Gornal Athletic 1-1 Stone Old Alleynians
It was a familiar tale for the Old Boys as they were held to their 13th draw of the season by already relegated Gornal, and it could have been worse but for Sam Wilson bundling home a last minute equaliser.
Manager Matt Smith was left unimpressed by his side once more: “Again it’s another poor result, which has become a familiar story this season. We dominated but couldn’t find the breakthrough and have then conceded the penalty against the run of play. Hopefully we can bounce back and finish the season with 3 wins.”
It was a shaky start for the visitors who had to be grateful to Danny Heard reacting fastest to clear a loose ball in the box after Cameron Bliss had misjudged a cross.
But they could have been ahead when Cameron Sinclair was sent clear by Heard, only for the midfielder to fire his shot straight at Matt Jones.
Sinclair again came close when he was picked out by Jimmy Lee’s cross-field pass but saw his volley fly agonisingly wide of the far post.
Clever link up play between Matt Thomas and Carl Dibden saw the latter find space on the edge of the box, but the forward’s shot was saved by Jones.
And Alleynians were wasteful once more when Dibden headed over from 8-yards after getting onto the end of Sinclair’s cross.
Jones was again called into action to deny Sam Wilson and Sinclair to keep the scores level at the break.
The game stagnated in the second half as Stone struggled to create many clear-cut chances, although Wilson and Matt Thomas came close, but were again denied by the impressive Jones.
Gornal then took advantage of their visitor’s wastefulness, as a rare foray into the Stone box saw Ian Whalley bring down Calvin Campbell. Nathan Griffiths stepped up and saw his penalty squirm under the body of Bliss to put his side ahead.
The goal didn’t shake Stone into life, and the home side nearly doubled their lead when Campbell poked an effort goalwards beyond the advancing Bliss, but Whalley managed to clear the ball off the line.
Alleynians did manage to draw themselves back level as the game approached injury-time. Sam Wilson got onto the end of Sinclair’s long throw and poked the ball beyond Jones.
And there was enough time for Stone to spurn one more chance. Jack Tomlinson broke clear, but his final touch was too heavy and allowed Jones to pounce on the ball.
Stone OA: Bliss, Heath, Heard, Whalley, Hewitt (E Wilson), Sinclair (c), S Wilson, Pope, Lee, Thomas, Dibden (Tomlinson)