BetVictor Southern Premier Central
Stratford Town 3 (Ball 6, Wilson 26, Wreh 90)
Kings Langley 3 (Campbell-Mhlope 7, McKeown 19 62)
Report by Craig Gibbons
CHRIS Wreh came off the bench to net a 90th minute equaliser as Stratford Town shared the spoils with Kings Langley after an entertaining 3-3 draw at the Arden Garages Stadium.
In a game where both defences were at sixes and sevens, it was Town who took the lead in the sixth minute through Callum Ball.
Half a minute later Matthew Campbell-Mhlope got Langley back on level terms and the visitors turned the game on its head in the 19th minute when Eoin McKeown coolly slotted home from inside the area.
But the goals didn’t stop there, with Lewis Wilson firing in at the back post from Mitchell Glover’s free-kick to restore parity with just 26 minutes on the clock.
McKeown bagged his second of the game just past the hour mark to put Langley back in front, but Town were to have the last say when Wreh diverted Glover’s free-kick home on the cusp of stoppage time to ensure Town came away with a point.
Blues boss Tommy Wright made three changes to the team which suffered a 3-1 reverse to Stourbridge on Monday night, with Ivor Lawton, Ball and Kynan Isaac coming in for Dan Vann, James Hancocks and Morgan Brown.
Isaac had departed the Arden Garages Stadium a fortnight ago, but Wright confirmed the versatile left-sided player had apologised for his actions and was more than happy to welcome him back to the squad.
And it didn’t take long for Town to break the deadlock in front of the 255-strong crowd as Glover’s deep free-kick was headed back across goal by Luis Morrison and there was Ball to finish from underneath the crossbar.
Town’s lead lasted barely 30 seconds, though, as a simple throughball was latched on to by Campbell-Mhlope who nutmegged the onrushing Sam Lomax and tapped the ball home into an empty net.
And 12 minutes later some miscommunication in the Town defence allowed the visitors to take the lead as Gary Connolly’s lobbed pass was not dealt with by Lomax and Lawton which allowed McKeown to nip in and guide the loose ball into the far corner.
The goals didn’t stop there, though, because Town were back on level terms in the 26th minute when Langley failed to clear Glover’s free-kick and there was Wilson to tap in at the far post.
Moments later a stunning save from Melvin Minter ensured the score remained level, with the Langley keeper tipping Nabil Shariff’s effort onto the post from point-blank range.
In a frantic first half, it needed a top drawer save from Lomax nine minutes before the break to keep Town level, as he quickly got down to his left to push Mitchell Weiss’ glancing header from Charlie Ruff’s whipped in free-kick behind for a corner.
Surprisingly, no further goals arrived by the sound of the half-time whistle.
Three minutes into the second half the visitors wasted a huge chance to regain the lead, with McKeown’s shot blocked by Cody Fisher before Weiss blasted over the rebound from a tight angle.
Just like the first half, the second had just as much action and a diving save to his right from Minter prevented Shariff’s left-footed volley from outside the area from finding the top corner.
Lomax then pulled off a fine double save to keep his side level, firstly denying Weiss and then stopping the follow-up from Kane Farrell.
However, there was nothing he could do a minute later as once again a simple throughball was latched on to by McKeown who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Town’s defence continued to be at sixes and sevens, with Wilson blocking a Stephen Ward shot before an unmarked Weiss headed over at close range from Farrell’s corner.
Despite their inability to defend, Town should have made it 3-3 with 12 minutes to play, but Shariff’s close range effort was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by the feet of Langley shot-stopper Minter.
Shariff then had two further chances in the final ten minutes to bring Town level, but both efforts flew over the bar.
However, Town’s persistence eventually paid off in the 90th minute when substitute Wreh diverted Glover’s free-kick into the back of the net from a couple of yards out to rescue a point for the hosts.
TOWN: Sam Lomax, Cody Fisher, Luis Morrison (Linden Dovey 68), Thomas Fishwick, Lewis Wilson, Ivor Lawton, Nabil Shariff, Joel Gyasi (Kurtis Revan 62), Kynan Isaac (Chris Wreh 69), Mitchell Glover, Callum Ball. Unused subs: Elliott Taylor, Dylan Parker.
LANGLEY: Melvin Minter, Gary Connolly, Kane Farrell, Roderick Collins, Callum Adebiyi, Jorell Johnson, Eoin McKeown (Louis Collier 84), Joshua Coldicutt-Stevens, Mitchell Weiss, Charlie Ruff (Harrison Crawford 79), Matthew Campbell-Mhlope (Stephen Ward 72). Unused subs: Max Hercules, Luke Alfano.