Bizarre late equaliser leaves Lions to settle for a point
Stamford Lions’ winning streak came to end when a bizarre late equaliser forced them to settle for a point from their Peterborough League Premier Division trip to Sawtry on Saturday.
Captain Danny Sheehan had headed the Lions into the lead with just five minutes remaining and that looked to have won the game.
However, a Sawtry equaliser came with only a minute to go when a tame 20-yard shot was rolling into the hands of stand-in keeper Jimmy Russon before a huge divot in the ground bounced the ball up past Russon and into the net.
The Stamford side had regular goalkeeper Aiden Finn pull out due to illness on the morning of the game so called up Russon who looked to be holding out for a clean sheet until the freakish bounce.
Lions boss James Sheehan said: “Aiden (Finn) woke up with a sickness bug, but we are fortunate to have an experienced goalkeeper in Jimmy (Russon) to call upon.
“He had a solid game in goal and it’s just bad fortune when the ball bounced in like that.
“It was a frustrating game. Fair play to Sawtry they limited our chances and worked very hard for their point.
“But we had a goal disallowed which was very harsh. It was an excellent header and no-one on the pitch was sure why it was chalked off.
“A point was disappointing under the circumstances but no disaster.”
The first half was a battle as Sawtry set up to stem the Lions attacking threat and did so with good efficiency.
Tom Edwards had a 25-yard chipped shot just clip the bar in an otherwise uneventful but battling first half.
The second period saw Stamford start to dominate as Josh Collins drove a shot into the side netting while Luke Ball saw his effort saved.
The Lions thought they had finally broken the deadlock when Rob Montgomery headed a cross into the top corner.
However, as the players reeled away celebrating, the goal was disallowed for an off-the-ball infringement that the referee had spotted.
The Lions continued to press as the game became a contest of attack against defence. Rob Foster beat two men but his cross was too deep and Sheehan crashed a header off the bar.
Billy Nairn then saw his powerful volley tipped away by an excellent save while Edwards sent a header straight at the keeper.
With only five minutes remaining the stalemate was finally broken as Edwards curled in a cross and Sheehan beat his marker and headed past the keeper.
The game was ticking into the final minute when Sawtry sprung an attack as the ball was cut back a poor connection on the shot saw the ball just roll across the ground.
As Russon crouched down to collect, the ball kicked up wickedly off the turf and spun away and into the net.
The final whistle followed and the Stamfordians had to settle for the 1-1 draw that leaves them four points off table-topping Moulton Harrox but with two games in hand.