Dawson’s last gasp goal ensures spoils are shared in 8 goal thriller
Great Ecc 4 – 4 Wray
Dennis Pulford 8, Sam Hogarth 49, 85, Si Greenhalgh 62 // Mark Ellershaw 60 (p), George Whitaker 79, 83, Matt Dawson 87
Whilst most teams were enjoying their last weekend of the Christmas break, two teams faced each other, an exciting top of the table clash took place, with Wray making the trip down to Great Ecc. The game did not fail to disappoint, with 8 goals scored in the game!
Great Ecc started the brighter of the two teams, putting lots of pressure on Wray and not letting them get going at all. This pressure quickly payed off as the usual early scorers Wray found themselves a victim of this, Dennis Pulford acrobatically netting from a great ball into the box in the 8th minute. However, as the game continued, Wray grew into the game and by half time, it could be argued that they were the better side in the game. At half time, however, Great Ecc were leading 1-0.
The second half was were this game really game to life, with 7 of the 8 goals in the game scored in the second half. Great Ecc started brightly again in the second half, catching Wray out at the back with a great through ball, Sam Hogarth getting on the end of it and hitting it past Wray keeper Luke Gorst. 2-0 in the 49th minute. Both sides continued to work hard to try and find the next goal, it was certain to be crucial in the result of the match, Wray looked to use the pace and power of their wingers to get a breakthrough. However, it was centre half Ben Wallbank who was to bring the breakthrough. A ball into the box found Wallbank fouled and a penalty was awarded to Wray. Up stepped Mark Ellershaw who converted from the spot in the 60th minute. Great Ecc, determined not to lose their lead, found themselves ahead again 2 minutes later. A perfectly delivered corner from Great Ecc striker Jack Sharples evaded Gorst and flew perfectly to the head of captain Si Greenhalgh, who converted it. 3-1 to Great Ecc.
Wray continued to push for the goal that would bring them back into the game and George Whitaker was the person to do that for them. On the counter attack, left winger Preece played through Whitaker, who, using his pace, found himself 1 on 1 with the keeper and netted cleverly to bring Wray back into it, with only 10 minutes left in the game. Four minutes later, Wray found themselves level. After throwing centre half Matt Dawson up front for the last 10 minutes, his presence earned Wray a throw in. The ball found its way to the feet of Whitaker again, who after turning back and forth on the edge of the box, lost his marker, turned and fired home through the legs of the Great Ecc goalkeeper. Wray had found the third and equalizing goal in the 83rd minute.
With everything to play for both sides went in search of a winner but after a frantic few minutes of football it was the home side who looked like they had earned all three points after a long throw found its way to the head of Hogarth, who scored his second and Great Ecc’s fourth of the game in the 85th minute. Surely that was enough drama for the game? Surely Great Ecc had done enough to win the game? No! Two minutes later Wray found the equalizing goal! Wray were awarded a free kick outside the box, and as it was crossed in, both the Great Ecc goalkeeper and Mark Ellershaw rose to challenge for it, with the ball falling into the path of Matthew Dawson, who made no mistake, firing into the net. 4-4. And that was to be that as the game ended a few moments later.
Both teams will now be looking forward to the next time they play each other – 17th March with Wray having the home advantage.