What started as a six pointer relegation dogfight ended up with the game of the season as Ellistown FC finally found some luck and took all 3 pts in a fantastic game of football that had everything (and I mean everything).
Both teams knew only a win would do and straight from the kick-off they both went for it. It was attack after attack and the Ellistown faithful roared on a Crystal Palace fan who fancied a game before heading down to the King Power where having nightmares each time Friar Lane got into our half.
The nightmare got worse on 12 minutes when our goalkeeper Samuele Boschi cleaned out the Friar Lane centre forward in the box and the ref pointed straight to the spot.
While Samuele Boschi was close to saving the pen, Nathaniel Mackintosh made it.
FL&E 1-0 EFC 12 mins
For Samuele that was a warm-up for what was coming in the 2nd half.
Ellistown roared back and turned the game on it's head through Aaron Windram who equalised on 20 mins when from a Zak Adams cross he bundled the ball and opposing goalkeeper into the net.
FL&E 1-1 EFC 20 mins
Zak Adams then gave Ellistown the lead on 24 minutes when a 25 yarder nestled into the bottom of the net.
FL&E 1-2 EFC 24 mins
We were flying but Friar Lane were looking dangerous on the attack and so it proved when Keaton Towers equalised on 30 mins with a cross shot.
FL&E 2-2 EFC 30 mins
The Ellistown and Crystal Palace away fans then opened a sweep stake on the final score. Our Chairman went for 15-16, it was that type of game.
Amazingly, there were no further goals in the half and both teams received a round of applause as they came off the pitch.
Both teams contributed to a great half of football and had everything to play for in the 2nd half.
FL&E 2-2 EFC HT
Town knew if they kept playing football and tighten up at the back then they would get the chances to win the game. With this in mind, Jake Mcloughlin started to see more ball in midfield and Mitch Williams, Dan Martin were causing havoc for the Friar Lane back four.
For all this, we were nervous at the back and in a mad 2 minute spell Friar Lane made us pay as goals from Jack Allen (55 mins) and Marco Henry (56) put Lane in firmly in charge at:-
FL&E 4-2 EFC 56 mins
4-2 with 34 mins to go, Ellistown had no option but to go for it and boy we did that. With both sides trading attacks like 2 heavy weight boxers, we knew the next goal would be critical.
Our cause was not helped by Zak Adams receiving a Red Card on 72 mins.
So 4-2 down, down to 10 men and 18 minutes to save our season. Hollywood producers read this script and make the film.
Cheered on by the away fans who knew the importance of the situation and led on the pitch by Captain, Leader, Legend Chris Nettles we took over the game and on 75 mins got back into it through Mitchell Williams who shot through a crowed penalty box to make it.
FL&E 4-3 EFC 75 mins.
Straight from the kick-off a long ball over the top caught out our defence and the Ref pointed to the spot as Brendon Lee cut in-front of the attacker.
Ellistown's future now depended on the next play. Friar Lane score and Ellistown become favourites for relegation. In what seems to be in slow motion, the Centre Forward run up to take the penalty and saw Samuele Boschi fly to his left and save it.
The ball was cleared and you could see there was only going to be one winner now as the boys in yellow started to play like Brazil. The only question was could we score the goals and the answer was Yes, Yes, and Yes.
On 85 minutes, Chris Nettles headed us level at 4-4 and we went hunting for the winner.
The winner came on 88 Minutes when Jake Mcloughlin burst into the penalty box, the ball took a number of ricochets and fell at the feet of Declan Grewcock who smashed the ball in from close range. The Grewcock family have a history of late goals saving football clubs (just ask Burnley fans) and Declan carried on this tradition.
FL&E 4-5 EFC 88 mins
There was still time for a shell shocked Friar Lane side to get back into it and credit to them as they sent a number of balls into our box. We survived and the away fans celebrated as the ref blew for full-time.
FL&E 4-5 EFC FT
A superb game of football that deserved no loser but that's not the game and well played lads, you done Ellistown proud today.
Friar Lane & Epworth are a football side with a proud history and we wish them well for the remaining games of the season.
Ellistown now move onto the Beacon Hill League cup on Tuesday when we take on Hathern.