EDC Pinned Back By Freak Equaliser

Mon, 22/10/2001 - 01:00

EDC winger Mark Miller scores the College's only goal of the afternoon

East Durham College’s seconds football team looked as if they were going to secure a win in their opening game of the season until a freak volley secured a point for Gateshead at Willerby Grove.

EDC got off to a strong start seeing two shots cleared off the Gateshead line inside the first 15 minutes.

Gateshead replied with a thunderous shot from 25 yards out only to be denied by a fantastic save from EDC goalkeeper Liam Kennedy, who tipped the ball over the bar.

Gateshead then nearly took the lead again as a corner was scrambled out by the College landing to a Gateshead midfielder who then blazed it over the bar.

East Durham continued to pressure though with striker Peter Johnson coming close with a couple of chances, then defender Hayden Macleod whipped a long free kick into the six yard box, just missing the heads of numerous EDC players.

But the College kept pushing and in the 32nd minute the breakthrough came.

Midfielder Dale Stokoe won the ball with a great tackle on the half way line playing it into Peter Johnson who then took the ball past two Gateshead defenders before playing the ball into the feet of winger Mark Miller who slotted the ball past the Gateshead keeper to give EDC the lead.

Five minutes later East Durham had a chance to double their lead as Mark Miller got down the wing beating two players before cutting inside and playing it to the feet of Johnson who just placed the ball past the post.

Gateshead nearly levelled the score just before half time in tremendous style with a strike from 30 yards that crashed against the bar before being gathered by a grateful Kennedy.

The College pushed forward in the first attack of the second half which won them a corner. But this pressure didn’t last long as Gateshead turned the EDC corner into attack getting through one-on-one but luckily for East Durham they steered the ball wide.

Gateshead continued to run the second half, pressuring the EDC defence with attack after attack.

But the East Durham defence stood strong, breaking down the Gateshead plays, clearing balls off the line and Liam Kennedy pulling off some fantastic saves.

As the clock ticked into the 80th minute it looked as if EDC were going to hold on, but despite breaking down the Gateshead attacks for more than 40 minutes it was a freak volley from 30 yards that caught Kennedy off guard and looped into the top corner that levelled the score.

Despite the game ending in a draw and missing out on the three points, EDC second team coach ex-Sunderland striker Michael Proctor, was happy with the side’s performance and believes that it is a good platform for his side going forward.

Proctor said: “I’m happy with the point, probably deserved the three, but they pressured us very hard in the second half. But maybe in the end a draw was the fair result for both sides.

“It’s definitely a good platform going forward, points are always good, three would have been better, but definitely a good start and certainly a performance we can take from our first game and build on throughout the season.”

Next week the Men's 1st and 3rd teams both travel to face Hartlepool Sixth Form  whilst the under 18s are also on the road, away to face Sunderland.