Match Report: Atherton Collieries 1-1 South Shields

Match Report: Atherton Collieries 1-1 South Shields

South Shields were pegged back by an 84th minute equaliser after an action-packed second half left them reduced to nine players in a 1-1 draw at Atherton Collieries.

The Mariners had Darius Osei sent off shortly after half-time but battled well and took the lead when Jack Bodenham converted from a Nathan Lowe free-kick.

Atherton’s late leveller forced both sides to settle for a point but Shields ended the game another man light after Dan Martin was given his marching orders deep into stoppage time for a second yellow card.

The lively second half was not in keeping with what had preceded it, with the first 45 minutes devoid of goalmouth action.

The closest either team came followed a ball down the right channel from Lowe to Alex Kempster, who reached it before Atherton goalkeeper Elliot Wynne and sent a flicked effort narrowly wide.

Another opening for the visitors arrived shortly before the half-hour mark as Osei stole possession in the area and drove a ball across the face of goal which had just too much on it for Kempster and Conor Tee.

Arguably the game’s biggest talking point arrived seven minutes into the second half when Osei received a straight red card after the referee adjudged he had kicked out at an opponent.

Shields adapted well to the one-man disadvantage but the hosts did create a number of opportunities to take the lead.

Joel Amado fired not far wide from the edge of the box and the impressive Marcus Cusani cut inside and rifled a shot over as the Colls began to build up some pressure.

Far from feeling satisfied to settle for a point, though, the Mariners launched a series of attacks of their own.

JJ Hooper was introduced from the bench for his debut and almost had an immediate impact, collecting a loose ball 25 yards from goal before curling an effort narrowly past the post, while Lowe also went close with a dipping free-kick from a similar range.

A goal felt inevitable at that stage, although it was unclear which end it would come at.

Next it was Atherton’s turn to threaten, with Shields goalkeeper Myles Boney doing well to deny Aaron Smith by closing the angle and saving with his legs, and Smith then volleying just wide after a long throw was flicked on.

But it was the Mariners who broke the deadlock with just 15 minutes left to play.

Lowe delivered a free-kick to the back post which was prodded goalwards by Bodenham, with the ball squirming under Wynne and just beyond the line to give Shields a lead to hold onto.

Jack Lenihan powered a free-kick over for the home side but Shields looked likely to see the game out until they were undone in the 84th minute, with Gareth Peet advancing down the left and delivering a low cross which substitute Matty Gillam turned in from close range.

Martin was sent off five minutes into stoppage time for a second booking after a trip on Peet, and the resulting free-kick from Elliot Rokka drew a tremendous save from Boney as he plucked it from the top corner with his fingertips.

Despite having just nine players on the pitch, the final attempt at goal was from Shields, with Lowe shooting wide from distance on the left.

There were to be no further goals, though, as the Mariners went into a two-week break from match action with a draw.

South Shields: Boney, Martin, Adams (c), Ross, Morse, Bodenham, Tee, Lowe, Osei, Briggs (Main 56) (McGowan 81), Kempster (Hooper 56). Subs not used: Steavens, Hodgson.

Goal: Bodenham (75).

Attendance: 382.

Image: Kev Wilson.