Terras share point with late goals

Late goals from both sides resulted in a 3-3 draw at home to St Albans City on Tuesday night at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

The draw came after Zane Banton blasted home at the back post deep into stoppage time, just six minutes after Charlie Rowan looked to have won us three points.

Before that, it had taken a hard-fought performance to make a comeback after finding ourselves behind for much of the game.

Nazir Bakrin scored on his debut with only five minutes of regular time to go, after Shaun Jeffers’ double cancelled out Brandon Goodship’s opener just before the half-hour mark.

Ultimately, the performance contained “lots of positives” in the eyes of Bobby Wilkinson, who was especially pleased with us “picking up a point against one of the big boys.”

Perhaps even more pleasingly, our result ensures that we remain 17th in the National League South table, even if Dartford win their game in hand.

Wilkinson made four changes following our defeat to Hampton & Richmond Borough, one of them being the inclusion of Bakrin for the first time.

Additional changes involved Harry Jones, Dan Roberts and Charlie Rowan, who came in for Jordon Thompson, Keelan O’Connell and Harry Parsons, alongside the absent Olu Durojaiye.

The Saints came to Dorset being the more in-form side, losing just one out of their last six games before Tuesday.

Their impressive run was immediately noticeable, creating two chances in the first few minutes.

The game had barely started when Mitchell Weiss fed the ball towards Jeffers, whose strike was deflected by Corey Panter behind for a corner.

Dom Hutichinson then forced a save from Gerard Benfield, having a go at goal from long-range.

It wouldn’t be long, though, before we would pose a threat.

Just a minute later, Tom Bearwish would attempt one of his typical ambitious efforts, lashing the ball against the bar on the edge of the box.

After defending a few dangerous deliveries from Giorgio Rasulo, one of which was headed onto the roof of the net by Sam Brown, we would prove ourselves dangerous once again in the 18th minute.

The classic combination of Goodship and Teddy Howe would take place once again, Howe feeding our goal machine with a low cross from the right-hand side, allowing the forward to blast home for his 12th goal of the season.

With us now being 1-0 up, it would now be our defence tasked with some more Rasulo deliveries.

The midfielder whipped another cross into the box, this time reaching Jeffers, who was able to poke home to draw his side level eight minutes after Goodship’s opener.

Though the game was now one goal apiece, it wouldn’t be long before the visitors would score again.

Jeffers, ready to take the free-kick, stood behind the ball, curling past the wall and into the bottom-right corner, scoring his second of the game.

This meant that, after once being in the lead, we found ourselves a goal behind after conceding two goals in as many minutes.

The game slowed down after Jeffers’ double regarding clear-cut chances, as the scoreline remained the same until the break.

The second half began with positivity as Malachi Linton fired towards Michael Johnson from long-range six minutes in.

While Linton’s effort was relatively straightforward for Johnson to stop, the goalkeeper would have more work for the next strike.

Rowan would have a go from outside the box two minutes later, forcing Johnson to push the ball over the bar.

But, despite our early promise, the next chance would head the visitors’ way.

Weiss, in space inside the box, headed the ball wide past the near-post, handing us a let-off instead of ensuring we were two goals down.

More chances would come in our favour as the game ticked on, Leo Hamblin coming close with a free kick, before another long-range effort, this time from Goodship, was pushed behind with 20 minutes left to go.

Then, with the match now displaying end-to-end entertainment, Weiss again had the chance to double his side’s lead when Johnson fed him with a long-ball.

Luckily, though, Benfield managed to push away his effort at the near post.

The number of opportunities for both sides suggested that, at some point, the scoreline would change.

Luckily, with just five minutes of regular time to go, it did.

Earlier the goalscorer, Goodship hooked the ball in from a corner-kick as Johnson looked to collect.

The St Albans shot-stopper, however, spilled in disastrous fashion into the feet of Bakrin, who poked home to make it 2-2.

With the clock counting down, the game was now for the taking.

Another chance came our way when Bearwish swung the ball from the left towards the near post.

His cross met Rowan, who sent the ball past Thompson to give us the lead right on the brink of stoppage time.

As the referee indicated an extra four minutes, an impressive three points looked to be looming on the horizon.

However, with hardly any time left to play, Banton found himself in acres of space, side-footing past Benfield to alter the scoreline once more.

If that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, Saints substitute Jake Burger lofted Benfield to make it 4-3 right at the death.

Fortunately, though, the offside flag was raised.

After this teeth-clenching moment, there was no time left for another twist of the sale, as both sides left the pitch following an entertaining draw.

Match report
By Jack Webb

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