East Sussex Football League
South Coast Athletico 2-2 Victoria Baptists
Saturday 9th February 2019
Chopbacks fight back to rescue a draw
With the count down to the end of this season well and truly underway, South Coast Athletico hosted Victoria Babtists at the weekend.
The first fixture proved extremely exciting for the neutral as Coast clawed their way back from being 2 goals down to win that fixture 6-4, so in all probability this weekends game was going to worth watching.
As the teams warmed up it was evident Baptists had strengthened their side.
The young Chopbacks prepared for a stern test.
The game was very much a stalemate early on with Victoria Baptists applying the pressure and carving out opportunities, Lee Finnigan clearing off the line to save Coast from conversing an early goal in the opening quarter of an hour.
Baptists won a corner in the 22nd minute and capitalised as a player was not picked up at the back post, gratefully headed into Coasts net to give the visitors an early lead.
Coasts attacking front line had very little of the ball as Baptists midfield dominated snuffing out any Chopback advance.
This was to be the story of the game and the Chopbacks went in at half time 1-0 down.
On the 63rd minute in the second half a needless foul at the sideline midway to the halfway line resulted in a free kick to Baptists.
It was another repeat of misjudgement earlier in the season against Hollington Utd 2nds, which resulted in conceding a critical goal winning them the game.
Baptists fired in the free kick straight to the head of an attacking player to nod inside the near post doubling their lead.
Athletico were playing out of sorts after demonstrating such good form for the bulk of the season, they continued to give away needless fouls as their frustrations grew.
One thing a Chopback never does however is give up, regardless of the frustration level.
20 minutes from time, Ryan Penny received the ball to feet in Baptists Box, turned under pressure drawing a foul from behind, resulting in a penalty for South Coast.
Penalty taker Lee Finnigan stepped up, placed the ball and confidently smashed the ball hard and to the right of the keeper to score his first goal of the season.
The Chopbacks now had something to inspire them and began to show glimpses of their flowing attacking football.
A few half chances presented themselves and around the 80th minute, Athletico found themselves with a free kick 40 yards out from the visiting teams goal.
Brad Owens whipped an awkward ball into a packed Baptists box, the ball hit a defending players head ricocheting onto Chopbacks defender Georgie McDonagh’s head to find the net taking the tie to a draw.
In the final minutes it was all South Coast, 3 notable chances materialised, but it was just not to be.
The match finished 2-2.
As much as the outcome was a frustrating result for Coast, both teams enjoyed a spirited battle.
Penalty scorer Lee Finnigan was awarded Man of the Match for his work rate and passion especially in the first half, picking up those around him by his example.
Next weekend the boys need to find their form back as they have the toughest test of the season, hosting higher division opponents Rock-a-Nore in the Wisden Junior Cup semi final.
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