It was two points dropped rather than one point gained as Leek Town were held to a 1-1 draw at Market Drayton Town in a second half that had everything.
The Blues took the lead through a spectacular free-kick from Jordan Johnson, before the goal scorer went from hero to zero in the space on twenty minutes when he was sent off for handling the ball on the line, the resulting penalty was converted and Leek looked like they had an uphill battle being a man light for the last 10 minutes or so but the game ended up as 10 v 10 as sub Harvey Howell was sent off for the hosts.
The opening 45 minutes was a quiet affair with both sides not having many chances at goal with Paul McMullen had the best chance of the half, when he headed just inches wide of the goal when the defender in acres of space, while at the other end Billy Reeves dragged his shot wide of the goal after Marc Grocott teed him up.
At the interval, both managers must have geed up their players with some strong words as the second half was much better with a lot more action for the 111 spectators at Greenfields to enjoy. Neil Baker also opted to make one change at half-time with Joe Kearns coming on for Andy McWilliams.
Ashley Rawlins was in fine form between the sticks for the hosts as he denied Leek time and time again with Aaron Bott seeing his shot palmed away, the best saved the former Telford keeper would make that night.
The hosts should have been ahead on 53 minutes when Matthew Ballard smashed the ball against the post from distance. It was a fantastic strike from forward with Danny Roberts beaten all ends up.
Just before the hour mark, Reeves, who was having a fine game in the midfield for Leek was brought down 30-yards away from the area and with no free-kick expert Dan Trickett-Smith on the pitch up stepped Johnson and shocked everyone by firing the ball into the goal leaving Rawlins rooted to the spot.
Johnson then suffered a moment on madness on 77 minutes when a Market Drayton corner was hit goal bound. The forward was on the line and he flew across the line to block the effort but using his hands. Referee Paul Stonier had no option to dismiss him and up stepped Glyn Coney to dispatch the penalty.
Just as it looked that Market Drayton would enjoy the man advantage it was whipped away from them as sub-Howell was dismissed for a lung on Niall Green. The sub had been on the pitch for eight minutes before he was given his marching orders.
From there on it looked like the game would fizzle out, but Leek had one more chance in them as with three minutes left the ball fell to Lewis Short in the six-yard box, the full-back snatched at his shot which was blocked by Rawlins and the keeper was injured in the followed up.
It won’t be too long until Leek are back in as they welcome Prescot Cables to Harrison Park on Saturday for a 3 pm kickoff and if you can’t make the game then we will have full commentary on Moorlands Radio Sport Show from 2 pm.
Leek Town: Roberts, Green, Short, Grocott, Lycett, McWilliams, Reeves, Hall, Johnson, Bott and Stevenson.
Subs: Walford, Bavanganga, Kearns (McWilliams, 46), Chadwick and Chapman.
Market Drayton Town: Rawlins, Gregory, Buxton, Bradburn, McMullen, Irvine, Ellis, Beddows, Ballard, Coney and Knowles.
Subs: Howell (Ballard, 75), Wells, Russell, Arlond (Buxton, 69) and Skelton.
I managed to speak with Market Drayton Town manager Martin Davies following tonight’s draw:
I also caught up with Blues boss Neil Baker and got his reaction on tonight’s match: