March 9, 2013 by Ben Willoughby
Paul Benns’ double was enough to put Greenalls back on top of the pile outright as Lee Webster’s men record back to back league wins at Barnton’s expense.
Neil Glendinning had missed a penalty just before half time for the Greens, but a tactical tweak from Webster reaped a reward as Benns went on to net the winner in the second half.
Greenalls did give themselves work to do despite dominating the game.
Goalkeeper Jack Trubshaw fluffed his lines from a Rob Clarke backpass, and Nathan Conlan swooped in to knock the ball into an empty net after six minutes.
Barely a minute later and Greenalls were on terms. Neil Sutch, who had an excellent game leading the line found Benns in the centre, and the forward had time to control the ball and slot home into the bottom right hand corner to give PSO instant parity.
Benns then almost turned provider as his cross was tipped onto the bar by Christopher Proudlove in the Barnton goal. Jon Leatherbarrow’s resulting shot was blocked behind as a combination of goalkeeper and defenders narrowed the forward’s angle.
The next opening came against the run of the play. Barnton right back Jay O’Brian picked up the ball just inside Greenalls half, and the skipper traveled with the ball unopposed before unleashing a 25 yard strike which beat Trubshaw, but did not beat the post.
With the half hour mark approaching it was Greenalls turn to hit the upright. Glendinning’s central free kick was lifted over the wall, but Proudlove saw it all the way as the ball kissed the bar on it’s way over.
The midfielder wasn’t out of the action for long, as he then won himself a penalty five minutes before half time. Sutch pulled onto the left flank, and after beating O’Brian he squared to Glendinning who pushed the ball past Greg Dudley but was caught on his way through. A stonewall penalty.
Glendinning stepped up looking to add to his seven league goals, but his spot kick was at a good height for Proudlove diving to his left and the Barnton keeper got a strong hand on the ball to deny the midfielder.
Ten minutes into the second half Webster made a substitution that may have been influenced by a knock Leatherbarrow picked up late in the first half. The forward went off and was replaced by Matty Gleave, prompting Benns to move alongside Sutch up top and Gary Fox to move into the right hand side of midfield.
The new partnership upfront was looking dangerous with Benns pace and ball control complimenting Sutch’s hold up play and endeavour.
Greenalls went close to taking the lead as Sutch met a right wing corner from Glendinning, however Adam Rees on the Barnton goal line was there to clear as PSO searched for their second goal.
Benns was then involved in two sights of goal from similar positions. First Fox lifted a through ball to Benns as he broke away from the Barnton defence, but his low strike towards the far post was just off target.
Minutes later Benns almost turned provider finding Sutch just inside the box, his shot was struck firmly but not far away enough from Proudlove who gathered at the second attempt.
The chances were raining in on Barnton’s goal, and Glendinning must have known it was not his day when his sweet effort from the edge of the area nicked off a defender and drew a fantastic reaction save from Proudlove.
However the Greens did find a way past the visitor’s resistance 15 minutes from time. Another cultured corner from the right by Glendinning was glanced in from no more than eight yards by Benns, as the league leaders finally got themselves ahead.
In the last five minutes Greenalls hearts’ would have been in their mouths as they almost threw all their hard work away. Paul Molloy had escaped the Greenalls defence and was onside with a golden opportunity to steal an unlikely draw, but Trubshaw more than atoned for his earlier error saving the striker’s effort with his legs.
Trubshaw did make one more relatively easy save as Barnton pressed for the equaliser but Greenalls held out and were worthy of the three points.
Lee Webster’s men will be in a buoyant mood tonight, after collecting a win they saw second placed Linotype Cheadle’s result at Daten – a 3-2 defeat effectively doubling Greenalls lead at the top to six points.