NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Red card, penalty save and a first point for the new Eynesbury Rovers bosses
- Credit: Archant
Eynesbury Rovers’ new triple-management team collected a first point of their reign last Saturday . . . although two more slipped away in a red mist.
Rob Ducket went from hero to villain as Rovers - now under the tutelage of Steve Kuhne, Ash Fuller and Dean Greygoose - missed out on Spartan South Midlands League success at Hall Road.
Midfielder Ducket fired Rovers ahead in their 2-2 Premier Division deadlock against Crawley Green, but was then sent off for violent conduct later in the first half.
Ducket made the breakthrough after 10 minutes when putting away a Dejean George cross to claim his first goal of the campaign.
Goalkeeper Jamie Greygoose kept out a Mark Bunker penalty to preserve Eynesbury's advantage which was doubled a few minutes later when Chris Lewis produced a fine finish.
Everything appeared to be going to plan, but that changed when Ducket saw red just after the half-hour for pushing an opponent.
Crawley Green soon made the most of their numerical advantage to earn another spot-kick with Greygoose powerless to prevent Billy Lobjoit from converting.
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And the visitors completed their comeback to level six minutes into the second half through Sam Holmes.
But it was Rovers who had the best chances to earn victory as Connor Calcutt was denied from close range. Calcutt and Jake Alderson also saw shots blocked in the same goalmouth scramble late on.
Kuhne said: "We were dominating the game and looking like we would go on to score three, four, five . . .
"The red card was a turning point but there was nothing in it. Their guy tried to grab the ball, Rob pushed him away to the chest and the lad went down like he had been shot.
"It undoubtedly changed the whole complexion of the game and a goal before half-time gave Crawley Green a bit of momentum.
"They equalised early in the second half but we were then the better side for the final 30 minutes without being able to take the chances that came our way.
"It's still the first point on the board for us and we really did well being down to 10 men for so long."
Kuhne, Fuller and Greygoose were left empty-handed in their first game at the helm last Tuesday when Rovers were beaten 2-1 at Aylesbury Vale Dynamos in a re-arranged clash.
The game was settled by a hotly-disputed penalty for the hosts on the stroke of half-time after Lewis had cancelled out an early Vale opener.
The clash with Crawley Green was the first of five consecutive home games for Rovers who are due to host Edgware Town tonight (Tuesday).
And they're back on their own turf at Hall Road again this Saturday when welcoming Kuhne's former club, Potton United, for a derby date, 3pm.
Kuhne spent 18 months in charge of the Bedfordshire club from December 2017 to the end of last season, and led them to promotion from Step 6 in that time.
Kuhne added: "It's a game I'm looking forward to, but they are sure to be keen to put one over on me too.
"There are none of my players left there, though, as they have a totally new side, but they've picked up well in recent weeks."