On a cold night in Lancashire a young West side were twice forced to come from behind to salvage a point at Nelson. Following Saturday’s win at home to AFC Darwen manager Steve Settle was forced into two changes as Jordan Poole replaced the injured Nia Bayunu in the centre of defence whilst Ben Steer replaced Rob Black in midfield. Due to heavy traffic, the kick off was delayed until 7:55 with the players not taking the field to warm up until 7:30 with the kit last to arrive. The delay didn’t hinder West and they took the lead after just three minutes when Matty Kay’s cross from the right found the head of Jonny Poizer and his header curled into the top corner for his 6th goal of the season. The lead last just three minutes as Nelson were awarded a penalty for a trip by Carlos Mendes Gomes at the edge of the area. Despite his penalty heroics on Saturday West goalkeeper Dean Williams could do nothing about this penalty as it was rifled into the top right hand corner by Charles Collinge The goal galvanised Nelson and they were ahead on 10 minutes as West failed to deal with a cross from the right and Dan Burns was afforded a free header from 6 yards out as he nodded into the bottom right hand corner. Nelson, with their tails up, squandered a great chance to make it 3-1 on 17 minutes as a long free kick was hit low into the penalty area but somehow, with the goal at their mercy, failed to hit the target. West fought their way back into the game and Ash Woods forced a superb save from Danny Lever in the Nelson goal forcing him to push a hard volley away from 12 yards out on 22 minutes. Four minutes later the best move of the match to that point saw Ben Steer on the left, his cross found Mendes Gomes whose first touch left his defender for dead but he just fired over the bar. West continued to press and on 32 minutes Matty Kay had a great chance as Mendes Gomes played in Ben Woods on the left; he pulled a superb cross back from the touchline but Matty mis-kicked with the goal in front of him. His miss would go unpunished however as a minute later, a similar move from Ben Woods picked out Ash Woods and he made no mistake drilling his effort in off the underside of the cross bar from 10 yards out; a superb move. On 39 minutes Nelson should have retaken the lead when a cross from the right found its way to the far post but somehow it was skied over the bar from less than 6 yards out. At the other end Mendes Gomes ghosted past his defender into the penalty area forcing Lever into a good block at his near post. In first half stoppage time West re-took the lead when a Matty Kay corner found Anthony Potts at the far post and the West captain tapped it in for his first goal of the season to give West a first half lead. In the second half the first major incident came on 53 minutes as Dean Williams came out to punch away a high ball but was dazed upon impact with the ground. Both sets of players and the referee responded immediately putting Deano into the recovery position before being checked over by both teams physio’s. After a five minute delay, amazingly, he was able to continue to finish out the game. The stoppage rattled West and Nelson almost levelled on 58 minutes when they headed over from a whipped in free kick. West responded themselves with terrific effort from Ben Woods as he struck a hard effort from 30 yards out forcing Lever into a superb save to tip it round the post. In such an open game another goal was inevitable and it fell to the home side on 68 minutes as West failed to deal with a corner and Ben Connelly header, despite being headed off the line, was adjudged to have crossed the line by the linesman. Suddenly the momentum was with the Admirals and Williams came up with two big saves, both from one-on-ones as West struggled to regain control of the game. With nine minutes remaining Williams was again called into action to save at his near post. However he could do nothing to prevent Nelson’s fourth goal on 87 minutes as West failed to clear the ball on the right hand side, it fell to Charlie Lloyd inside the penalty area who turned it home with the West bench appealing for a Nelson handball. West weren’t finished however and two minutes later they responded with a superb attack with Ash Woods driving home Matty Kay’s low cross on the slide to hand West their share of the spoils. West might have won it in stoppage time when substitute Rob Black volleyed into the hands of Lever but never side could find a winner in a thrilling an incident filled game.
NWCFL Premier Division
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