STEVENSON'S ROCKET EARNS A SHARE OF THE SPOILS
A stunning late equaliser from Rob Stevenson earned Blues a share of the spoils in an entertaining game against Frickley Athletic.
Unsurprisingly, Blues boss Neil Baker went with the same starting eleven that knocked Kettering Town out of the FA Trophy a week ago.
However, his side got off to the worst possible start going a goal down after just three minutes. A free-kick was swung in and Jameel Ible rose highest to connect with a high looping header that seemed to surprise everyone when it dropped in at the far post.
Six minutes later Rob Stevenson stole possession and fed Tim Grice whose shot was deflected off a defender for a corner.
Dan Trickett Smith swung in the corner and Grice was on hand to meet the ball with a first time effort which he tucked into the far bottom corner of the net.
Ben Chapman was at full stretch to push away a cross-shot on 17 minutes and then two minutes Frickley had a good chance to retake the lead but the shot was blasted over.
Two minutes before the break, Blues won a corner and the ball was cleared but only back to Trickett-Smith whose cross was met by a great downward header from Scott Lycett, only for Frickley keeper Seb Malkowski to pull off a super save low down to push the ball away.
Just after the break Grice was in a great position inside the area, but his shot from the angle was the wrong side of the post.
Chapman was called into action to push away a fierce effort from Jacob Hazel soon afterwards as play continued to flow from end to end.
On 68 minutes Stevenson used his pace to get through on goal but Malkowski was out quickly to block his shot.
Two minutes later Marc Grocott got on the end of the cross, but headed just over the crossbar.
Chapman pulled off a fantastic save in the 71st minute when Gavin Allott bore down on goal, but the Blues keeper came out and pushed the effort wide of the post.
A minute later Frickley were awarded a tackle when a fellow innocuous looking tangle involving Grocott and Hazel, saw both him and the Frickley player end up on the ground.
However the referee decided Grocott was the offender and Hazel just managed to squeeze home the spot-kick despite Chapman getting a hand on it.
It looked like it wasn't going to be Blues day when on 80 minutes Mike Calverly latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the box and thumped a superb strike against the cross bar.
The equaliser came two minutes from time and it was a thing of beauty. Stevenson picked up the ball wide on the right. He beat both defenders in his way, cut into the area and unleashed an unstoppable shot across the keeper and into the far top corner of the goal.
Blues were unable to force a clear opening in added time and so the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
View the match photos here.
Team: Chapman, Green, Kearns (Grimshaw, 83), Grocott, Lycett, Chadwick, Maguire (Johnson, 75), Calveley, Grice , Trickett-Smith (Curley, 90), Stevenson
Unused subs: Shelley, Wyatt
Match sponsored by Leek Gateway Club
Man of the Match: Rob Stevenson