PHC frustrated by battling Onions
Flanagan's Onions 2 PHC Zebras 2
PHC Zebras were held to a draw away to relegation-threatened Flanagan's Onions in the Premier Division at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday night.
PHC, who are still undefeated after 12 games, fell behind in the eighteenth minute when Onions defender Greg Muir flicked the ball home after a goalmouth scramble from a corner kick.
Onions started the brighter of the two sides, with experienced striker Keston Lewis missing two good chances before Muir gave his side the lead against the league leaders.
On the stroke of half-time, however, PHC were on level terms when Mazhye Burchall was sent clear after Onions had threatened at the other end, with the Zebras winger lifting the ball over the outrushing goalkeeper Chejon Berkeley.
Onions were showing plenty of fighting spirit and restored their lead in the 48th minute when Treshun Smith coolly finished after Stefan Dill, the PHC goalkeeper, was been caught in a no-mans land.
Starring at a possible shock defeat, PHC started dominating possession as they chased an equaliser, although Onions looked content to drop deep while attempting to hit their opponents on the counterattack.
Onions survived a scare when Tristan Hall, the PHC striker, struck the post from the edge of the area but he amends soon after with a neat turn and shot from just inside the area to restore parity in the 83rd minute.
Hall's equaliser set up a nervous finale for Onions, who gained promotion from the First Division last season, but the home side held firm for what could prove a valuable point in their fight for survival.
Mick Ward, the Onions coach, admitted he would have been more than happy with a point against PHC at the start of the game.
“These guys [PHC] are challenging at the right end of the table, so you would be happy with a point before the game,” Ward said.
“But the way the game went — before the last ten minutes — it's disappointing not to come away with a point.
“It could have been a huge three points and we need every point we can get. We'll take the point and it's an improvement on what happened last week [a 5-0 home defeat by Robin Hood].
“We were definitely under the cosh during the last ten minutes.”
Ward praised his team's work ethic and believed they were well worth a share of the spoils.
“I thought we worked our socks off and I think it showed at the end,” he said.
“Our legs showed that we had put everything into it. It's a shame we couldn't keep them out.
“We're under no illusions and we need to fight for every point. We want to be in the Premier Division next season.”
Muir 18, Smith 48
Burhcall 44, Hall 83
Flanagan's Onions (4-5-1): C Berkeley — J Scott, G Muir, Markez Laws, Martel Laws — J Knight (sub: C Burns, 60min), P Robey, T Smith, M Lindsey-Bailey (sub: R Calvert, 70), M Brewer — K Lewis. Substitutes not used: S Gould, A Brown, M Ward. Booked: Robey.
PHC Zebras (4-4-2) S Dill — D Usher, N Griffith, K Griffith, D Lightbourne (sub: J Warren-Smith, 75) — M Waldron, C Robinson, M Burchall, K Bean (sub: E Russell, 75) — I Sharrieff, T Hall. Substitutes not used: S Trott, J Warren-Smith, M Lambe, K Matthie. Booked: Smith-Lightbourne.
Referee: G Swainson.