Hebburn Sports & Social Ground – Ebac Northern League Division 1.
Attendance – 98.
Hebburn Town struggled for 70 minutes of this Ebac Northern League Division 1 match against high-flying Sunderland RCA but fought back from a three goals down to snatch a draw that seemed implausible for much of a sunny South Tyneside afternoon.
The Hornets stuttered for the best part of the game as a slick RCA side dominated proceedings. The visitors went in at half-time with a 2-0 lead thanks to strikes from Adam McGuinness and Gavin Barton,
The opening goal came after 15 minutes when McGuinness got on the end of a right-wing David Gordon corner. The defender’s first effort was blocked by Carl Paterson on the line but, unluckily for the home side, the ball rebounded straight back to the full-back who made no mistake with his rebound, firing high past Dan Regan from point blank range.
The lead was doubled after 32 minutes when Gary Shields played a long ball forward for Barton to latch on to. The forward curved his run to remain onside and advanced into the box in acres of space to fire low past Regan.
With Tony Stephenson ill, Stuart Nicholson injured and Liam McBryde only fit enough to be included on the bench as he makes his return from injury, Dan Kirkup was pushed upfield to play as an emergency centre-forward. Hebburn’s tactics were to launch the ball long towards Kirkup. Far too often, though, the ball was won in the air with Kirkup isolated and the ball being picked straight back up by RCA.
After 61 minutes, Hebburn appeared completely down and out when Gordon bundled the ball into the net for his team’s third goal of the afternoon.
A Jeff Forsyth slip allowed Aristotle Guerin-Lokonga in on goal, one-on-one with Regan. The Hebburn ‘keeper pulled off a smart save but the ball ran across goal to Gordon who, under pressure from Stephen Forster, managed to steer a shot into the empty net.
Hebburn’s fight back started after 71 minutes when Mark Rasmussen, playing for the club for the final time due to him moving to Australia, struck a fantastic back post volley that found the opposite corner giving Neal Atkinson no chance in the RCA goal. That was Rasmussen’s final touch of the game as he kept running off the pitch to be replaced.
Hebburn manager Paul Bennett immediately brought on Liam McBryde and Cal Charlton and changed to a 442 formation with Forster moving forward from right-back to the wing.
Hebburn play became more fluid and they balance of play shifted with RCA dropping deeper. With eight minutes remaining, McBryde pulled another goal back when he struck a close range shot in, pouncing on the rebound after Atkinson had saved his first shot.
Having conceded so very late in the game twice already this season, this time it was Hebburn’s turn to savour a late goal.
On 89 minutes Liam McBryde swivelled and volleyed towards goal from just inside the box. Atkinson saved low to his left but could only parry the ball out to Scott Robson who stroked the equaliser into the goal.
Results elsewhere meant the South Tynesiders dropped from seventh to ninth in the table but a win on Wednesday away against Billingham Synthonia will see Hebburn climb back up the league with only one point separating them from fourth placed Bishop Auckland.
|1. Dan Regan|
|3. Carl Paterson|
|4. Jonny Davis|
|5. Paul Wardle|
|5. Dan Kirkup|
|6. Jeff Forsyth|
|7. Stephen Forster|
|11. James Luccock|
|8. Scott Robson||Goal|
|8. Paul Gardiner|
|11. Mark Rasmussen||Goal|
|2. Callum Charlton|
|6. Chris Jewels|
|9. Liam McBryde||Goal|