A goal in the fourth minute of added time denied West a vital three points as they came from a goal down to draw with Hanley Town at Brookburn Road.
Determined to make up for the previous Saturday’s defeat away to AFC Darwen and with places against FC United to play for West were quick out of the blocks and created the first chance on 6 minutes when Rick Gleave played in Saul Henderson into the penalty area; the West striker didn’t brilliantly to turn before playing a low cross across the six yard box which just evaded the out stretched boot of Gleave.
Hanley however were not to be outdone as they headed just over at the near post after some excellent wing play from Dan Cope on the left hand side. West remained dangerous from set pieces as a wonderfully whipped in free kick against just evaded Gleave before West should have had a penalty as Nia Bayunu was bundled over in the penalty area from a corner on 17 minutes.
The first save of the game came on 18 minutes, from another corner, as a curled in set piece found the back of the head of Henderson and he forced the Hanley Town goalkeeper Joe Hemmings into a superb save on the line pushing the header over the bar. Three minutes Bayunu had another great chance as he headed over at the near post.
At the other end Theo Stair went close for Hanley as he pounced on a loose deflection but could only watch as his effort curled wide of the left hand post. Moments later he was through again but West goalkeeper Saul Lomax-Newton did superbly to dive on the ball.
For the large part West continued to dominate as Henderson and Gleave combined superbly at the edge of the area before the West striker fired his first time effort just past the post. A minute later Henderson almost turned provider as he held the ball up and did well to tee up Captain Mark Rogers who saw his left footed effort tipped round the post. On 37 minutes Bayunu went close again from a corner as he headed just over inside the six yard box from another corner.
West couldn’t turn their dominance into goals and fell behind on 40 minutes when Rogers lost the ball inside the six yard box and present Dan Cope with a tap in as he slotted under the helpless Lomax-Newton. West almost responded immediately as a Joe Shaw cross found the head of Henderson but the Hemmings was equal to the powerful header forcing West to go into the break behind.
It was Lomax-Newton who would be the first goalkeeper called into action in the second half as he was forced to push a hard effort around the post on 48 minutes. On 52 minutes Gleave finally connected with a cross with a superb diving header but couldn’t turn the difficult chance towards goal. The front three of Henderson, Gleave and Evangelinos continued to cause Hanley issues as they combined again in the penalty area but Hanley were fortunate that the latters shot was deflected into the hands of the grateful goalkeeper. A minute later it was Matty Kay’s turn as he was put through on goal but could only hit his shot tamely at the Hemmings.
West weren’t to be denied and were deservedly level on the hour mark when a superb interchange saw Henderson flick the ball into the path of Evangelinos inside the penalty area and the winger made no mistake drilling it into the bottom left corner to cap off a superb West goal. Hanley responded immediately as again Lomax-Newton was called into action to make a save through Charlie Goldshaw.
West continued to dominate and Kay clipped an effort just wide of the post on 76 minutes before clipping the bar on 79 minutes with the keeper well beaten. The breach was finally broken on 83 minutes when Matty Kay drilled home a penalty, after a trip in the area, to give West a deserved lead.
However West could not hold onto the lead and in the fourth minute of stoppage time a hopeful shot was deflected off the foot of a West defender into the path of Jonny Higham who gleefully dispatched it into the net from point blank range to rescue a point for the visitors.