Earlswood Town rescue point from feisty affair at Inkberrow
Inkberrow 1-1 Earlswood Town
Midland League, Division Two
LOUIS Bridges was the spot-kick saviour as Earlswood Town bagged a point at Inkberrow.
The 1-1 draw ended a run of three straight defeats for the Earls after an entertaining and often feisty encounter in Worcestershire.
Captain Bridges’ 78th-minute penalty cancelled out George Robbins’s 11th-minute opener to ensure the visitors deservedly left Sands Road with a share of the spoils.
Yet during large parts of the first-half, Earlswood looked in danger of registering another loss in Midland League Division Two as they had Alistair Lewis to thank in goal.
Lewis – back between the sticks for the first time in four games – set his stall out in the fourth minute by spectacularly palming away George Thomas’s thumping effort from distance.
As the Earls struggled to string a series of passes together, Inkberrow capitalised with the excellent Robbins given complete freedom down the left to drill an effort beyond Lewis for 1-0.
Despite Inkberrow’s first-half dominance, the visitors were left frustrated by decisions that didn’t fall in their favour.
After being played onside by the last Inkberrow defender, Mikey Bridges appeared to be upended in the home side’s box but the referee said play on.
Moments later, Harry Street appeared to be struck in the face during an off-the-ball incident, with Jay Higgins-Pugsley fortunate to escape with just a yellow card.
As the soggy weather turned for the worst after the break, Earlswood finally started to get a foothold in the game.
Mikey Bridges was once again hacked down in the penalty box at the opposite end but this time the official pointed to the spot with 12 minutes left to play.
Older brother Louis stepped up to fire home his seventh of the campaign, bringing him level with his sibling and Tom Kinsey in the race for the Earls’s golden boot.
A quite unbelievable goalmouth scramble almost saw Inkberrow regain the lead as a goal-line clearance, a Lewis save and then a deflection off a team-mate in succession spared Earlswood the heartache.
The visitors could have nicked it in injury time as Leadun Dunlevy’s flicked header narrowly bounced clear of the left upright.
The Earls and Inkberrow are due to do battle again at The Pavilions again on Saturday (2pm kick-off).