Willington 5-4 Hartlepool FC
December 10, 2011 - Wearside Football League, Division Step 7
This nine goal thriller was a fantastic night of entertainment, better than anything on that was on the telly! For the supporters of the respective teams it was a mixture of elation, frustration, ecstasy, despair and relief. At the final whistle the bottom line is that Willington gained another three points to put them at the top of the Wearside League with a tenth successive league victory.
Willington were given a 6th minute penalty following a handball offence that was unceremoniously put into the back of the net by Paul Bailes.
On 19 minutes a Hartlepool free kick was floated into the box towards James Davies who rose unchallenged and headed an equaliser.
Five minutes later Bailes had possession inside the opposition half and played in Reece Marshall who ran on to the pass taking one touch and then without breaking stride hit a delightful strike over the head of the Hartlepool keeper leaving him a reluctant spectator and giving Willington the lead.
Just before half time Hartlepool were reduced to 10 men when Goddard was sent off for an elbow that had been spotted by the linesman.
Hartlepool belied the fact they had lost a player and came out fighting in the second half and it was no surprise on 51 minutes when their pressure paid off and they equalised when Steve Howe inadvertently put a cross into his own net.
The game flowed from one end to the other. On 59 minutes a Danny Lee cross found Paul Bailes in the box. He jinxed past two players, created space and his accurate strike beat the keeper to make it 3-2.
Willington spectators heaved a sigh of relief on 75 minutes when another decisive strike by Marshall gave them a two goal cushion. Game over? No chance!
On 80 minutes Willington lost possession in midfield Hartlepool took full advantage through Craig Hutchinson with an excellent finish just inside the box to make it 4-3.
Five minutes later Hartlepool were awarded a penalty for a foul. The spot kick was well struck to the left of Chris Sawyer but he was able to get a hand on the ball to brilliantly push the ball way for a corner.
The two goal cushion was reinstated on 87 minutes when Marshall played in Michael Yorke who hit a low drive from just inside the box into the back of the net. 5 -3 to Willington with stoppage time to play out, no more drama? Not likely!
To their credit, 10 man Hartlepool continued to threaten the Willington goal and forced a corner. The delivery found Scott Hine who slotted the ball beyond Sawyer to give Willington supporters a nerve jangling last couple of minutes until the referee finally called time on an eventful evening of football at Hall Lane.
Willington lead the table following their 5-4 victory over Hartlepool.
Paul Bailes (2), Reece Marshall (2) and Michael Yorke were their marksmen with
James Davies, Stephen Howe (og), Craig Hutchinson and Scott Hine keeping Pools
in with a chance until the final whistle.
Referee: Paul Younger
Assistant: Kieran Downey
Assistant: Joe Moore
6 min - Paul Tucker Bailes (7/10)
25 min - Reece Marshall (9/10)
59 min - Paul Tucker Bailes (7/10)
75 min - Reece Marshall (7/10)
87 min - Michael Yorke (8/10)