Saturday 6th April 2019
Leicester Wildecats 1-1 Bristol City Panthers
Neither Leicester nor Bristol will be happy with a draw in what was built up as being a crunch top of the table clash in GFSN Division 2, however both sides will undoubtedly be pleased with their performances in what was a tense, nervy blood and thunder affair at Western Park.
Having mustered up a 2-2 draw in the previous meeting, both sides knew that they would be in for a tough afternoon and this proved to be the case with both sides not only having to deal with the opposition, but also with a dry, uneven awkward pitch. All of which added to what was an enjoyable spectacle for the neutral.
After a cagey opening to the game where much of the play was in midfield it was Bristol who began to take control of the game mid way through the first half with a number of long range efforts which either flew wide or were blocked by a well drilled Wildecats defence.
The first opportunity of any note in fact fell to the home side where a ball in from the left was flicked on by Guy onto the head of Darren who saw his effort well tipped over by the Bristol keeper to keep the game deadlocked at 0-0. With the first half coming to a close, it was Bristol’s turn to have their first notable attempt on goal – a curling effort from the edge of the area which was tipped onto the bar by Liam.
After a fairly even first half where it could be argued that the away side just about edged the better of the play, they certainly flew out of the blocks in the second period. A run from the right wing resulted in a shot across goal which was pushed round the post by Liam in the Cats goal. This acted as a wake-up call for Leicester who then proceeded to start an attack of their own. Ryry was released through the middle and found himself through on goal only to be brought down by a Panthers defender in the box to give the home side a golden opportunity from 12 yards. Darren duly dispatched the opportunity down the middle and all of a sudden the home side had a lead to hold on to.
This set in motion a pattern for the rest of the game whereby Bristol went on the attack looking for a way back into the game whilst Cats looked to take advantage on the counter. With Bristol looking increasingly dangerous down the flanks a ball was whipped in from the left and flicked on to the head of the onrushing striker who was unfortunate to see his effort flick off the hand of Liam and over the bar for a corner.
The away side continued to push and the breakthrough came with 15 minutes left on the clock. This time a low cross was drilled in from the right which found the striker with a simple tap in from close range to draw the scores level and frustrate the home side. This gave Bristol confidence and, despite Leicester still looking dangerous on the counter attack, it was they who looked the most likely to take the 3 points. With 80 minutes on the clock yet another ball in squirmed loose and into the path of a Panthers midfielder who, from 6 yards out, somehow saw his shot tipped over the bar by a determined Wildecats keeper.
There was still more drama to follow as moments from the end of the match, Dave Sharman flailed a leg in the penalty area and tripped the forward, gifting the away side the opportunity to steal all 3 points at the death. Fortunately for Leicester, the resulting penalty was dragged wide and the scores remained level.
From the resulting goal kick, it was Leicester who would have the final chance to win the game as Darren battled his way past the last defender but couldn’t beat the goalkeeper who came out of his goal to block the effort with his feet.
In the end a draw was a fair result for both sides in what was a ding dong, end to end battle where Liam picked up the man of the match award after being kept busy by the Bristol attack in the second half. The two sides will now look ahead to their remaining fixtures as they battle it out for a place in division 1.
|April 6, 2019||2:00 pm||GFSN National League Division 2||2018/2019|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|