West Allotment Celtic drew 3-3 with Guisborough Town after a 94th minute equaliser put a negative spin on an otherwise positive performance on Guy Fawkes Day.
Allotment, who also played the whole second half with 10 men, took the lead through Shaun Reay (30) before Guisborough immediately responded through David Onions’ 100th goal for the club (32).
A mistake from the Guisborough defence allowed Dale Pearson to pounce before rounding the goalkeeper to score (35), before Paul Stoneman Jr’s cross fortunately ended up in the goal to give Allotment a 3-1 lead (44).
Guisborough’s Thibault Charmey still had time to pull a goal back before half-time (45) before Allotment’s Dale Pearson was controversially sent off for receiving a second yellow after being accused of diving when trying to win a penalty.
Allotment defended valiantly in terrible weather conditions until Paul Blake popped up late on to fire a long-range strike into the net and rescue a point.
Going into the game, both sides were desperate for three points in order to move away from the relegation zone.
Allotment had the first serious chance when a Adam Gladwin corner was directed towards Michael Hall. Hall powerfully headed the ball towards the bottom corner of the goal. However, a Guisborough defender was glued to the post and cleared well from danger.
West Allotment Celtic opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when Dale Pearson burst down the left wing with ferocious pace before finding Shaun Reay in the six-yard area. With time and space, Reay calmly stroked the ball home.
Allotment’s lead lasted for just two minutes as Guisborough’s David Onions tapped home his 100th Guisborough goal from close range after a corner was poorly cleared.
West Allotment responded brightly themselves after they regained their lead when Dale Pearson turned from provider to goalscorer. After a Guisborough goal kick landed at the defender’s feet, a heavy touch let Pearson immediately intercept before rounding the goalkeeper and passing the ball into an empty net.
Celtic took a two-goal lead through Paul Stoneman Junior in the 44th minute. After his cross from the right wing flew into the box, the Guisborough defence were unable to deal with the danger and the ball ended up in the net, to Stoneman Jr’s delight.
The first half was not over yet. Guisborough’s Thibault Charmey got a goal back as he struck a sweet low strike beyond Allotment goalkeeper Chris Bannon.
More controversy followed as Dale Pearson received a debatable red card just before the half-time whistle. After going down inside the penalty box, the referee gave a free-kick in Guisborough’s favour and gave Pearson his second yellow card.
As the rain continued to fall down along with bitter winds, West Allotment continued to defend for the all-important win. Chris Bannon was key in goal, keeping out David Onions and tipping a fierce free-kick over the crossbar.
Guisborough looked to have equalised in the 81st minute through Matthew Pennal but his strike was sent wide of the left hand post.
As the clock ticked down, Allotment were getting closer and closer to victory. However, their bonfire flame went out in the final seconds when Blake’s strike, the last kick of the match, took a slight deflection of the Allotment defence. After the defence blocked almost every ball in the second half, the deflection took the ball beyond Bannon.
West Allotment Celtic will be seeking a victory on Wednesday night when they face Washington FC.