Late drama at Darlington Road seals first defeat in five for the Steelmen.
Redcar were left frustrated after a disappointing performance on the road, striking the woodwork three times on an evening in which West Auckland came out on top in every department.
Sonni Coleman grabbed Athletic’s lone goal of the contest, reducing the arrears shortly before the interval after the home side’s early double, with a contentious breakaway goal in the closing stages delivering the killer blow to Steve Connolly’s side.
After their energy-sapping performance on Tuesday night against the league leaders, the Steelmen appeared tired and sluggish, second to every ball and giving West Auckland time and space to fashion opportunities.
It took just 14 minutes for the hosts to materialise a shot on goal, taking an early lead through Cieran Jackson, whose effort from the left flank trickled passed Jack Norton before nestling in the far corner.
Despite a lack of possession, Redcar weren’t without their chances. Isaac Walker came the closest to producing an equaliser, his curling effort from the edge of the area dropping the wrong side of the right-hand post.
Just before the half hour mark, Athletic became the architects of their own downfall, giving the ball away on the edge of the area, where Jackson and Heslop combined to punish the mistake and double Town’s advantage.
It was Isaac Walker who finally provided the creative spark to give the Steelmen a lifeline before the break, driving the ball across the box towards Sonni Coleman, whose low strike found the back of the net despite the best efforts of West Auckland goalkeeper, Mathew Wilkinson.
Redcar started the second period the brighter, but their efforts to salvage an equaliser seemed to be thwarted by the frame of the goal.
Walker was first to be denied, his driven free kick deflecting off the wall and out via the left-hand post, whilst Coleman suffered the same fate minutes later after latching onto the forward’s clever through ball.
With the post hurting Athletic’s chances of drawing level, Jack Norton was relied upon to keep his side in the game. The keeper produced a collection of brilliant stops across the contest, demonstrating quick reflexes time and time again as West Auckland sought to kill off any hope.
As the match neared its final stages, the Steelmen were once again denied by the upright, this time an effort from Donny Holdsworth, cannoning off the far post and away from follow-up runs in the centre.
Donny was once again in the action in the 83rd minute, the forward forced to ground from behind as he looked to get a shot away, with the referee unmoved by the warranted appeals.
Rubbing salt into the wounds of an aggrieved Redcar side, West Auckland mounted a quick counterattack, with late introduction Blinco meeting a dinked cross to supply his side with a contentious third goal, leaving Steve Connolly’s side reeling after their first defeat of the month.
Goal Scorers: Sonni Coleman (38).
|21/10/2022||7:30 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|