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Hadley Wood & Wingate
Thu 24 Mar 19:45 - League Full time

Hadley Wood & Wingate 2 - 2 Evergreen

By Nikhil Saglani

A young Hadley Wood & Wingate were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Evergreen FC on Thursday night after coming back from a two-goal deficit.

Hadley Wood’s first chance fell to Elliott Bailey, but he could only head wide from Karl Stevenson’s cross from the right wing on three minutes. Stevenson got forward again minutes later and his cross into the path of Jack Read was inch-perfect but the striker was unable to make firm contact with the ball and Evergreen cleared.

The visitors took advantage of these missed opportunities and went ahead via a freak goal. An inswinging corner on 18 minutes evaded everyone inside the area and nestled into the opposite corner of the goal, much to the annoyance of Hadley Wood’s coaching staff. On 29 minutes, another Evergreen corner put them 2-0 up, this time it was prodded home after a scramble inside the area.

However, Wingate took only four minutes to respond. Alfie Bartram’s chipped pass found Read inside the area and his deft finish over the keeper nestled into the bottom corner and halved the deficit. Read was on hand to level the tie on the stroke of half-time when he prodded home from six yards out when found by Alfie Bartram’s inswinging free-kick. Half time: Hadley Wood & Wingate 2-2 Evergreen FC.

The second half was a much quieter affair, with both sides limiting each other to any clear-cut chances. Josh Grantham nearly put Hadley Wood ahead but his curling effort from 25 yards out just evaded the left-hand post on 53 minutes. Alex Hadjithemistou and Josh Barry replaced Grantham and Cameron Lyttle with 15 minutes to go but it was centre-back Wilson Chingoka who created the next chance. With a dazzling run from defence through the heart of Evergreen, the 17 year old found Read – but the Evergreen goalkeeper saved the striker’s powerful effort excellently.

With five minutes to go, Evergreen were reduced to 10 men after an off the ball incident, giving Hadley Wood a chance to snatch a winner. But the Blues were unable to create a clear-cut chance and had to settle for a point after coming back from 2-0 down.

Team: Weinrabe, Stevenson, Walton-Owen, Killingback ©, Chingoka, Mafuta, Lyttle, Grantham, Read, Bartram, Bailey.
Bench: Sharpe, Hadjithemistou, Barry

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