West Allotment Celtic dig in deep for Chester-le Street victory
West Allotment Celtic came out on top in a relegation “six-pointer” as they defeated Chester-le Street 1-0, courtesy of a Michael Hall header.
Hall, playing at centre back, rose highest to nod the ball just over the goal line despite a late attempt of a clearance from the Chester-le Street defender on the post.
Chester-le Street dominated possession in the second half and went close at numerous occasions, hitting the post and having a strike cleared off the line in the dying seconds by Allotment’s match winner Hall. However, it was West Allotment who held on bravely for three much-needed points.
Prior to the match, Allotment had went 10 league games without a victory, losing their last three fixtures. However, it was Paul Stoneman’s side who started the brightest, with Tony Stephenson and David Henderson going close at opening the scoring.
The away side took the lead in a deserved fashion as Michael Hall rose from a corner to powerfully head the ball towards the bottom corner. After the ball was thought to have been cleared off the goal line, the referee pointed towards the centre-circle to award the goal.
Chester-le Street remained dangerous in their search for an equaliser and should have equalised through Lee Mole. After a vicious ball across the penalty area found Mole, the striker somehow sliced his opportunity wide of the target from three yards out.
In the second half, the home side dominated possession and looked to have levelled. Joseph Hailes, Chester le Street’s main attacking threat sent a curling cross towards Dominic Laws at the back post. His low volley was expertly saved by Chris Bannon who managed to turn away the attempt with his foot and away for a corner.
Chester-le Street went even closer to scoring after David Surrey’s effort struck the bottom of the right hand post. The final move of the match saw Michael Hall go from goalscorer to goal saver as he heroically blocked a fierce strike off the line, which had beaten Bannon in goal before the goalkeeper got back to grab the ball and stop any danger of a late equaliser.
The victory is Allotment’s fourth away win of the season, after league wins at Seaham Red Star, Jarrow Roofing and Ryhope CW.
West Allotment will host Penrith in their next league match of the campaign, eager to record to back-to-back victories for the first time this season.