both came close.
And the pressure finally paid off, 20 minutes from time.
Dale Elgie played a lovely ball through to Caygill in the inside right position and he held off defender Mark Ferguson before chipping the ball over the stranded Sawyer from 20 yards.
But instead of pushing on from there, Town seemed happy to sit back and invite Brandon onto them. With the lively Andrew Blackburn looking dangerous down the right, the hosts almost salvaged a point in the closing stages.
Substitute Mark Bischuk perhaps should have done better with a close range effort flew wide of the right-hand upright, while Hubery then produced a great save to touch a Blackburn effort onto the post as Town held on.
Mulcaster said: “Graham [Caygill] scored a great goal again but we were not clinical enough. We had two bad results which we know about, and now we have had two good results. The performances could have been better but its results that matter.
It has been a very, very good week for us but we have to keep it going now.”
Following a midweek trek to Whitehaven, Town face titlechasing Jarrow Roofing at the Calvert Stadium tomorrow.
Kick off is 3pm and admission is £5 for adults and £1 for children.
TownTV will be covering the match and highlights will appear on their YouTube channel on Sunday morning.