Earlswood Town 1 Stafford Town 1
STAFFORD Town created and missed enough chances to have won three games and were left with only one point to show for their efforts when the home side grabbed a late equaliser.
Town pinned the home side back in their own half for almost all of the opening 20 minutes. In the first minute Town won a corner and captain James Price sent a shot just over the bar.
Two minutes later Jordan Bloor picked up a loose pass and chipped the keeper but his effort went high over the goal.
In a rare home attack Richard Stone held onto a low shot after ten minutes. A minute later a Mat Dockerty free kick hit the Earlswood bar and in the 19th minute Jud Ellis’ goal bound shot took a deflection for a corner.
The home side came back into the game and had a ‘goal’ disallowed for offside after 27 minutes and hit the post with Stone beaten in the 39th minute.
However, Town took the lead in the opening minute of the second half when Bloor sprinted into the penalty area and was tripped by a defender; Jake Turner sent Josh Benton the wrong way from the spot to score his first goal for Town.
The visitors were again in control of the game but failed to score the vital second goal. In the 60th minute Town hit the post and, with the keeper on the floor, the ball fell to Darryll Johns in front of a open net but he blazed the ball high over the bar. After that let off the home side got back into the game and in the 73rd minute a free kick found Chris Conway but he side footed his shot wide of the goal from close range.
Two minutes from time the home side won a corner and Roy Dunkley volleyed the equaliser into the net. In injury time Town won a corner and Ellis’ header was saved by Benton.
Town will regard this result as two points dropped in their efforts to finish in the top half of the Midland Combination Premier table.
On Saturday, Town entertain title chasing Bromsgrove Sporting in the semi finals of the Les James Challenge Cup with the winners meeting Atherstone Town in the final to be played at the Bescot Stadium in May. Kick-off at Evans Park is at 3pm.