Lye Town 3-3 Shepshed Dynamo
Shepshed produce stunning fightback in game of two halves
By Lucas Monk
In an energetic and enterprising second-half performance, Shepshed Dynamo eliminated a two-goal deficit to claim a well-earned point in this frenetic encounter with top-half challengers Lye Town - but could so easily have been celebrating a victory instead come the game’s end.
Having led 2-1 at half-time, the hosts netted directly from a corner to put Dynamo further behind, before Matt Melbourne and debutant Ollie Roome both struck to ensure they emerged from the game with a share of the spoils.
And it was no less than Damion Beckford-Quailey’s embattled troops deserved for a resurgent second-half showing that saw them dominate their opponents and fashion a raft of clear goalscoring opportunities.
The early exchanges produced little in the way of notable action, with the visitors occasionally putting together slick moves that ultimately lacked incision in the final third - a pattern that would prove regular throughout the half.
In one such example, Liam Hurst, with a splitting pass, released Sam Moore, who in turn found Matt Melbourne.
The erstwhile Leicester Nirvana hitman then found himself forced wide, and could only cross for Moore, who headed downward merely for the Lye defence to hack clear.
The game would, however, burst into life in the 18th minute.
After Geoff Hill’s industry on the right won them a corner, the hosts took the lead.
The defensive frailties that have plagued Shepshed time and time again thus far this season were once more evident as Luke Paskin met Ben Billingham’s inswinging delivery with a towering header into the bottom corner.
But that lead would last no fewer than two minutes - thanks to an unfortunate own goal.
Home ‘keeper Jack O’Day attempted to clear Jack Pearlman’s pass with a booming kick upfield, but instead sliced it into his own net, watching with evident anguish as the ball trickled over the line.
To the chagrin of the visitors, that anguish was soon extinguished.
More slipshod Dynamo defending allowed left-back Lewis Probert to glide into the box unchallenged before cutting the ball back for Hill, who displayed ample composure to take a touch and fire low into the bottom corner to restore Lye’s lead in the 23rd minute.
And the Flyers would finesse further opportunities.
Josh McKenzie nodded Louis Worsey’s inswinging, left-wing cross wide and Billingham elicited a good holding save from visiting ‘keeper Brandon Ganley with a well-struck volley from range as the hosts sought to increase their lead.
They were instead almost pegged back when Moore flicked a long ball on for Melbourne, but the latter could only drag his effort narrowly wide after bearing down on goal.
Despite that foray forward, Shepshed were quite clearly second-best throughout the first period, and were fortunate not to go in at the break further behind.
Ganley had to be alert to parry Hill’s low effort wide, and Worsey sent an arching effort over the bar in the half’s final stages.
But the visitors dusted themselves down, emerged for the second half and began to play with great vigour, and Josh Thomas drew a good, low save from O’Day with just a few minutes elapsed as they threatened to mount a fightback
And then disaster struck, as Billingham’s corner from the left produced Lye’s third goal - it perchance flew straight into the net - and appeared to have put the match out of sight.
Dynamo, though, would take no lying down.
Liam Hurst drew another save from O’Day by flicking Luke Doy’s cross toward goal, before Thomas’s ensuing corner wreaked havoc in the Lye penalty area and Melbourne struck the post as they sought to reduce the arrears with appreciable diligence and purpose.
The introduction of Celson Patrocinio further strengthened the defiant visitors, and O’Day had to be quick off his line to beat him to the ball after Moore flicked on Ganley’s prodigious kick upfield.
Moore then saw a low strike blocked before Niall Prenderville headed over from another good delivery from Doy.
It would be Melbourne who ultimately, and crucially, halved the deficit.
From Thomas’s cross, the striker had an initial effort blocked, but he was able to lash the ball into the top corner from close range at the second time of asking.
He then teed up Moore for another low effort that the Lye defence stoutly repelled, before Patrocinio made a feeble attempt to chip O’Day after Hurst found him with another searching pass.
The chances continued to come for Shepshed, as Prenderville’s flick-on from a corner saw Jordan Wakeling shoot wide from inside the box.
And it was left to substitute Ollie Roome to restore parity with just 10 minutes remaining as he steered home a debut goal into the bottom corner from inside the box after a good delivery from Thomas.
Dynamo might have snatched all three points had Roome not headed wide after Thomas sent over yet another excellent cross three minutes thereafter, but despite their exertion of heavy attacking pressure for the game’s remainder, the hosts held firm for a point.
The away side will feel slightly aggrieved after displaying much skill and hard work to create several good chances and have a multitude of efforts on goal, but they still secured a positive result nonetheless.
This point sees them remain snugly ensconced in 15th position, six points above the bottom two, and they are now unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions.
And though they will need to eradicate from their game the sort of glaring defensive errors that handed Lye the lead on no fewer than three occasions, Shepshed can now move on to Tuesday night’s visit of Coventry Sphinx with a little more confidence.
Dynamo: Ganley; Doy, Pheasant, Wakeling, Acott, Prenderville, Phillips (Patrocinio 58’), Hurst, Thomas, Melbourne, Moore (Roome 76’).
Unused subs: Foster, Osaji.
Lye Town: O’Day, Colley, Paskin, Pearlman, Probert (Meacham 79’), Hill (Skeldon 82’), Lawley, Wood, Billingham, Worsey, McKenzie (Till 87’).
Unused subs: Bala, Shilvock.
Booked: Colley, Pearlman (Lye).
Referee: Adrian Hall.