Vics' continued the recent good run of form with an odd-goal in three victory away to Brighouse Town this afternoon. A first-half double from hit-man Gary Burnett ensured the win with the host's full-back Ben Atkinson netting a late consolation for the West Yorkshiremen.

You can view theEvo-Stik NPL Division One North table in full HERE | http://www.footballwebpages.co.uk/northonenorth/league

 

Saturday 9th April 2016. COMPETITION - Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. VENUE - The Dual-Seal Stadium, Brighouse.

 

LINE-UP'S - Brighouse Town - Hagreen, Atkinson, Fisher, Pollard, Hewitt, Hurtley, Scully (Robinson H/T), Haigh (caution) (Harris H/T), Hall, Facey, Henry (C).  Un-used subs' - Stead, Wallace, Tolley.

 

Vics' - Springthorpe, Byrne, Watson (caution), Regan, Duxbury, Cook, Summerskill (Roddy 71'), Ball, Howard (C), Amis (Bennett 65'), Burnett (Gyimah 84').  Un-used subs' - Simon Lakeland, Mike Clarke.

 

GOALS - Brighouse Town - Ben Atkinson 86'.   Vics' - Gary Burnett 20', 29'.    Unavailable for Vics' - Abou Sanogo (groin), Cedric Krou (knee).

 

Vics' started the game in confident mood, and came out of the blocks fast. Brighouse had the first attempt at goal on 2' though; winger Ashley Scully stinging the fingers of Vics' keeper' Mason Springthorpe with a powerful shot from 16 yards. Gary Burnett should have given the Green and Whites' the lead on 13' when he seized upon a mix-up between home full-back Ben Atkinson and glove-man Paul Hagreen. Burnett took the ball round Hagreen but could only shoot wide of the far post on an angle from five yards out despite the net being un-guarded. Vics' domination continued in the opening quarter and took the lead on 20' when Gary Burnett atoned for his earlier glaring miss by steering in a diving header from 6 yards out following a superb curling free-kick into the danger zone by Brian Summerskill. Burnett doubled his and Vics' tally for the afternoon nine minutes later sweeping home a right-foot shot into the corner of the net from 8 yards out after Iain Howard had carved the home defence wide-open with a defence-splitting pass that ran into Burnett's path with un-erring accuracy. Brighouse battled gamely despite the two goal deficit and on 36' Daniel Facey just missed out at the far post on the stretch atttempting to steer home Sam Hewitt's deep cross.

 

PICTURED - Vics' striker Gary Burnett is cock-a-hoop after scoring his and Vics' second goal of the game, with striker partner Josh Amis in hot pursuit to celebrate.

Gary Burnett Brig Town 16

 

HALF-TIME - Brighouse 1-2 Vics'.

 

Iain Howard nearly scored a wonder goal on 51'; he spotted the keeper' off his line and lobbed the ball goalwards and it only bounced just over from around 30 yards out on the left hand-side. Gary Burnett came close to a hat-trick on 62' when he rapped a right-foot shot inches wide from strike partner Josh Amis' lay-off and Brighouse were hanging on grimly. The home side did respond soon after on 73' with a header from Ryan Hall being grasped by Vics' keeper Mason Springthorpe at the second attempt. Brighouse grabbed a consolation goal on 86' when Ben Atkinson arrowed a right-foot shot into the corner of Vics' net from 22 yards that keeper' Mason Springthorpe had no chance of saving. Vics' sub' Richie Bennett flashed a left-foot drive centimetres over the bar in injury time after being released into the left-hand side of the area by an inch-perfect Iain Howard assist. The additional three minutes of time after 90' were up were seen out comfortably by the Vics' as a third successive win on the spin in the league was recorded.

 

Vics' M.O.M - Gary Burnett. Two very well-taken goals, could have had four or five and penetrated the Brig' defence with his incisive runs & tireless work all game.

 

Manager Adam Lakeland's verdict on the third win on the trot -

At this stage of the season its all about winning and ensuring you get all three points. This was another difficult game away to a competitive team who possess pace in the top end of the pitch. The playing surface was bobbly making it a leveller at times so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we only beat them narrowly 1-0 earlier on in the season.

I thought first half we were terrific and thoroughly deserved to be up at the break. We were in complete control of the game and were by far the dominant side creating numerous opportunities and doing so by playing at a good tempo with and without the ball plus showing much more composure in possession which was especially pleasing. We played with good variety when attacking, going direct when we had to and retaining possession when they were deep which made us less predictable and certainly more of a threat. Gary Burnett's finishes were top drawer and he was unfortunate not to get a hat-trick, he really has the bit between his teeth at the moment!
When you come out for the second half 0-2 up you always expect a bit of a reaction from the opposition and I said to the players that winning by a two goal margin is dangerous as the third goal is critical and if we allowed them to get it, especially early on; then there would be a swing in momentum and it could turn out to be a more difficult afternoon than it needed to be. 
Brighouse did put us under more pressure in the opening 15-20 minutes of the second period although we restricted them to very little and no clear-cut chances and I thought we looked reasonably comfortable through this period. We then grew stronger in the game again having a number of half-chances ourselves to increase our lead but failed to capitalise on them. When Ben Atkinson scored a volley from 20+ yards late on, a fantastic strike I must say - we could have quite easily panicked and got ragged but credit to the players for the way in which they saw out the game staying strong defensively, maintaining focus and discipline and we had another two chances to get a third goal in the dying stages which we should have done better with.
Overall we were the better team and deserved our win. The score-line suggests that the game was a lot more even than it actually was but as I said its the points in the bag which is most important at this stage. I was very pleased with how organised we looked defensively today. Clarkie (Michael Clarke) has been ill since the game on Tuesday night at Mossley and wasn’t fit to play today. I admire him immensely for his honesty in coming forward and saying he wasn’t 100% as it shows that his priority is the team and the club which epitomises the lad he is. Obviously him missing out gave Andy Watson his opportunity and I thought he and Matty Regan were excellent which gives me a massive headache ahead of the HOME game Vs Kendal Town on Wednesday night.
We go into the Kendal game knowing that another three points will assure us of a play-off place and so we want to get that confirmed as soon as possible. We will approach the game full of confidence off the back of three wins in what has been an excellent week's work by the players.

 

Match report & interviews by Jamie Dewsbury.