Saturday 8th December 2018
Leicester Wildecats 3-3 East End Phoenix
Wildecats find themselves in 3rd place in GFSN division 2 at the end of 2018 after a hard fought 3-3 draw at home to East End Phoenix on a windy Saturday afternoon at Western Park.
The home side began slowly and Phoenix took advantage of this, walking through a gaping Cats defence to give the away side the early advantage in the game. This spurred them on and they remained the better side for the next 15 minutes without ever really coming close to scoring after coming up against some dogged last ditch Cats defending.
The game changed half way through the first half when Chris was put clean through on goal before being brought down by the onrushing Phoenix goalkeeper to earn a penalty for his side. It was Chris himself who shouldered the responsibility of the spot kick but he fired it tamely towards the goalkeepers’ right side. Fortunately for Cats, the keeper was unable to keep hold of the ball as it squirmed back towards Chris who was grateful to slam the rebound home and level the scores.
This was shortly followed by another Wildecats goal. This time a super ball from Mike split the Phoenix defence and found Rooney who was able to square the ball to Guy to tap in from close range to complete the turnaround. Chris then missed a glorious opportunity to extend Cats lead, firing over the bar when one on one with the keeper. The game remained fairly even heading into half time but it changed minutes before the break as a ball over the top caught the Wildecats defence sleeping again as the Phoenix striker sprung the offside trap to make the score 2-2 at the break.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were of little event before a breakaway down the Cats left hand side led to Darren producing a good save from the keeper who was unfortunate to see Rooney running in to stick home the rebound and put the home side back in front.
This was the least real threat that Cats would cause the London side for the rest of the game as the visiting team appeared to pick up their game and look more threatening going forward as they had at the beginning of the match. Despite the pressure, Liam in the Cats goal was only forced to make one save of any note, stopping an effort from a tight angle at close range. Like Leicester, Phoenix also saw some good chances go begging by failing to hit the target when presented with the opportunity to do so.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Phoenix earned themselves a penalty with the referee deeming that James Barnes had made enough contact in the box to send the Phoenix striker tumbling to the ground. Unlike the first half effort, the penalty was well struck and the scores were once again level.
As Phoenix continued to attack, they had a strong shout for a second penalty turned down after Darren was judged to have played the ball before the man after chasing back well to help preserve the point for the home side.
On reflection the draw was probably a fair result for both sides although both could arguably have reason to claim that they deserved all 3 points. For Cats, they head into the new year on fewer points than they would have hoped to have had at this stage but with it all to play for when the league resumes in 2019.
|December 8, 2018||2:00 pm||GFSN National League Division 2||2018/2019|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|East End Phoenix||2||1||3|