Webb curls home late free-kick to secure draw
Stamford Lions battled hard to earn a deserved point in a 1-1 draw away to defending Peterborough League Premier Division champions Netherton on Saturday.
James Sheehan’s charges had set out to frustrate the Peterborough side by compacting the midfield and looking to spring counter attacks and the tactic worked in the early stages of the game.
Netherton enjoyed large spells of possession but it was the Lions that had the chances in front of goal.
Tom Lees had the best of them as he burst from midfield to meet a Jake Walton cross only to head over with the goal at his mercy.
Tom Cardell then sent a shot wide, again the result of a swift counter attack, while Luke Gove saw his header well saved.
Netherton continued to dominate the ball which started to tire the Stamford defence and goalkeeper John Swales was at full stretch as he clawed away a low drive heading for the bottom corner.
Michael Webb then bravely blocked a goalbound shot before Gove made a timely interception as the Lions finished the first half under constant pressure but hung on to see the sides go into the break with the scores locked at 0-0.
The start of the second half saw Lions try to push forward to relieve some of the pressure and Chris McRoyal saw his shot well saved while Lees went close with a low effort.
As the game reached the hour mark the deadlock was broken and it was Netherton who took the lead.
As the ball was played into the feet of Netherton forward Dillan Chipunza, he jinked past a tackle and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.
The goal energised the home side who piled on the pressure looking to double the lead with Swales again at full stretch to tip over a strike.
As the clocked ticked down Lions looked to push players further up the pitch in search of a goal to draw level.
McRoyal took a tumble on the edge of the area which presented the perfect opportunity and up stepped Webb who curled a left foot free kick around the wall into the bottom corner to equalise.
With only minutes remaining Netherton flooded forward desperate for the win but the visitors held firm for a 1-1 draw.
Manager Sheehan said: “It’s a very good result for us.
“Again we came into the game with three players missing from the week before. It just seems the norm now to have players unavailable which I find frustrating.
“But, that said, we set up very well and the lads worked very hard for that point.
“Everyone knows that Netherton on a 3G pitch is a tough task to get a result in but we fully deserved the draw.
“When we missed our early chances I feared the worst, but (Michael) Webby has always been decent at free kicks and he didn’t let us down with this one.”
More by this authorJames Bedford