Saturday saw Ripon travel to Middleton Park, Ripon unbeaten in their last 5 games and unbeaten on the road, Middleton looked to be struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Similar starting 11 to last week, Mason missing out through injury, Tinsley, Puttock, Williams and Tulip came in to make up the rest of the squad.
Ripon started the game on the front foot and were causing the Middleton back line problems early doors! In the opening 5 minutes Hutchinson saw his shot from outside the box come back off the bar and somehow didn’t go in after hitting the keeper.
Spence and Haswell were causing problems up top and likewise Hodgson and Tinsley on either wing, we were getting behind the Middleton Park back line just not creating enough clear cut chances. Hutchinson and Fox were working together in the center of the park well.
22 minutes gone and Ripon got their breakthrough... a corner from Hodgson found Marsden at the back post he controlled the ball and smashed it in left footed from 5 yards! 0-1
Ripon were looking comfortable but we knew we needed more goals. The Fox/Hutchinson partnership was starting to get a grip on the game.
37 minutes gone and Spence got Ripon’s 2nd an individual goal beating the man inside the box and finishing well past the keeper. 0-2
Half time talk was all around not starting the 2nd half slow, keeping the work rate up and working for each other.
Within minutes of the 2nd half being underway Spence had a chance to put us 3 up but couldn’t connect with the ball to nudge it goal ward!
55 minutes gone and Ripon conceded the shot beating Brenna in the Ripon goal. 1-2, something for Middleton to build on?
5 minutes later Middleton conceded a penalty, Haswell taken down in the box, up stepped Baldwin from right back to slot the penalty home off the underside of the bar! 1-3.
Ripon were struggling to keep the ball in the 2nd half and Middleton were looking better! Micky made his 1st sub, Haswell replaced by Tulip and Hodgson was pushed up top with Tulip taking up the left midfield spot. Middleton were trying to push Ripon back and Ripon were sitting a bit deeper, Marsden was a doubt for the game due to illness and was now feeling the effects hence Ripon’s retreating back line.
Puttock replaced Tinsley on the right and there was less than 20 minutes to go. Ripon then conceded a penalty, Brenna came out and made contact with the Middleton player, the resulting penalty was then dispatched! 2-3!
Ripon needed to see this game out after what looked like a comfortable result at half time!!! Puttock had a chance to seal the points but couldn’t beat the keeper when in a great position!
The hard working Hutchinson was replaced by Williams with less than 10 minutes to go and Ripon managed to hold out for the final whistle!
A poor 2nd half by Ripon but another 3 points was the main thing on Saturday. Next game is away to AFC Horsforth a tough game and we will need a strong performance to come away with anything! Ripon are now 6 games unbeaten.
Team: Taylor-Widdowson (Brenna), Baldwin, Marsden, Gracey, Clarke, Hodgson, Tinsley, Fox, Hutchinson, Haswell, Spence
Updated 12:55 - 10 Oct 2016 by Daniel Metcalfe
Subs: Tulip, Puttock, Williams
Scorers: Marsden, Spence, Baldwin (Pen)
MOTM: Martin Hutchinson