Good point won at Trinity
By Phil Chadwick
Report kindly provided by Paul Harper
Witton Albion picked up another good result on the road in the Evostik Northern Premier League with a 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Gainsborough Trinity.
This backed up the previous league fixture on the road, when Carl Macauley's side won 5-0 at Buxton a fortnight ago.
The manager was forced into making one change from the side which started the FA Trophy tie at Leamington last weekend. Will Jones picked up a neck injury in that game, and he was replaced in the starting XI by Rob Hopley.
Albion had to defend well in the early stages at the Martin & Co Arena. Trinity had three corners in quick succession which had to be dealt with, and they were by good defending from Josh Wardle and River Humphreys to avoid any danger on Greg Hall's goal.
Shortly after that spate of pressure at one end, the action turned to the other end with Albion captain Hopley testing Jon Stewart in the Gainsborough goal. He turned onto his left foot and sent a low shot towards goal which the 'keeper tipped around the post.
Another chance came from the resultant corner kick. The left wing delivery found the head of Humphreys at the back post but his effort was comfortably saved by Stewart.
The visitors were finding their feet and really came into the game from this point. A Matty Devine cross evaded the attackers in the penalty area from a good position before Cesaire Lingouba received the ball from a Hopley lay off only to send a shot narrowly off target.
Trinity had their first couple of efforts on Greg Hall's goal midway through the first half. First, captain Shane Clarke tried his luck from distance but couldn't keep his shot down as it flew over the crossbar, before Alex Byrne showed good trickery to get away from his man but his curling effort went just wide of the far post.
As the first half drew to a close, there were chances at both ends. Byrne again showed how much of a threat he could be as he again cut inside and sent a shot which was inches over the crossbar for the hosts, while Albion went straight down the other end and Devine's left wing cross found Lingouba in a little bit of space but his shot was deflected wide.
You sensed a goal was coming, and indeed it did a minute before the interval.
It came in somewhat fortunate circumstances, although following good play by the visitors. A good spell of possession ended with a dangerous ball into the penalty area, looking for Wardle and Hopley in the middle. Defender Joe Maguire stuck out a leg and turned the ball into the bottom corner of his own goal to give Witton the lead.
A couple of minutes into the second half, Hopley had a chance to double the visitors' lead. Anthony Gardner sent over a left footed cross from the right, it found the Albion skipper who couldn't quite make enough of a connection, getting a feint touch which was saved by Stewart.
Carl Macauley was forced into a change on 49 minutes. James Foley had taken a knock to his ankle in the first half and was unable to continue, with Will Booth replacing him in midfield.
Gainsborough pushed and pushed for an equaliser from there on. A ball forward found its way to Ashley Worsfold, one on one with Hall but he steer his shot wide of the target from 15 yards.
Trinity then had the ball in the net soon after, but Worsfold's effort was ruled out for offside.
Despite being under pressure from the hosts, Albion still offered a threat in attack. Hopley fired over the bar from the edge of the area and Liam Goulding sent a 30-yard piledriver over the top.
Ross Hannah came off the bench for the home team and his first touch was to curl a free kick wide from 25 yards.
Gainsborough did level things up with 20 minutes remaining. After Hall had made a good save to deny Byrne, the ball was turned back into the danger zone and Worsfold was on hand to nod the ball home from close range.
As the game went into its closing stages, there were still chances to win it for both teams.
Hannah fired straight at Hall for the hosts, while Booth did well on the left but his low cross narrowly evaded a sliding Tom Owens at the back post.
Jonny Margetts had a couple of chances too for the hosts, but fired wide and over the crossbar when he should have done better as the points were shared from an entertaining encounter.
Many thanks also to Vijay for photo & video from match.