Colliers held to draw at Chester-le-Street
Easington Colliery were held to a 1-1 draw away to Chester-le-Street Town on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Stephenson put the hosts head in the 40th minute, and it took the Colliers until the 75th minute to equalise through Liam Adamson.
The Green Army pushed for a winner late on, but the points were shared.
Craig Hughes and Stuart Niven opted for an unchanged side from last week’s 5-1 win over Newcastle University, but new signing Tom Bott and Kyle Middleton took spots on the bench.
Upon kick-off, the Colliers created a big chance within four minutes. Josh Home-Jackson drove forward and picked out Simon Todd who helped it onto Jack Pounder. He played Adamson in, but Adamson’s effort was scuffed and saved by Regan Ward.
Chris Pearson then fired just wide, before Shane O’Brien was inches away from converting Todd’s corner.
As the game settled down, the Colliers were the livelier, but a spell of few chances followed.
Halfway through the first half, Jonathan Pearson and Adamson both had efforts crucially blocked for the Colliers, before Chester-le-Street dealt with a couple of corners.
Chester-le-Street’s first noteworthy effort came in the 25th minute. Andrew Clarkson turned on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was fired well over.
At the other end, Pounder had an effort crucially blocked.
In the 31st minute, the Colliers had Brennan Ball to thank. Chester-le-Street worked the ball into Michael Hepplewhite, but Brennan Ball’s outstanding challenge denied Hepplewhite of a chance.
Home-Jackson, Jonathan Pearson and O’Brien all then went close for the Colliers.
However, five minutes before the break, against the run of play, Chester-le-Street broke the deadlock. Owen Henderson’s cross picked out Stephenson, and his diving header from eight yards nestled into the net.
The goal was a real sucker punch, but the Colliers came out for the second half looking to create more chances.
Todd fired just wide in the 49th minute, and Pounder’s header after good work by Rhys Turnbull was saved five minutes later.
Bott was introduced in the 55th minute to make his debut, and he was involved in a few moves.
Home-Jackson had another effort saved 13 minutes into the second half, before an Easington corner just needed the slightest of touches but it didn’t happen.
Chances were at a premium for the hosts in the second half, and Harrison Scott fired wide with a rushed effort when they did create a chance.
Bott then fired over as he looked for a debut goal for the Colliers, before both Chris Pearson and Home-Jackson failed to test Ward in the Cestrians’ goal.
Having continually pushed, the Colliers finally equalised in the 75th minute. Bott’s low cross found Pounder who helped it onto Adamson, and he blasted the ball into the net from close-range.
Inside the final 10 minutes, Home-Jackson had an effort crucially blocked, before Henderson fired harmlessly wide for Chester-le-Street.
Substitute Kyle Middleton then went close for the Colliers, before the hosts went up the other end and won a corner only for it to come to nothing.
The rarest of rare goalscorers then went close in the 87th minute for Easington. A cross was cleared as far as Ball, and he connected perfectly with a low effort but it darted just wide of the far bottom corner.
Home-Jackson was next to shoot with a good chance with two minutes to play, but his effort trickled narrowly wide.
That proved to be that, and the points were shared in a hard-fought game.
Full-time: Chester-le-Street Town 1-1 Easington Colliery
Next up for me is Durham Women vs London City Lionesses tomorrow.
Chester-le-Street Town: Ward, Scott (Fingleton, 63′), Thirlaway, Blackbourne (Greaves, 33′), Daniel Hepplewhite, Walker (c), MacDougall, Stephenson, Michael Hepplewhite, Clarkson (Collins, 72′), Henderson
Unused subs: Connor, Coombes
Easington Colliery: Lawrence, Ball, Turnbull, Chris Pearson (c) (Dunn, 77′), Crathorne, O’Brien, Todd, Jonathan Pearson (Bott, 55′), Pounder, Home-Jackson, Adamson (Middleton, 76′)
Unused subs: Garside, Brown
Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions
Referee: Kirk Freeth