FULL MATCH REPORT
The Lockmen were punished for a slack five minutes after dominating play against title-chasing Gornal Athletic. In their first visit to Garden Walk since winning the Premier Division title back in May 79, they made a bright start as Mikey Clark went on the attack after only two minutes, cutting inside his marker before firing wide. Eight minutes later he repeated the trick in the next attack, this time his cross was too deep and was eventually cleared. Skipper Paul Holden then broke for Willenhall and fed Matt Dorgan in the box but he fired wide. The Reds had a free-kick then on twenty minutes but the home team broke from it, eventually forcing their first corner as they moved smartly upfield. The Peacocks then saw a header hit the post before Steve Jones fired the rebound wide. Tom Piggott was then booked for the home side before Danny Hemmings took a free-kick out on the right on 23 minutes. The kick picked out Graham Ashton but his effort was wide. Hemmings was involved in the next attack ten minutes later when he raced down the right, exchanged passes with Steve Nurse before picking out Harry Rickus, who fired just over. Four minutes later and The Lockmen took a deserved lead when Clark fired in from distance out on the right with the Athletic keeper Rich Kennerdy letting the effort slip through his hands. Gornal broke to win a corner a minute later before Clark nearly doubled his and Willenhall’s tally five minutes from the break when another effort was badly fumbled by the home keeper.
HT GORNAL ATHLETIC 0-1 WILLENHALL TOWN
Hemmings found himself booked on 53 minutes before Gornal won a corner three minutes later, the header though was off target. On 62 minutes Rickus was played clear down the right but as he entered the penalty area his shot was curled beyond the far post. Rickus then fired high and wide after 66 minutes as the visitors continued to look the better side. After this effort Eddie Wilson and then Danny Jarrett were introduced in quick succession in attempt to finish the game. Wilson was unlucky five minutes after his introduction when he skinned two men but fired at the keeper on 71 minutes. A minute on and Clark was played clean through down the inside right channel, again The Lockmen failed to finish as he flashed his shot wide. Athletic got out of jail with fifteen minutes remaining when Piggott was played through and he fired home the leveller. Jarrett then did well for The Reds to win the ball inside the six yard box, he then attempted to lift his effort over the keeper who managed to grab the ball at full stretch. Sixty seconds later and the double whammy was complete when Piggott was left unmarked on the right hand side of the area and fired home a cross from the left wing. Wilson was then booked on 84 minutes for an innoccuous foul before Ashton headed just wide on 88 minutes. Clark then fired the last chance wide on 90 minutes and Gornal grabbed a barely deserved three points to keep the pressure on at the top of the table.
FT GORNAL ATHLETIC 2-1 WILLENHALL TOWN
By Chris Burton – Match Secretary
Reproduction by prior-consent of The Lockmen Limited t/a Willenhall Town FC only