Arron Parkinson made four changes from the side which beat Leicester Nirvana last weekend, with Dan Childs and Phil Cassidy replacing Kieran Fitzgerald and Dean Lukeman, who were both unavailable. New signing Sam Jackson was named on the bench for successive games, and brothers Taylor and Jordan Orozs swapped positions, with the latter starting outfield while the other was rested. Ollie Stanbridge was preferred to Tom McGowan in the centre of midfield.
Jack McMillian’s goal early in the first half was cancelled out by a Ross Harris’ header as we were held to a draw by Oadby Town, at Elderstubbs, on Tuesday evening.
The visitors kept it tight and compact in defence during the first half, ensuring they always had plenty of numbers back, while we enjoyed the majority of possession.
The opener came on five minutes when James Ireland’s quick thinking from a free kick, in a dangerous position, landed at the feet of McMillian and he smashed the ball past Lustin Cerga.
Strangly, the goal failed to open the game up and Oadby came out of their shell in the opening twenty, without troubling.
Adam Creaney began the game on the left, until naturally founding himself in his position up top, and Town began their search of an equaliser.
Adam Confue and Luke Emery saw close range efforts stopped, as Sam Preston was proving a rock at the heart of the Oadby defence, blocking our shots time and again.
But having not taken the opportunities, we were always susceptible to the counter-attack and Oadby produced the best two efforts of the half. Preston went so close with a header from a McMillian free kick, and Cerga had to be at his best to stop the Poachers top scorer, Sam Hollis, in an one-in-one situation.
Then the equaliser came, as Creaney’s clipped corner over the top found Harris running from deep, and the skipper drilled his header to level it up, six minutes before the break.
We created some good half chances on goal after the interval, only for James Connell to deny Emery twice, while Jordan Orosz missed an open goal from a tight angle. Our best chance came eight minutes from the end as Phil Cassidy tested Connell with an elegant bended strike from range, only for the keeper to claw away for a corner.
The latter stages became scrappy as both teams tried to get the upper hand, but Oadby were dangerous as the front two of Hollis and Tom Mangan carved up the better opportunities to win the game.
The last 5 minutes proved to be a test of character for Town’s back line, as firstly Hollis used his skill to beat two defenders on a mazy run, only to see his curler shave the outside of the Cerga’s post.
The heart beating moment came deep into stoppage time as this time Hollis turned provider, feeding Mangan who cut in from the right, and thundered an effort past the beaten Cerga. The striker could only watch and see the effort crash against the inside of the post, rolling back in front of the goal mouth before Joe Merrill cleared.
The Purple Army had the last sniff of winning the game at the death, but the impressive substitute Sam Jackson was unlucky to witness his edge of the box effort whizz around the outside of the far post.
Town: Cerga, Merrill, Childs, Harris (c), Alexander, Confue, Jordan Orosz (Jackson 72), Cassidy, Emery, Stanbridge (Taylor Orosz 59), Creaney. Substitutes (not used): McGowan, Finlay.
Oadby: Connell, Brown (Hurst 53), Swain, Preston, Peaden (c), McMillan, Samples, Ireland, Hollis, Mangan, Earps. Substitutes (not used): Ward, Russell, Reynolds.
Goals: Town – Harris 39; Oadby – McMillan 5.
Booked: Town – Harris (Foul); Oadby – Peaden (Foul), Samples (Dissent)
|Oadby Town FC||Draw|
|February 19, 2019||7:45 pm||United Counties League||2019||90'|