Manderwood Pembrokeshire Football League Division One:
AN injury time goal from Ryan Wilson salvaged a point for Hakin United as they played out yet another intense clash with reigning champions Goodwick United at The Obs.
This was the ninth time the sides had met in the past two seasons, and as so often, there was late drama as Wilson blasted in from close range after Anthony Evans had put The Phoenix Boys ahead early in the second half.
In truth, a draw was no less than The Vikings deserved, having piled forward in the closing stages only to be constantly thwarted by some heroic defending from the visitors.
The thick fog and heavy pitch made things difficult for both sides, but it was Hakin who threatened first when James Stanmore beat two defenders and rifled a powerful 18 yard shot that would have stung the palms of Goodwick keeper Casey Palmer.
Nicky Woodrow then tested Palmer again with a 25 yard effort, and moments later volleyed just over after latching onto a long clearance forward from Hakin keeper Steve Hartley.
But Goodwick responded and Jonny Horgan surged down the left wing before seeing his low cross cut out with Evans waiting to pounce at the back post – and then the champions missed a golden chance to take the lead.
A Steve Dockerty cross squeezed under Hartley and Horgan, with the goal at his mercy, contrived to blast over from less than six yards out.
The away side soon went perilously close again when Hartley misjudged Anthony Couzens’ seemingly harmless free kick, but after the ball sailed over his head towards goal – Hakin midfielder Craig Nicholson did brilliantly to get back and clear off the line.
To the credit of both sides, they continued to create chances in the deteriorating conditions, and soon it was Goodwick’s turn to clear off the line, as full back Stefan Hayes diverted the ball to safety after Hakin centre back Gareth Fawcett had met a Stanmore corner with a powerful header.
It was Stanmore who then beat Walters to the ball 20 yards from goal and teed up Woodrow, but with the keeper stranded, Hakin’s top scorer couldn’t keep his effort down and the chance went begging.
At the other end, a Horgan back heel set up Jordan Griffiths, but he pulled his angled left footed shot past the far post, before Horgan himself controlled a Wayne O’Sullivan free kick before turning sharply but also dragging his shot wide.
But four minutes into the second half, the deadlock was broken as Hayes pushed into the area and squared for Evans, who beat Hartley from close range with a firm strike into the bottom corner.
Predictably, Kristan Bennett’s men then tried to up the ante and Wilson jinked into the area before seeing his whipped goal bound shot headed away by Couzens.
Walters then did well to tip Stanmore’s dipping cross over from under his own crossbar, before Wilson’s deep free kick was nodded back into the danger zone by Woodrow – but Fawcett couldn’t get his header on target.
As the game wore on, Hakin left winger Adam John became an increasing influence, and it was from his cross that Ali Ouzman’s flicked header drifted inches wide of the back post.
John then cut in from the left only to be crowded out by three defenders as he bore down on goal – and from the resulting corner, The Phoenix Boys broke upfield and Horgan set up Evans, but he could only slice wide from a difficult angle.
But it was Hakin who continued to press and with 10 minutes left, they were frustrated again as the ball fell loose from Stanmore’s cross – and in the ensuing scramble both Wilson and Woodrow had shots blocked on the line as Hayes, player-manager O’Sullivan, and the outstanding Scott Delaney threw their bodies in their way.
The Phoenix Boys then looked to seal it on the counter again but substitute Charlie Davies was denied by the onrushing Hartley.
The ball was soon back at the other end and in the 90th minute Fawcett, now playing up front, struck the foot of the post from a tight angle – before Hakin finally scored in injury time.
Woodrow’s in-swinging cross was spilt by Walters under pressure from Fawcett, and the ball fell to Wilson, who made no mistake from eight yards out.
Still there was time for one more chance after Hayes fouled John on the left edge of the area, but Stanmore’s whipped free kick was headed out at the near post by Delaney.
It meant that after last week’s draw at Pennar, Hakin dropped two more crucial points in the title race and The Vikings now lie two points off leaders Merlins Bridge, albeit it with a game in hand.
They go to Carew this coming Saturday.
For Goodwick, who last season sealed their historic treble at The Obs in the final day of the season, the result leaves them five points off Bridge but having played a game more, and in all reality, a win at home to The Wizards this weekend is a must to keep their hopes of retaining the title alive.
Hakin United: Steve Hartley, Jimmy Walker, Allistair Robertson, Jonathan Bennett, Gareth Fawcett, Craig Nicholson, James Stanmore, Ryan Wilson, Adam John, Ali Ouzman (Steve Mathias 75), Nicky Woodrow.
Subs not used: Dan Evans, Luke Hart.
Goodwick United: Casey Walters, Stefan Hayes, Wayne O’Sullivan, Scott Delaney, Anthony Couzens, Adam Raymond, Llyr Tobin, Jordan Griffiths, Anthony Evans (Ben John 87), Steven Dockerty (Charlie Davies 77), Jonny Horgan.
Sub not used: Rowan Nicholson.
Referee: Kevin Milich.
- Division One results from Saturday, March 11:
Angle 3-0 Tenby.
Hakin United 1-1 Goodwick United.
Merlins Bridge 5-1 Milford United.
Monkton Swifts P-P Carew.
Pennar Robins 9-2 Johnston.