Heddon picked up their fourth point in three games, sharing six goals in an entertaining encounter against a strong Barrasford side.
After a torrential downpour on the morning of the game, thoughts beforehand turned to what sort of state the Barrasford pitch would be in. Thankfully the rain had succeeded in giving the playing surface a bit of zip, aiding both sides to pass the ball around, although the contours of the pitch meant that Jamie and Sean were playing the first half at one foot higher than the rest of the team!
Heddon started the game slowly in comparison to the Prudhoe Social match three days previously. Barrasford were knocking the ball around well, without causing too many problems to the Heddon defence, save for one header which drifted wide. Any threats were limited to set pieces, with two chances being cleared off the line. Gradually Heddon began to get a foothold in the game, however it was against the run of play when the visitors went 1-0 up. Frankie picked the ball up on the left wing and curled a dangerous ball behind the Barrasford defence, Dan Walker timing his run to perfection to slide in and crash the ball above the keeper and into the back of the net. A second goal followed soon after, some excellent work down the right led to Woody being released into space. He steadied himself before crossing to the back post, where Elliott was on hand to knock in his second goal in as many games.
The second goal spurred Barrasford into life, with the home side looking to go more direct with their tactics, hitting it long to their number 9. Just as it looked as though Heddon would be heading to half time with a two goal lead, disaster struck. A free kick was given away on the edge of the Heddon area. The resulting strike somehow travelled straight through the wall, with Waddsy spilling it into the path of a Barrasford player who tucked away the rebound. Talk at half time centred around working harder off the ball and aiming to keep the ball down, while Phil Edmondson was educated by David Green on the differences between footballs and bombs!
Barrasford started the second half strongly, again finding it hard to pick a final ball to get in behind the Heddon defence, with Scoob and Ramshaw looking comfortable, and Dan Fleming providing excellent protection in front. The lead didn’t last long much longer though, after a freak incident led to the Barrasford equaliser. A harmless looking ball to the near post from the left winger looked about to be dealt with easily by Scoob, before proceeding to hit the line on the 18 yard box and bounce six feet in the air, falling to the striker at the back post for a simple tap-in.
Both teams now had their eyes on a victory, with play becoming stretched and both sides threatening to score. Heddon went back in front with 20 minutes left. Excellent work from Jamie down the right led to the ball dropping to Walker, who turned his defender inside out, before the poking the ball inside the near post. In order to get something from the game Barrasford decided to throw more players into attack, looking to take advantage of the state of some of the Heddon players’ fitness, brought on through the previous night’s celebrations of the latest win for the Rafalution! The equaliser duly arrived, with a midfielder running past three or four players before rounding Waddsy and finishing. An unlikely win for the home side was almost achieved in the last minute. The left winger ran past a severely hungover Jamie, with the cross dropping to a Barrasford player who saw his strike foiled by Waddsy, who pulled off an outstanding point blank save – more than making amends for the first goal. Further entertainment was served in the last minute, with Dan “I’m hurt” Walker taken out in the corner and going down like a sack of spuds. Unbelievably the referee pointed for a corner instead of a free kick, the resulting set piece coming to nothing before the final whistle was blown.
A draw was probably a fair result against a very good side. As was pointed out afterwards, a fully fit/sober Heddon side would likely have won this game, however a point against a competitive side like this is always a positive.