It finished all square in an entertaining fixture for the neutral at Elderstubbs, on Saturday afternoon, as we fought back from a goal deficit to salvage a 2-2 draw.
Two goals in either half from Taylor Orosz and Kieran Fitzgerald had given us the spoils against Sleaford Town, who were ahead after the break when Tom Siddons produced a clever finish to beat Lustin Cerga.
The Green’s cause was hindered when keeper Chris Adams failed to control Adam Creaney’s over hit pass, and Orosz wasted no time in taking advantage after 7 minutes. The visitors levelled things up through Brad Hockin just before the break, before Siddons sent Elderstubbs into silence with their second.
But Sleaford couldn’t hold onto the lead and the Purple Army found an equaliser through Fitzgerald, with 18 minutes left on the clock.
Both sides had chances to clinch the game during a frantic final few minutes, but the winner just wouldn’t come.
We were on top early on and there was an effort on goal from Creaney in the fourth minute. Our striker’s first shot of the game bobbled through to goalkeeper Adams, and, three minutes later, we took the lead.
Adam Creaney collected the ball deep into Daventry territory, advanced into the centre circle and played a pass to the edge of the 18-yard box where Adams poorly controlled and Orosz produced a tackle, rounded Adams, and eight yards out rolled the ball home.
Despite the frenetic nature of the game and the high tempo from both sides, chances after the goal were few and far between at that stage, but Sleaford had a great opportunity to level the scoring on 18 minutes. Cassidy was tackled outside our area, the ball ran to Ben Machin who chipped it down their left. Ewan Armstrong burst into the box and got a good contact on the edge of the six-yard box, but his lob somehow managed to find the outside roof of the net.
And Hockin was there with a drive from distance ten minutes later as he latched onto a loose ball, this one taking Cerga by surprise due to the wind. The keeper managed to the see the ball into his chest.
On 36 minutes, our best chance of the opening period started from the bullish Adam Confue. The midfielder was an ever present thorn in Sleaford side with his tireless display, and he won a free kick on the left side 30 yards out. Creaney dinked the set piece towards the far post for Dean Lukeman goal bound header acrobatically tipped over the bar by Adams.
The visitors were growing into the game as the half went on and The Greens equalised just before the interval. Ben Machin’s pass into the middle found Scott Coupland and the ball ran nicely for Hockin, who drilled it low into the back of the net from close range to send Elderstubbs quiet.
Just six minutes into the second period, the visitors edged the contest. Liam Hargreave picked up the ball in the left channel and sent a pass in which saw Siddons turning Ross Harris and hit the ball first-time past Cerga and into the corner.
This woke up Arron Parkinson’s troops and we were testing Adams once more, Fitzgerald this time advancing into a dangerous area with the ball and letting fly with a swirling shot which the keeper did well to collect, on the hour.
Eleven minutes later, Elderstubbs was rocking! Creaney’s free-kick wide on the left close to the throw in line – awarded after Lukeman was fouled – was whipped in and Fitzgerald moved into the area and sent a thundering drive into the far bottom corner of Adams’ net.
The final few minutes were scrappy, Sleaford were still a threat and causing us plenty of nervy moments without really testing Cerga, while substitute Jackson hit a dipping drive from 25 yards which Adams saved.
As the game entered its final minutes, Cerga was called into action to tip over the bar from sub Joe Smith’s 25-yard effort. Neither team created anymore chances in the final seconds before the whistle blew, forcing us to settle for a point.
Town: Cerga, Merril, Lukeman, Harris (c), Alexander, Confue, Fitzgerald, Cassidy (Jackson 62), Orosz, Stanbridge (McGowan 71), Creaney. Substitutes (not used): Childs, Dumbleton, Finlay.
Sleaford: Adams, Worthington, Hayden (c), Machin, Bean, Hargreave, Hockin (Smith 72), Armstrong, Siddons, Couzens, Coupland. Substitutes (not used): Greenwood, Newman, Oliver, Start.
Goals: Town – Orosz (7), Fitzgerald (72); Sleaford – Hockin (41), Siddons (51).
Yellow Cards: Town – None; Sleaford – None.
|Sleaford Town FC||Draw|
|March 16, 2019||3:00 pm||United Counties League||2019||90'|