JASON Paul’s last-minute goal earned Wakehurst a 1-1 draw from Saturday’s Belfast Telegraph Championship Two trip to Glebe Rangers.
A point may not be deemed too bad an outcome at a venue from which Wakehurst have often come home empty-handed but the Ballymena men will feel a draw was scant reward for their overall dominance of the game.
Rarely have they dominated a game so much with almost total possession during the first 30 minutes and goal scoring opportunities coming frequently but not being taken.
The usual clinical finishing of Jason Paul and Conor Gregg was the only missing link in this opening period and as often happens, it was Glebe Rangers that were given the perfect opportunity to go ahead on 31 minutes.
In practically their first venture into Wakehurst territory Andy Laughlin’s lunging tackle on Ian Parkhill left the referee with no option but to award a penalty. Up stepped Tommy Elder but he blazed the spot kick high over the crossbar to the relief of the visitors and despite further attacks on the home goal the interval arrived scoreless.
Glebe’s start to the second half was in stark contrast to how they approached the first and they went ahead on 47 minutes, Elder’s perfectly flighted cross from the right being met by the head of striker Parkhill, who made no mistake from six yards.
Jackie Morrison almost made it 2-0 just minutes later, his strike hitting the right upright of Marc May bin’s goal.
Wakehurst set about finding an equaliser and their objective was made a little easier as Ryan Marks was shown his second yellow card for a foul on Gregg.
Wakehurst stepped up the pressure but still the goal wouldn’t come.
The onslaught finally paid off in the last minute of the game, Jason Paul reacting first in a crowded goalmouth to hammer the ball into the net despite keeper Kane getting both hands to it.
Wakehurst: M Maybin, P Alexander, D Gage, D Stevenson, R Colville, A Laughlin, L McCaughern, M Crawford, C Gregg, J Paul, A Lemon. Subs: R Gregg, R Young, S McIlroy, J Lemon, D Parker.
Wakehurst are still without Stephen Mellon and Connor Warren (injured) and Ricky Culbertson (suspended). All three should be available in the next couple of weeks to strengthen Ian Gregg’s squad.
Ross Steele who has been carrying a long term injury went through a knee operation last Thursday and although he is not expected to return before the end of this season, the club wish him as speedy a recovery as possible.
This Saturday, January 26, Wakehurst travel to Dunmurry YM in the next round of the Intermediate Cup. Kick-off is 1-30pm.