Team(4-2-3-1): Ben Jackson, Sam Robertson, Aaron McDermott, Reece Jones, Andrew Duffy, Jonny Harrison(c), Adam McKinney, Dean Walker, Ryan McConkie, Alex Taylor, Anthony Duffy.
Sub: Eamonn Dawson
Rochdalians made the short journey to TOAN today. After the diabolical weather of the last couple of days, todays game was played in good conditions. Santos welcomed back Ben Jackson after recovering from a broken shin and handed a debut to Sam Robertson. Jonny Harrison making his 50th Santos appearance was handed the captaincy. After an error straight from the kick off, the visitors had a chance within the first few seconds, but the right wing cross was poor. It wasn’t long before Santos created their first chance but it was thwarted by Dalians defence. The first half continued to be nip and tuck between the sides with both teams making chances, however neither goalkeeper was really tested. The passing was a mixture of good at times with several poor decisions costing possession all too often. It was no great surprise that at half time the game was scoreless.
At half time it was discussed that we weren’t playing too bad and to continue pushing in the second half and the chances would still be there.
Unfortunately the visitors took the lead after 55 mins, a long ball into the box found a Dalians striker and his first shot was parried by Ben Jackson. The ball was then retrieved and the same striker turned and wrongfooted both the goalie and defender. A slightly fortunate goal to concede but Santos heads never dropped and carried on taking the game to Dalians but without much success.
With 10 minutes to go a hotly desputed throw in to Santos was quickly taken by Ben Jackson who found Alex Taylor. His pinpoint pass found Jonny Harrison on the left edge of the penalty box, he brought it down excellently and drilled a left foot shot passed the opposing goalie to tie the scores. There was no further goals as both teams tried frantically to find the winning strike.
It was a game Santos would have been looking to win, but a draw was a fair result in the end. The point takes Santos off the foot of the table and we look forward to next weeks game at Spurley Hey just one place and one point better off.