Willington Quay Saints see three-goal lead blown away
For the second successive game, Willington Quay Saints drew 4-4 after failing to hold onto a lead.
Whitburn staged a dramatic late comeback, rallying from 4-1 down to grab a point with three goals in the last 20 minutes, with the equaliser coming in stoppage time in a game played in strong gale force winds.
Saints made two changes as Micky Young and Stu Duffield came in for Kenny Horsman and Ross Thirlaway, and they should of been in front in the first five minutes as a horrific cross-field pass from Athletic’s keeper went straight to Noel Clynch who found Mark Henderson but with the goal gaping his strike from 20 yards went agonisingly wide of the empty net.
Clynch fired an acrobatic volley against the Whitburn post in a strong start from Quay and in the next attack they grabbed a deserved opener as Henderson found Clynch whose shot was saved with the ball falling into the path of top scorer Andy Breheny, who reacted quickest to stylishly flick the it home for his tenth goal of the season.
Whitburn were trapped in their own half, battling the fierce wind, but in their first real attack they levelled.
A hopeful long ball was not dealt with leaving Adam Newbrook through on goal and he made no mistake, slotting past Carl Henderson into the right hand corner.
The scores were not level for long as Breheny got a second with Clynch again the provider, flicking a cross into the path of the unmarked Breheny and he coolly volleyed home from 12 yards to restore the Saints’ lead.
This time Saints added to their lead and in great style as centre half Matty Adams hit an absolute thunderbolt from 25 yards which hit the underside of the bar and went in to make it 3-1. His first goal of the season and a memorable one at that
Knowing the wind would be against them second half, the away side knew they needed to make the most of the advantage and just before half-time Henderson grabbed what seemed like a crucial fourth goal as he ran onto Adams’ ball over the top to outpace the Whitburn back four and fire low underneath the keeper to make it 4-1 at the break.
The difficult second half saw 20 minutes go by with no danger for Saints as Whitburn found it hard to keep the ball in play.
Saints looked comfortable, but as seems to be the way recently, somehow Whitburn found a way back in the game as a low right wing cross managed to find Daniel Nolan who made no mistake to make it 4-2.
Dale Johnson came to the rescue as Athletic piled on the pressure, heading off the line with Henderson beaten, but the pressure told with ten minutes remaining as the Saints failed to clear twice before the ball fell to the back post where Newbrook smashed in to make it 4-3.
With a minute left Whitburn won a corner which looked to have been cleared, but when a long range shot was scuffed fortuitously to the feet of Newbrook, he rifled a shot past Henderson to give his jubilant side a share of the spoils and himself a hat-trick with Quay left dejected with the game ending seconds after the re-start.
Another win gone begging and Saints will look to put it right at home to bottom of the table FC Benton on Saturday in a 2pm kick-off at the Barking Dog.
Willington Quay Saints: C Henderson, Ramsay, M Austin (Dixon 63), D Johnson, Adams, Wilkinson, Young (King 82), S Duffield, Clynch, Breheny, M Henderson.