Steeton 3

Shelly 3

THE Cougar Park faithful are certainly getting value for money as another goal fest saw both teams take a share of the points in a thrilling draw on Bank Holiday Monday in Hallmark Security League Division One North.

The hosts were forced into four changes from Saturday’s win over Atherton Laburnum Rovers, with Freddie Maddocks coming in for his debut and Andy Lee also made his first start, with Steve Pearson and Jordan Wilmore also returning to the side.

It was the visitors who started the better and a ball from the Shelly right wasn’t dealt with and Craig Billington fired home from close range. The visitors tested Steeton more and Alfie Stevens Neale did well to hold a long-range effort. Ben Clarkson had an shot on the turn but failed to trouble the home keeper.

Shelly looked to have good claims for a penalty but Tim Hird’s challenge was deemed a fair one by the officials.

With the clock running down for half-time, a long throw from Maddocks was held up well by Aaron Hollindrake and he laid the ball into Andy Lee who calmly rolled in the equaliser.

The second-half saw the game swing from end-to-end and Toby Rawcliffe and Hird were getting on top in the midfield battle.

A Hollindrake header was superbly saved by the keeper and Andy Lee fired an acrobatic overhead kick the wrong side of the crossbar.

The visitors regained the lead in the 62nd minute as the Steeton defence hesitated and Billington made no mistake for his second goal of the game.

Steeton reacted by replacing Alistair Morgan with Gaz Driscoll as they moved to a 3-4-3 formation.

It soon paid dividends as Driscoll did well on the right and his link-up play with Wilmore found Hollindrake and he made no mistake with the outside of his boot to level things again.

The game then turned around again as, from the kick-off, Shelly went forward and a long ball was misjudged by Joe Mason and that let the visitors in. Stevens Neale did well to make a save but had no chance as Brice Pouamoun made it 3-2 with only five minutes to play.

The drama wasn’t over as Wilmore chased down a long ball and delivered a great ball from the right and Lee was at the back post to guide the ball into the net following a defensive blunder to again bring Steeton back to parity.

Mason then made a great last-ditch tackle ensure that Steeton did take the point that on the balance of play was probably a fair result.

Steeton: Stevens Neale, Mason, Maddocks (Mortimer), Morgan (Driscoll), Pearson, Hird, Wilmore, Rawcliffe, Hollindrake, Clarkson, Lee (Flaherty)

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Steeton continue to impress in Division One and they banked another three points with a 5-3 home win over Atherton LR, with the visitors also having a man sent off.

Ben Clarkson opened the scoring at Cougar Park in the 15th minute, but the visitors hit back with a brace from Henoc Mukendi.

Aaron Hollindrake then restored parity before the Atherton keeper was sent off in first-half stoppage time for handling outside his area.

With no keeper on their bench, Atherton played the second half with an outfield player in goal, and the Chevrons plundered three more goals.

Liam Blades netted before Clarkson bagged his brace, and Andy Briggs made it a nap hand for the home side, but there was still time for Mukendi to claim his hat-trick in the 85th minute.