Easton 3-3 East Harling
The first team travelled to Easton College on Saturday looking to maintain their position at the top of the division but faced tough opposition in Chris Brownbridge’s Easton that are hoping for promotion themselves.
Lee Freeman made only his second start in goal for the first team in the absence of Rob Goodwin and Jamie Woodcock continues his comeback from a back injury.
Craig Skipp was forced to pull out of the squad in the morning meaning the Greens named the same outfield 10 players that had battled so well to overcome Poringland Wanderers the previous week.
There was a welcome return to brothers Rory and Callum Olpin who both took a place on the bench after returning from University and USA respectively.
The away side made a fast start and took the lead early on when a Conroy free kick evaded everyone and looped over the home sides goalkeeper and into the net for the strikers 10th goal of the season.
The lead was shortlived however as Easton broke quick and some neat footwork in the box allowed a home striker to slot past Freeman.
With the visitors in shock, the home side quickly went ahead when a long ball found the run of the pacey winger who cut in before firing a shot in off the post via a deflection from the boot of Sivier.
The home side were now threatening to run riot as twice more they broke through in the clear but couldn’t finish.
The third came very soon after as once more they broke free and despite a superb goal line clearance from Allin, the striker was able to send his effort into the top corner at the second attempt.
The visitors were falling apart and and except a Morris free kick which went just wide they had nothing to offer in all departments.
Callum Olpin then replaced Sivier.
Rory Olpin replaced Piggott.
The second half started much more tighter and the game became a midfield battle with the home side looking comfortable in defence.
The game changed massively in the 70th minute as the home sides right back flew into a tackle on Conroy very forcefully and received a straight red card from the ref.
A way back into the game looked likely soon after but the referee somehow turned away a blatant penalty as Barnett was tripped in the box.
The away side were starting to dominate and Wetteland went close with a powerful strike before Morris saw a free kick well held.
12 minutes remaining and the greens found a way back into the game as a corner from Callum Olpin was superbly met by the head of vice captain Bareham from 6 yards.
The away side were then reduced to 10 men themselves as Wetteland was given his marching orders.
Despite having the same amount of players on the field of play once more, the away side stayed on the front foot and were soon level.
An inch perfect Callum Olpin free kick was this time met by skipper Durrant who thumped home his powerful header from 8 yards.
Conroy nearly won it in the dying minutes and Senior was unable to take advantage when he went clear but the referee called play back for a greens free kick but the visitors would’ve preferred the advantage as the home side were nervously calling the full time whistle.
So a point gained in the end which looked very unlikely at half time but a strong ending nearly saw us snatch all 3 points.
We head into the new year joint top but with a game in hand.
Easton 3-3 East Harling