Hallen 2-2 Ilfracombe Town
January 10, 2011 - Toolstation Western League, Division Premier
This game was played on a day when the temperature rose to an all-time record high for October – just shy of 30 degs. C. You might think that this made the task difficult but Hallen did all the hard work and took a two goal lead before they squandered chance after chance and then paid the price for their ineptitude.
Within two minutes Bennett was having a shot blocked on the line after a shot from King and from the ensuing corner, the visiting keeper just flicked the ball off of the head of Davis who was about to score. But after just eight minutes Bennett, fully committed to the cause as always, made a challenge that caused him to lay motionless on the turf. 999 was dialled and the game was held up for thirty minutes before treatment arrived and the influential skipper was loaded onto a stretcher – we wish him well. Mention must be made of John Tierney who sat next to him for the entire period trying to keep his spirits up.
Two minutes after the restart, Hallen took the lead when Coote, deep on the right, pulled the ball back onto his left foot to deliver the ball that was seized on by Cook who swivelled to hit the ball into the corner of the net. With Hallen now playing some good football, we saw the keeper make a brave save to deny De Rosa before Ilfracombe had their first shot at goal after twenty-five minutes. The visiting keeper then made a good save from King, but he had no chance with Collett’s penalty in the 33rd minute that was awarded for a push at the far post as a Hallen player was about to head the ball into the net. As we awaited the half-time whistle Ilfracombe scored against the run of play when a corner was headed goalwards bringing a good stop from the Hallen keeper, but the ball squirmed loose and was poked over the line by the only person to react.
Ilfracombe were on fire as they started the second half and they had all the play for ten minutes but they failed to convert their advantage. Hallen then improved with Collett making good runs down the left to provide chances for Cook and King but both were squandered. King then set up Coote with an excellent cross-field ball but the chance was wasted, and the same player missed an even better opportunity minutes later after good work by Mowatt and De Rosa. Six minutes to go and we had the equaliser from the visitors when a free kick was hoisted forward and the ball was scrambled over the line from a crowded penalty area. The assistant stood firm with his flag aloft indicating that a player was in an offside position, but after a consultation the referee awarded the goal. I will never understand this “not in active play” stance when the player is blocking the view of the keeper!
Goals : Hallen – Cook 10 mins; Collett (pen) 33 mins / Ilfracombe – 42 mins; 84 mins
Hallen team: Stawrowski; Willshire; Bright; Greening; M Davis; Nelmes (Mowatt 59 mins); Cook; De Rosa; Collett; Bennett (Coote 8 mins); King (Andrews 64 mins)
10 min - Andy Cook (5/10)
33 min - Tom Collett (5/10)