Last gasp winner denies Redcar impressive victory over league leaders.
A massive shift at Heritage Park left the Steelmen aggrieved with just a point, with what should have been an impressive result against the league leaders marred by stoppage time heartbreak.
Donny Holdsworth struck first inside just five minutes to open the scoring, before Elgin’s close-range header left the contest all square at the halfway mark.
The second period almost mirrored the first, with Walker continuing his purple patch when rolling his side back into the lead, only to be cancelled out by a stoppage time breakaway as victory was stolen away from Redcar’s grasp.
Athletic wasted no time in gaining the upper hand, taking a shock lead after just four minutes, Isaac Walker the creator, ploughing down the left flank before serving the ball on a plate for a sliding Donny Holdsworth to knock passed Liversedge.
The early goal appeared to breathe life into the trailing league leaders, who almost provided an instant response as Whitfield’s close-range effort from the left deflected wide off the upright.
With the hosts applying sustained pressure to Redcar’s backline, Rivis saw a golden opportunity to form a cushion over the opposition go abegging, his hooked effort from Ben Dale’s header cleared off the line by a combination of goalkeeper, woodwork, and defender.
Auckland would enjoy a flurry of chances as the first period dragged on, striking the post once more through Johnson, forcing a quick reaction from Norton as Whitfield teared through 1-on-1, and rustling the side netting from Craig Gott’s curling free kick.
Just as it was beginning to look like the Steelmen would carry the lead into the break, a loose clearance in the area ricocheted off the back of another defender, giving Elgin the opportunity to stoop down to head the ball passed Norton, levelling the contest up once more.
Frustrated by the late first half equaliser, Athletic’s in-from duo combined once again just eight minutes after the interval to regain the advantage, Walker the scorer this time, rolling the ball around Liversedge and strolling it into the open net.
The Bishops now boasted the lion’s share of possession, but Redcar’s gritty defensive performance limited both the amount and quality of chances they were able to create.
Half-time substitute Giles had Auckland’s first clear-cut opportunity after the break, driving into the area before seeing his effort blocked by Ben Dale, sending his well-struck follow-up attempt narrowly wide.
With just ten minutes to go, the home side finally breached the Steelmen’s defence, Johnson tapping in a rebound after a strong stop from Norton, with celebrations thankfully cut short by the linesman’s flag.
Deep into stoppage time, Redcar’s hopes of an away day three points were dashed by a scrappy Auckland equaliser, as Johnson poked the ball under Norton after a controversial breakaway.
Athletic were left infuriated by the late goal, unhappy with an elbow in the face of Owen Clarkson in the build-up, which was left unpunished, putting a dampener on a great performance in which the club became the first to take points off the table toppers at Heritage Park this season.
Goal Scorers: Brandon Holdsworth (4), Isaac Walker (54).
|18/10/2022||7:30 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|