Goals galore as Willington Quay Saints salvage a draw

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An entertaining game at the Barking Dog ended all square with the Willington Quay Saints ruing a manic start to the second half which ultimately cost them all three points.

It took captain Mark Henderson’s header 20 minutes from time to rescue a point.

After a tough game against Gateshead Reserves the previous week, the Quay were looking to bounce back against a young Prudhoe side.

But things did not go to plan early on as Adam Greenwood put the visitors ahead after a minute and a half as he pounced on a defensive mistake to slam the ball past Carl Henderson.

Prudhoe should have doubled their lead but striker Scott Douglas fired wide when gifted a glorious chance after a pass was deflected into his path as Saints made a shaky start to the game.

The nerves were eased after ten minutes as Mark Wilkinson grabbed an equaliser as he fired in a fine low left strike from 25 yards for his first goal for Saints after signing from the Lindisfarne.

Five minutes later Lumi Ballabanaj also got his first ever Saints goal, pouncing on a loose ball in the box to fire a low shot under the keeper.

The frenetic opening continued as chances were squandered at either end with Greenwood a huge threat for the visitors as he fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box while Wilkinson was desperately unlucky not to grab his second of the afternoon as he brilliantly chipped the keeper from 25 yards only to see the ball hit the bar and fall into the keeper’s grateful hands.

Saints’ hard work to be 2-1 up at half-time was undone in a terrible start to the second half as they somehow conceded two goals in the first minute.

First Douglas brought down a fine Greenwood cross to fire home from eight yards then just seconds later Douglas put Greenwood clean through and he slotted past Henderson to give his side the lead.

Rattled after their nightmare start to the half, the Quay went on the attack and Ballabanaj should have shot after he found space in the box but he hesitated and the chance was lost, then a speculative shot from Matty Adams sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Micky Austin then nearly made it a hat-trick of first Saints goals as he rose highest to meet a Phil Doolan corner but glanced his header wide of the far post.

The next corner from Saints saw them level up proceedings.

Doolan’s delivery was on the money and Henderson climbed to head the ball into the far corner, making it 3-3 with 20 minutes remaining and everything to play for.

There was always going to be one big chance for one of the teams to win it, and when it came it was Prudhoe who created it as Greenwood superbly chipped to the back post where Douglas looked set to grab the winner only for Henderson to superbly deny him with a low save.

Another home draw for Saints who are still winless at home but a good performance was undone by terrible starts to both halves.

Both sides created chances in an enjoyable game with the draw a fair result as both put in a cracking effort.

Next up for the Quay is the Howdon derby away to Wallsend Labour Club on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm at High Flatworth.