Langsford Park looked in fine fettle for this match against Westbury United despite the recent rain and ice. It was just one of a few games on in the area, writes Eric Pinch.
New signing Mike Landricombe took his place in the back four with Dan Evans, returning from injury, initially on the subs bench – he was, at the last moment, drafted into the side after Adam McPherson pulled out with a pre-match warm-up injury.
The Lambs got off to a great start with their passing game. Josh Grant hit the upright in the opening minutes before they took the lead on eight minutes. Good work from Iestyn Harris and Josh Parry set up Grant to slot home from 15 yards.
The home side had the better of the first half, creating a number of chances.
Liam Prynn and Ben Cross would see glancing headers go just wide, Ed Harrison and Joe O’Connor would see shots go over the bar and Grant’s looping cross to the far post would see Harris’ header go just over the bar.
Josh Parry was then sent away out wide but was taken out by ‘keeper Jonathan Hill outside of the area and was fortunate to get away with just a yellow card. The resultant free-kick came to nothing.
The visitors were always a threat at set-pieces and this is where their goals have come in recent games. Ashton Shanley’s corner on 35 minutes was cleared out to the edge of the area for Matt Morris to drive it back low through a ruck of players. Harvey Flippance stabbed home from close range.
A good start from the Lambs with a shaky one from the visitors but they went in level at half time.
It was a good start to the second half for the Lambs when in the first minute, Harris’ cross was met by Parry but he headed just over.
Cross and O’Connor would see efforts go over and at the ‘keeper, Harrison’s effort went over and, just after the hour mark, Grant sent a low cross across the front of goal with no one able to get on the end of it.
On 70 minutes, from a Westbury corner, Josh Oak managed to keep the scores level as he palmed the cross onto a post for it to be cleared, Grant then went on a run into the area only to see his effort saved by Hill.
The game was on a knife edge as it drew to a close with both sides capable of securing victory.
However it was one moment of controversy that would decide this one.
With just five minutes remaining, O’Connor looked to have won the ball on the by-line but Aaron Cockerill went sprawling for the referee to point to the penalty spot. The Lambs were very aggrieved by this decision.
After much deliberation Stevie Hulbert duly slotted home the spot-kick to give the visitors all three points.
It was a hard pill to swallow as the Lambs had done more than enough to deserve a share of the spoils and on another day could have run out winners. Football is sometimes a game of fine margins; this was one of them.
Sovereign Wines Man of the Match was Joe O’Connor. Attendance was 160.