Stalemate at Sports but Albion go up to 9th
By Phil Chadwick
Will & Ben's worrying injuries
Carl Macauley made three changes to the starting line-up from the one that beat bottom club Workington on Saturday for this re-arranged fixture against another relegation threatened team. Southport loanee Lewis Doyle, Will Jones & Cesaire Lingouba all started in place of Rob Hopley and James Foley whilst River Humphreys was again unavailable due to his mid-week work commitments.
Albion had the first effort on goal on 4 minutes when Will Jones did well to break forward but his shot from the right of the area went across the face of goal and out at the far post.
The hosts then had their initial effort on goal on 11 minutes through Shaquille McDonald who dragged a shot wide of the left upright.
The next minute Danny McKenna’s deep cross from the left was met by Anthony Gardner, who’d worked well to get himself into loads of free space, but unfortunately with time available to focus his attempt only succeeded in sending his header wide of the target.
Albion keeper Greg Hall, en route to his amazing 20th clean sheet of the campaign, made the first save of the evening shortly after by doing well to deny a shot from Jack Storer.
The sad sight of Saturday’s 2 goal hero Ben Harrison, who’d minutes earlier been harshly judged guilty of a back pass by the fussy match referee, limping off the hard surfaced pitch brought Jay Foley into action on 39 minutes. Thus the formation was changed with McKenna dropping into a defensive role.
Before the second half even commenced Josh Wardle and Storer were shown yellow cards and both benches were spoken to by the man in black. Apparently there had been a skirmish around the changing room area.
Efforts from distance by Evan Garnett and Storer around mid-way through the half didn’t require any intervention by Hall.
With Witton starting to take the game to Sports Will Jones came into contact with keeper Lewis King and was forced to leave the field in a pretty bad way that saw Rob Hopley enter the arena in the 72nd minute.
Witton continued the offensive winning a trio of corner kicks in quick succession and when one in the 79th minute was returned back across the area by Wardle somehow Billy Smart, virtually from on the goal-line, put the ball over the bar!
Sports own closest attempt to break the deadlock came from Storer’s effort, with six minutes remaining, his shot from outside the box being saved at the second attempt by Hall.
Greg Hall, Anthony Gardner, Danny McKenna, Josh Wardle, Luke Offord, Ben Harrison (Jay Foley 39), Lewis Doyle (Jack Egan 90), Tom Owens, Will Jones (Rob Hopley 72), Cesaire Lingouba, Billy Smart. Sub not used: Ryan Neild (g/k)
Booked: Wardle Attendance: 173.
Many thanks to Keith Clayton for the photographs and to Vijay Anthwal for the video clips