Thursday, 18 April 2013

Ten-man Town Dun-well to grab a late point


A last gasp equaliser from Mickey Dunwell saw 10-man Town stage another late comeback to rescue a point from a bad tempered match at Kingsley Park on Wednesday evening.

It did not appear to be Town's night when the 75th minute dismissal of Grant Hickman for a professional foul on Liam McKenna was quickly followed by a free kick from Mark Waite to give the hosts an undeserved lead.

But Peter Mulcaster's side once again refused to accept defeat and in the second minute of stoppage time, Dunwell rose to nod home a long throw from Dave Alderson and bring them a share of the spoils.

"We have shown great character once again," said a proud Mulcaster at the whistle. "Ironically we played better in the first half and perhaps could have been 2 or 3 up, but that is football.

"The conditions were awful, especially in the second period, but we stuck at it and a draw was the least we deserved in the end."

With several players still unavailable, Mulcaster was forced into two changes from Monday's win at Whickham. Hickman returned to the back four in place of Alex Caisley, while Dunwell replaced the absent Col Anderson up front.

Playing against the strong wind in the first half, Town started well. Steve Butterworth was at the heart of everything, shooting wide early on before then crossing for Dunwell to place a header narrowly over the top. Butterworth then somehow failed to force the ball home from close range after Dunwell and Andrew Porritt had been denied by Ryton goalkeeper John Mordey.

Adam Emson, without a goal in the previous three matches, fired wide after a strong burst down the right, before Dunwell drilled over the top from 20 yards after linking well with his strike partner, twelve minutes before the break.

The hosts were restricted to mainly long range efforts but they could have gone in front moments later when a shot from Michael Watson was deflected wide by James Bowman with goalkeeper James Briggs wrong-footed.

With the wind picking up in the second half, and blowing from left to right, good football was almost impossible and it led to strange 45 minutes. Goal kicks were blown straight out of play while one free kick from Waite ended up sailing back over his head.

But the hosts felt they had taken the lead within seconds of the restart when a shot from Lawrence McKenna was parried by Briggs before Craig Winter hooked the ball clear. The Ryton players were convinced it had already crossed the line but referee John Harper waved away their appeals and it remained 0-0.

With the wind making it difficult for Albion to get out of their own half, chances came and went as Town chased the all-important breakthrough. Winter shot narrowly wide after a neat turn on the edge of the area, before Emson and Monday night goal hero Marcus Laing were denied by Mordey.

Town then felt they should have had a penalty just past the hour-mark when a corner from the right by Bowman appeared to strike the arm of defender Daniel Iredale, who was deceived by the flight of the ball, but again Harper was unimpressed.

The whole complexion of the match, however, turned on the dismissal of Hickman fifteen minutes from time. McKenna appeared to run across the path of Hickman but having blown for a foul, Harper was left with little option other than to produce a red card for the unfortunate defender.

Then, to rub salt into Town wounds, Waite stepped up and drilled the free kick around the outside of the wall and just inside Briggs' near post.

With defeat almost certain to end any lingering promotion hopes, Mulcaster's side once again showed the character that has seen them come from behind on more than 10 occasions this season. Emson and Winter both come close to an equaliser in the final ten minutes before they were rewarded for their efforts in the second minute of stoppage time.

A long throw from the right by Alderson caused confusion in the Ryton area and Dunwell rose highest to nod the ball past Mordey from 6 yards to send the travelling fans behind the goal into raptures.

But the night ended on an unsavoury note as the home players reacted to a challenge from Ian Smurthwaite which lead to a 21-man brawl. Referee Harper appeared to lose control and in the end showed just two yellow cards when he could have easily brandished another 3 or 4 reds.

"We were never going to be able to win every match playing Monday, Wednesday and Saturday each week," said Mulcaster. "But we have been on a very good run and I cannot praise the lads highly enough."

The tough schedule continues with a trip to Jarrow Roofing on Saturday before the same opponents visit the RGPS in the semi final of the Ernest Armstrong Cup the following Wednesday.

RYTON AND CRAWCROOK - Mordey, Iredale, Compson, Crane, Turnbull, Waite, Backhouse, Watson, McKenna (Lawrence), McKenna (Liam), King.
Subs - Smith, Nairn, Baker, Ruddick, Below.

TOWN - Briggs, Alderson, Bowman, Hickman, Winter, Smurthwaite, Butterworth, Laing, Dunwell, Emson, Porritt. Subs - Caisley, Grainger.

REFEREE - J. Harper.


1 comment:

  1. Making it hard for ourselves with those kind of results against weaker teams. They are placed 13th and 15th.