The tough run of January fixtures continued for the young Town U21s as they travelled to South Yorkshire to face a Hemsworth Miners Welfare side brimming with confidence and flying high at the top of the league.Town started brightly creating numerous opportunities to get their noses in front early, but tame shots and wasted chances kept the score line level, a scenario that would continue for much of the night.
Hemsworth finally broke the deadlock midway through the half. After a game of head tennis in the Town area the decisive final touch came off the head of one of the home players with the ball looping agonisingly over the head of young Jack Wade in the Town goal.
Town kept up the pressure for the remainder of the first half and despite the home side being a goal to the good it was Town that went in at the break looking the more positive.
The second half started with Town looking for the equaliser, but getting caught on the counter by the home side who doubled their lead.
A freak third goal came soon after with the Hemsworth player diverting the ball into the net off his shoulder.
Town finally got on the score sheet on 78 minutes when a flick on by second half substitute Sam Richardson was pounced on by Charlie Anderson who rounded the keeper for a smart finish.
As the fog descended on the pitch making only half of it visible from the dugout, Town pushed forward with nothing to lose, looking for another goal to keep the momentum going, but in doing so conceded two late goals on the counter that in the end gave the scoreline a rather lop-sided look that the young Town lads didn't deserve.
So ‘Dry January' continues for the U21s. Their performance against a much older U23s team who were physically dominant bodes well for the future, but a harsh lesson on the fine margins in football as for all their chances they could only muster a solitary goal. Scant reward for their efforts while the home side converted four from four attempts on goal in the second half.
Not all doom and gloom though as there was a league debut for U17s centre back Lewis Dobson who looked commanding in that role and a real star for the future along with 16 year old full back Alex Hields who put in a man of the match performance and is now consistently producing fine displays that defy his years.
The 21s return to action on Monday night at the CNG against i2i Academy Orange, looking for a positive end to a chastening month for the young lads.
Town U21s: Wade, Hields, Dobson, Latimer, Gulzer, Lambert, Thornton, Barker, Lawn, Humphries, Anderson, Johnson, Richardson
Goals: Charlie Anderson (78)