Church rescue point at Leek
3 nil down after 82 mins, Church come back to draw 3-3 and could have even won it at the death
Talk about a game of 2 halves !
Manager, Ian Long, made 4 changes to the starting line up that threw away 2 points at Sheffield on Saturday.
Returning to the side were Winwood (for Turton), Willets (for Parsons), Botfield (for Reeves) and Nadat (for Yates).
The home side started the brighter and took the lead in the 10'. A cross from Lemon from just inside the Church half was failed to be cut out by Willets, with the ball landing at the feet of Robert Stevenson on the left, who cut inside of Ashmore before firing his shot past Gwilliams into the corner to make it 1-0.
Leek doubled their lead in the 40' following a corner on the left, swung in and met by the head of Niall Maguire who lost his marker Ashmore to make it 2-0.
Church skipper Ash Carter nearly pulled one back in the last minute of the first half after a Botfield cross was headed clear only to Carter who hit a screamer which Roberts got a finger to for a corner, which was headed just over by Carter.
Long made two changes at half time, bringing on Ceesay for Nadat and Turton for Bellis, which turned out to be inspired substitutions.
Ashmore was booked for a late challenge on Stevenson on the touchline after the Leek flyer had put the ball past him. From the free kick, Grice crossed for Maguire to nearly head a second but headed just wide.
In the 54' Stevenson broke down the right and his cross was somehow missed by Grice at the back post with the goal at his mercy.
Leek should have scored a third after 58' when first Botfield lost the ball just inside the Leek half, Trickett-Smith laid a beautiful ball through to Stevenson on the right and with Carter missing his tackle was through one on one with Gwilliams, but his shot was first saved by the legs of Gwilliams and then from the rebound saving a weak effort from Grice.
Church themselves then had a great chance of pulling one back after 58' when March hit a screamer which came of the underside of the bar, hit the back of Roberts and with Ceesay just about to tap in from a yard out a brilliant saving tackle on the line from Green, saw the ball cleared.
In the 63' Sam Hall was booked for a tackle on Ashmore. Ceesay then saw a good shot saved by Roberts at the second attempt.
In the 65' it was Ceesay again on the left, cutting in and firing a shot which Roberts saved for a corner.
Hall was given his second yellow and red after 69' after fouling Ceesay in the middle of the park.
Lloyd missed a chance after 71' after a cross from the right just eluded him.
Willets headed over after 73' from a Ceesay cross.
In the 75' the woodwork again came to the aid of Leek after March shot came off the inside of the post and along the goal line.
It was all one way traffic by now, but against the run of play and with Church throwing men forward, Leek scored a third after 80'.
Ashmores shot was blocked by Grice on the edge of his own box and broke away through the middle. With Carter slipping and missing the tackle on the half way line the ball was played wide right to Stevenson who returned the pass to Grice who slotted past Gwilliams to put Leek 3-0 up and what looked like a certain 3 points.
However, Church never know when they are beaten and March again hit the woodwork after 81' seeing his cross hit the outside of the post.
Church pulled one back after 83' when Carter curled a quickly taken free kick just outside the Leek box into the corner to make it 3-1.
Church made it 3-2 in the 88' when Carters cross found March who headed down to Yates who's touch found Ceesay who shot past Roberts to set up a dramatic finish. With Church eager to get the game restarted, Leeks Nial Maguire saw red after pushing March to the ground and left Leek to play the last 10 minutes with 9 men.
In the 2nd minute of added time Ceesay started and finished off a move which saw his shot blocked for a Church corner. From the corner Turton swung in a cross which found the head of Aaaron Lloyd who headed home to equalise.
Church even had the opportunity of winning it with the last kick of the game, when Turton swung in another pinpoint cross to find the head of March who header went inches wide of the post with Roberts flat footed and beaten.
Final Score: Leek Town 3 Alvechurch 3