Avenue goalkeeper Rhys Taylor has been named in the Vanarama National League North team of the week.
The Bradford skipper had a tough debut away at Alfreton Town, but has followed that up with consecutive clean sheets – the club’s first of the season – against Blyth and Darlington.
Taylor has impressed in those matches despite carrying a knock, making a string of fine saves to keep both North-East based sides at bay.
He had to be alert within 30 seconds of the Blyth clash, keeping out Adam Wrightson, before doing brilliantly to deny the same player as the visitors scored from the rebound – though the offside flag went up.
It wasn’t until the dying seconds of that match that Taylor showed his ability once more, denying Robbie Dale who looked a cert to score when through one-on-one.
He started the Darlington game in similar fashion, blocking Will Hatfield’s effort well before reacting brilliantly to prevent Justin Donawa from prodding the ball past him.
The former Fylde stopper then made a stunning save to keep out a Darlinton header which had rebounded off the inside of the post and looked destined for the back of the net.
Taylor went on to save with his legs from Adam Campbell and keep out Louis Laing’s deflected effort, before guessing right for Stephen Thompson’s 97th minute penalty, only to see it thump the outside of the post.
The goalkeeper will be looking for more of the same this Saturday as he will be expected to line up in Avenue’s home contest with AFC Telford United.
Words: Joe Cockburn
Image: John Rhodes