NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Late penalty denies Eynesbury Rovers victory in exciting United Counties League Premier Division clash
- Credit: Archant
Eynesbury had to settle for a point after being stung by a late equaliser in a United Counties League Premier Division thriller yesterday.
Rovers were pegged back from the penalty spot in the 88th minute of a 3-3 draw at Wisbech Town – the third time they saw an advantage wiped out by the Fenland hosts.
It was a match that manager Mark Ducket felt his side deserved to win, but one which is likely to lead to him being in hot water with the FA. Ducket was sent from the dugout during the second half at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium – his second such offence this season.
“I’d have taken a point before the game,” admitted Ducket. “But a win there was the sort of result that could kickstart our season and that is exactly what I felt my players deserved.
“It was the worst officiating I’ve ever encountered in all my time in football as a player and a manager. I know how hard the job is, but I felt seriously hard done by.
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“The lads did brilliantly to keep their composure and not lose their heads after seeing a lot of decisions go against them.”
Leading scorer Dom Lawless fired Eynesbury ahead from the penalty spot in the 11th minute after a Jordan Brown cross was handled.
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Wisbech levelled on the half-hour when Dan Bendon stooped to head home from close range after Rovers keeper Josh Bonaiti made two terrific saves to deny Josh Ford.
The teams then traded goals on the stroke of half-time with Brown briefly restoring Rovers’ advantage only for Michael Frew to reply almost immediately.
Eynesbury hit the front again nine minutes into the second half when Lawless bagged his 30th goal of the season and it looked like being enough to earn victory as Bonaiti produced a strong of fine saves at the other end.
But he was powerless to keep out a late Danny Setchell spot-kick awarded following a foul by Matt Clifford, who was then sent off in stoppage time for collecting a second caution.
Eynesbury remain seventh in the Premier Division – a dozen points behind leaders Newport Pagnell, who they face on Saturday.
And that is a task that Ducket is relishing as Rovers seek a result which could drag them back into the title race.
He added: “Pagnell are very well drilled and I have a lot of respect for their manager, Darren Lynch.
“He really knows his stuff and has put a good side together, but we’ll go there looking for a result.”
Ducket has no immediate plans to replace frontman Declan Rogers following his release last week.
National League North side Solihull Moors are interested in Rovers midfielder Matt Miles. The teenager was released by Leicester City last summer.
Captain James Ducket made his 250th appearance for Eynesbury in the draw at Wisbech.