REPORT | Whickham 2-2 West Allotment
The spoils were shared at the Glebe on Friday evening as Whickham and West Allotment played a very competitive and hard-fought game finishing 2-2.
Zak Atkinson's first half goal was enough to give the Lang Jacks the half-time lead however, two very well-worked goals scored by Mikel Thompson and Guy Bates in the second half gave Allotment the lead.
With just over five minutes to play, Whickham levelled the game following a melee in the penalty area - A goal which has been credited as a Jack Errington own goal.
The beginning of the game was certainly a feisty one with both sides putting in some big tackles early doors resulting in a few fouls.
The first big chance of the game nearly came after 13 minutes as Whickham looked to catch Allotment on the counterattack. The ball was swung into the box from the right-hand side however, Michael Leech was able to rotate his body and hook the ball away with an excellent clearance.
On 18 minutes, West Allotment had their first real opportunity of the game. Gee Baltazar paced down the right wing and crossed the ball into the box. Guy Bates headed the ball into the path of Matty Hayton but the effort on goal was a comfortable save for Anderson.
Goal Line Technology would have been useful in the 20th minute. Luke Parkinson delivered an excellent corner into the box and found the head of Callum Larmouth. Larmouth's header was heading directly for the top corner but was cleared off the line according to the officials.
Whickham took the lead on 22 minutes after a quick free kick and counterattack caught the Allotment defence sleeping. Zak Atkinson headed the ball into the back of the net in an effort that he couldn't miss.
On 41 minutes, West came close for the equaliser. Mikel Thompson danced his way through a few bodies before laying the ball off to Hayton. The latter took a swipe at goal but was once again denied by Anderson with the hosts leading at half-time.
Whickham almost doubled their lead just minutes into the second half as Dunn hit the post which to a corner. From the corner, Allotment managed to clear the ball off the line.
The West Allotment equaliser came in 55th minute through Mikel Thompson. The attacking midfielder once again jinked his way past a couple of Whickham defenders and he kept his cool to slot the ball into the bottom corner.
Just after the hour-mark, a golden opportunity fell straight to Guy Bates. A long ball went over the Whickham defence and to the feet of Bates. With the ball bouncing, Bates attempted to lob Anderson however, the connection wasn't sweet and the 'keeper caught the ball.
In the 68th minute the hosts could, and maybe should, have taken the lead. A corner was whipped into the box and an unmarked Whickham player headed the ball over the bar. A glorious chance wasted.
With a quarter of the game left to be played, Guy Bates fired West Allotment into the lead for the first time. First-half substitute Jack Pearson bombed down the left wing and crossed the ball into the box. The ball fell to Bates but the forward still had work to do. He swivelled to beat one man before slamming the ball into the back of the net.
On 79 minutes, Callum Larmouth came very close to adding a third goal for West Allotment. Bates worked his way down the right before playing the ball to Larmouth. Larmouth shifted the ball onto his left foot and bent the ball towards goal however, it was just high of the target.
In the final ten minutes of the encounter, the Lang Jacks began to pile bodies forwards in search of an equalising goal. In the 82 minute, Bisset powered a shot towards goal and Hodgson was able to tip it onto the crossbar and out for a corner.
From the corner, the hosts struck. Pinball in the box led to the ball bustling the back of the net. There was a bit of confusion as to who got the last touch however, it has been credited as a Jack Errington own goal (per the Northern League website).
In a frantic last few minutes, Bates had a half-chance to win the game however, the left-footed shot was blazed over the bar with the game finishing all-square.
West Allotment: Hodgson, Baltazar, Parkinson, Bates, Higgins, Leech (Pearson 30'), Larmouth, Forster (Somerville 82'), Hayton, Thompson (Beeston 80'), Errington
Goals: Thompson (55'), Bates (75')