Willington Quay Saints pegged back in thriller

Willington Quay Saints drew a thrilling game at the Barking Dog as Whitburn equalised three times to deny the home side their first win of the season.

After a tight opening 20 minutes it was Saints who went ahead as striker Gareth Pugh ran onto a Mark Henderson long ball to shrug off his marker and fire a quality left footed strike into the top corner for his third goal in two games of the new season.

Whitburn played some neat football and deservedly equalised when an in-swinging corner was not dealt with and a defender headed home from four yards.

In their next attack they nearly took the lead but a long range strike from winger Tijan Kah smashed against the crossbar and away to safety.

Quay goalkeeper Carl Henderson was forced off with a neck injury and replacement Phil Doolan was forced into a save straight away as he pulled off a smart stop with his legs to deny Whitburn another goal.

With half-time looming Saints regained the lead as Micky Young grabbed his first ever goal for the club, cutting inside his man to bend home a perfect right footed shot into the corner with the keeper helpless to stop what was his last action of the game as he was subbed at the interval due to illness, with Liam Taylor replacing him.

The second half had barely started when Whitburn made it 2-2 as a cross from the right was missed by the Quay defence and the Whitburn left back sneaked in to slide home another equaliser for the visitors.

The game looked to have petered out as both sides struggled in the heat, but with ten minutes left the Saints went ahead once more and with another great goal.

Midfielder Kenny Horsman’s brilliant diagonal ball finding Mark Henderson whose bullet header flew into the corner to make it 3-2, keeping up his record of scoring in every season of Saints’ history so far.

But 30 seconds later Whitburn grabbed another leveller as they failed to deal with a routine cross and when the ball fell to Kah he smashed an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net from 18 yards to make it 3-3.

With a minute left Saints’ Andy Breheny almost won it for the home side as he pounced on a loose ball to turn and strike against the post when he looked destined to score.

Next up is the Howdon derby at home to Wallsend Labour Club at the Barking Dog on Saturday with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Willington Quay Saints: C Henderson (Doolan 32), M Austin, Smith, Adams, White, Horsman, Young (Taylor 45), M Henderson, Starling (Senior 84), Breheny, Pugh.