Adam Cole’s goal ten minutes from time sent Willington Quay Saints to their second home defeat in a row as Newcastle Benfield Reserves left a freezing Barking Dog with all three points.
After the previous week’s 5-0 thumping against Leam Rangers, Peter Donkin made six changes to the Saints line-up with Andy Breheny, Stephen King, Michael Turner, Ben Senior and Callum Ancrum back in the starting 11 whilst Micky Young made his first start of the season after recovering from a stomach operation.
Hopes that those changes would make an impact were dealt an early blow as after only four minutes Benfield took the lead, Michael Trodd’s in-swinging free kick caused panic in the Saints penalty area and when they failed to clear left back Joe Angus slotted home from six yards to give the visitors the lead.
Quay responded well and could of been level moments later as a fine pass from Young found Turner in space but his shot flashed across the face of goal after his first touch had took him wider than he would of wanted.
Senior then found himself in a similar position after he had beat the offside trap but he lost his footing as he looked to shoot, and when the ball fell to Breheny his shot was comfortably saved by the Benfield keeper.
Benfield’s pacy forward Michael Baxter nearly found himself clean through after long balls over the top but twice Saints keeper Carl Henderson ran out to clear just in time as the visitors looked to double their lead.
Saints midfielder Young fired wide from 20 yards and when King found space down the right his excellent cross flew across goal with no one their to tap in as the Saints ended the half well without creating any clear cut chances.
The Saints went so close to levelling seconds after the restart, King beat his man and when his quality cross found top scorer Glen Johnson his powerful header hit the bar and fell to safety with the keeper beaten.
Right back John Foggett then went on a mazy run and fired in a beauty of a cross that flashed across the six-yard box untouched as the Saints enjoyed their best spell of the game.
It was no surprise when they got the equaliser on the hour mark.
A long ball forward was headed into the path of youngster Ben Senior whose neat first touch allowed him time to fire a shin roller of a shot which looped over the goalkeeper and into the top corner. A fortuitous but deserved goal which set up an exciting last half hour.
Andy Macbeth and Greg Starling came on for Micky Young and Cal Ancrum with 20 minutes left, and immediately Macbeth found himself in a great position down the right after beating his marker, but his ball back was intercepted by the defender with Senior just about to pull the trigger.
Glen Johnson was then yellow carded for a late sliding challenge as he tracked back, and when Matty Adams slid in similarly to foul Benfield’s winger the visitors were awarded a dangerous looking free kick 25 yards from goal.
Trodd stepped up and curled a beauty of a shot which Henderson spectacularly tipped onto the post but with the Saints defence sleeping it was Cole who was quickest to the rebound to tap into an empty net.
With time running out Quay were then dealt a cruel injury blow as Glen Johnson was carried off with a bad looking ankle injury after he landed awkwardly jumping for a header, Kyle Austin came on to replace him with five minutes remaining.
The Saints piled players forward in a bid to get another equaliser, and after beating a couple of defenders Macbeth found himself in a great position only to pick out a Benfield defender with his cross as Senior and Breheny were left frustrated in the centre.
The referee blew for full-time to leave the Saints frustrated that after a decent performance they had nothing to show for it. They will hope to bounce back in next week’s hotly anticipated derby game against High Howdon.
Willington Quay Saints: C Henderson, Foggett, Ancrum (Starling 70), Adams, M Henderson, King, Breheny, Senior, Turner, Young (Macbeth 70), G Johnson (K Austin 85).