Neal hits late equaliser as Petersfield Town battle back to earn draw
LAVERSTOCK 2 - 2 PETERSFIELD TOWN
The Rams kicked off the season by fighting back from two goals down in the second half to gain an unfortunate draw away to Laverstock last Saturday.
Petersfield started sharply and pressured the home side from the off.
However, The Rams went behind to an unlucky own goal in the 12th minute.Laverstock sent in a harmless long range cross and Ryan Kennedy cushioned a header, aiming for Gardiner in goal. Unfortunately, the header went past the unexpected keeper and into the net.
Matt Low should have equalised not long after. Breaking through the back line and tried to go round the keeper. Laverstock goalkeeper, Alexis Aguer, was quick to react getting down forcing Low into an early shot being parried away.
The home side somehow got away with some poor defending. After a good passing move the ball was fed into the box, commencing pinball in the area. Judd got the final shot on the turn from six yards being blocked by the defender.
Laverstock had their first real chance with a quick counter halted by Gardiner. Chea Sykes advanced down the left and closing in on goal. With defenders closing, he shot meaning Gardiner parried clear.
Alexis Aruga continued his impressive performance saving a powerful drive from Will Essai after latching onto a through ball from a wide position.
Ryan Kennedy had another horror moment at the death. With an attack fizzling out the ball went back to Kennedy on his right foot, trying to shift it onto his left. Laverstock forward, Russ Stoes nicked it off Kennedy. Both defender and goalkeeper were caught high up and Russ squared it to Sykes who rolled it in from long range.
Petersfield earnt a way back into the game with a penalty. Cameron smith showed fantastic determination bursting past laverstock players only to be brought down. Matt Low stepped up and calmly placed it in just after the hour mark.
Shortly after an equaliser went begging. The Rams worked the ball well into an attacking position before sending a cross along the six yard box to substitute, Jordan Neal, whose left foot shot somehow went wide.
Jordan Neal made up for his error in dramatic fashion with an 89th minute equaliser. Low on the left feed a perfect cross over the defenders and grasping keeper to Neal at the back post to tap home to set up a tense final few minutes.
Low should have won it in the dying stages going through one on one, Aruga blocked another shot completing an impressive performance.