The battle for the title still continues as Spartans could only manage a draw against a determined White Youth outfit.
It was always going to be a tough game on the small pitch at King’ Park, and again this proved to be the case. The opening 20 minutes was very scrappy with both teams trying to adjust to the small pitch. White Youth played the long ball tactic with two quick front men trying to get the better of the Spartans defense.
We held firm with Ben, Bertie, Tarik and Tony countering all the attacks. We started to work the ball better in the later stages of the first, the midfield of Joe, Scouse, Knowles and Lionel started to get more of the ball and Jeff and Mehdi up front were starting to cause the WY defense some problems. Knowles stung the hands of the WY keeper, but we were limited to long range efforts. HT: 0-0.
We started better in the second half and looked the more dangerous, some lovely interchange on the right had Lionel through on goal, but he was unable to score. Joe was getting more space on the left and his link up play with Jeff was threatening. I started to ring the changes. Stef for Tony and Cowley for Lionel.
Against the run of play WY scored. Their winger struck a long range looping effort, which hit the cross bar and bounced kindly for their striker to prod home from 1 yard. It was a clear offside, but later the Ref indicated that the keeper had touched the shot onto the bar and such the player was on-side. Hmmmmm.
Anyway, this setback got our tails up, we looked more lively and peppered the WY goal, but getting frustrated with the WY time wasting tactics. Flabbo played his last hand with 10 mins remaining, Nana on for Mehdi and Rick Man for Tarik.
The chances were coming thick and fast with Joe and Cowley providing outlet on the wings, with 3 men now in central midfield we continued to pressure, but as time wound down it looked as though we were going to suffer our second loss of the season.
Then with only a minute remaining the breakthrough came. Cowley crossed from the right, there was a scramble in the box as Nana went to shoot, it was initially blocked, however Nana managed to toe poke the ball into the roof of the net. 1-1.
A deserved draw, although we dominated spells in the game and should have won comfortably. Again everyone played their part. Thomas was a spectator for most of the game. The back four continued to show why this is the best defense in the league. The midfield battled for scraps on the tight pitch and we looked lively up-front.
However, for his energy in defense and later in midfield. MOM: Tarik.