For the second Saturday in a row Willington Quay Saints were denied all three points thanks to a late leveller as they almost grabbed their first win of the new season in a dramatic game at the Barking Dog.
After Wednesday’s 5-0 defeat against Shilbottle, Saints made two changes with 17-year-old Gary Latimer making his first start and Ryan Ferrier back in the side after returning from holiday.
The formation was also altered to 4-4-2 with Clynch and Breheny the two strikers.
The first half hour was not the greatest with both sides struggling to make any chances of note, Saints’ only shot on target coming from a long range effort from Latimer which the Whitburn keeper dealt with comfortably.
Whitburn, buoyed on by a 5-1 midweek win over West Allotment ‘A’, were restricted to long range efforts, most of which went tamely wide.
Whitburn lost two players to injury in the first half as the poor Barking Dog pitch claimed a couple more victims whilst the long grass stopped any chance of flowing football being seen.
With the game drifting to a goalless first half, Quay snatched the lead just minutes before the break as Stephen King played a fabulous through ball for Noel Clynch to run on to and with the Whitburn keeper racing off his line towards him he calmly side footed past him and into the net from 18 yards for his second goal of the season.
Confidence spread through the team and with Whitburn reeling from conceding, Clynch should of had another as he turned his man in the box but blazed his shot over as Saints ended the half on top.
No changes were made at half-time but five minutes later Whitburn grabbed an equaliser.
A cross into the box found Nick Little in space and his shot took a wicked deflection off Dale Johnson and looped over Henderson into the net to bring the sides level.
With the game finally springing to life Saints immediately found a response and regained the lead through Andrew Macbeth.
The left back ran from his own half with the ball before forcing his way through a last ditch tackle and then slotting coolly past the keeper to score his first Saints goal in three years.
The lead lasted until eight minutes from the end as the visitors grabbed their second equaliser of the game, a quality cross from the Athletic left back found Andrew Speirs who stretched out his foot and guided the ball past Henderson to set up a frantic end to the game.
With Just minutes remaining Saints thought they should of been awarded a penalty as Micky Austin looked to have been brought down in the penalty area just as he was about to end his 99-game goal drought, but the referee waved away the protests claiming the defender had won the ball.
That was not to be the end of the late drama as the Whitburn right winger surged to the byline before cutting the ball back to Paulie Lee whose powerful strike cannoned back off the crossbar with Henderson helpless, much to the agony of the visitors and to the relief of the home side.
Another point on board but another missed opportunity to take all three for Willington, who are away to Newcastle Benfield Reserves on Saturday.
Willington: C Henderson, M Austin, Macbeth, D Johnson, K Austin, King, Latimer, Ferrier (Young 65), M Henderson, Breheny, Clynch.