Separate result sheet to be completed by both home and away teams
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Robertsons nearly blow it in the wind
Steve Dean had the luxury of a large squad of players to choose from with the only regulars missing being Chrissy Sinclair who was missing through work commitments and Dave Smith through illness, Darryll Donnelly had picked up a slight injury and so was not risked.
This was the first game in over a month for many of the players and so many were obviously not fully match fit. Micky Urwin was unfortunate to miss out on a starting place as the manger went for a back four of Dan Purvis, Wayne Henry, David Mullen and Dan Smith. The midfield consisted of Brian Johnson on the right and Jonny Matthews on the left with a centre midfield pairing of Ian Hudson and Christie Elliott. The two man attack consisted of Stevie Stephenson and Aaron Todd. This looked to be a particular strong team on paper which probably would have been expected to beat Wardles who Robertsons had already beat 4-1 earlier in the season, but a lack of match fitness combined with a gale force wind and a extremely heavy pitch which was particularly boggy down the wings made for a much more even encounter. Also credit has to be given to the opposition who appeared to be much better organised than in the previous encounter and who must have been playing with a lot of confidence after an impressive 6-1 victory the previous week against Simonside SC.
Robertsons possibly should have had the game sown up in a wind assisted first half but squandered a number of good chances and the Wardles keeper pulled off a couple of class saves. Robertsons got off to a perfect start with a quality strike from Ian Hudson. Stevie Stephenson uncharacteristically missed from the penalty spot.
David Mullen made a couple of important interceptions to foil Wardles and this should have served as a warning as Wardles battled well and actually took a two one lead, the second was as a result of some indecision between the defence and the goalkeeper.
The strong wind and boggy pitch certainly did not cater for Robertsons usual slick passing play. The two wingers Jonny Matthews and Brian Johnson were replaced as the pitch down the wings was virtually unplayable it was because of this that manager Steve Dean decided not to replace them with a like for like formation of Cal Wade and Craig Lowther and opted for bringing on Micky Urwin into the defence allowing Dan Smith to be released into a more forward role and Declan Tilson to add a bit extra bite to the midfield. This seemed to work better as Dan Smith certainly stamped his authority more on the game.
Stevie Stephenson more than made up for his penalty miss by producing an exceptional finish from outside the box to level it at 2-2 and earn a point and maintain Robertson Scaffoldings unbeaten league record.
Robertson Scaffolding: R Docherty, Dan Smith, D Purvis , W Henry, D Mullen, B Johnson(D Tilson 80 mins)J Matthews(M Urwin 65 mins), I Hudson,,C Elliott, S Stephenson, A Todd
Unused Subs: C Wade ,C Lowther,
Booking : D Mullen
Scorers: Ian Hudson, Stevie Stephenson
Footnote: This result left Robertsons equal on points at the top of the league but with a two games in hand advantage over The Fad. Both the Fad and Robertsons will be playing in the cup next week.
In the afternoon after the game Brian Johnson unfortunately picked up a serious injury playing for Jarrow under 21s ,he is on crutches as a result of fracturing a metatarsal bone in his right foot and ripping some soft tissue to his ankle. We all wish Brian a speedy recovery