Haliburton fight back to grab draw

GREAT NORTHERN Ath 2

HALlIBURTON 2

Just two weeks previously, Halliburton had entertained Great Northern Athletic at Lawsondale in a league encounter.

The return match had them travelling into Aberdeen’s Jamieson Park at Persley to face the side currently placed second in the table.

A strong squad was available, with only G.Fulton, R.Fulton, K.Jaques and N.McDonald on the not available list.

Sct Marlow returned in goal behind a back four formed by Ellis, Simpson, Young & N.Duncan. In midfield were Webster, Wilson, C.MacDonald and S.Jaques. Partnered in attack were Hunter and Laing.

On the side were Mutch, Turner, Brown, Howieson and S.Duncan.

A low sun was a hindrance as play commenced. GNA started the more alert and had the first half chance inside four minutes when a free kick was drilled through the Halli wall but the referee blew for offside.

Young won strongly to feed Webster, he played it on to Ellis who sent a long ball forward for Laing.

He rose to head goalwards and saw the ball float over the head of keeper Duncan, only for defender Jack to race
back and hook it off the
line.

A quite horrific tackle from Halli’s Ellis somehow went by with only a finger waving from the referee.

Halli opened the scoring with a magnificent strike. A quick break upfield saw the ball fall loose in front of the inrushing C.MacDonald
who sent it into the far corner 0-1.

Ellis lost possession and GNA quickly raced up the line, the ball in was half cleared but when it fell loose a home player struck it superbly past a helpless Sct Marlow in the visitors’ goal. 1-1.

Play then went from end to end without any real chances being created before Halli again contributed to their own downfall when they backed off to allow far too much space for a midfielder to move forward and curl a decent shot into the top corner 2-1.

In the 32nd minute. Ellis kicked a long ball forward and it drifted right through to the home keeper, who made a meal of collecting, but there was no Halliburton player able to take advantage.

Durno, of GNA, had a super opportunity to increase his sid’es lead when he blazed a clear cut chance over the top from only 15 yards out.

Meanwhile, Duncan, in the home goal, was having a torrid time and spilled an easy take before going walkabout under pursuit of Laing and Hunter.

The keeper managing to scramble the ball to safety.

A big save then followed from Sct Marlow in the visiting goal, when he got down to turn a low drive round the far post off a Webster drive.

The first half ended with Laing firing a free kick miles wide of the target (2-1).

A positional switch was made with Webster up top and Hunter wide right as Halli looked to level proceedings.

Wilson got up to head a right wing throw in goalwards but he misdirected it out for a goalkick.

The same man then picked up a yellow when he tripped his man after he 
felt he had been tapped himself.

Sct Marlow made a good save as GNA broke quickly before Mutch was introduced for Ellis at the back. N.Duncan forced namesake Duncan in the home goal into a decent take when he curled a free kick goalwards.

In the 71st minute, neat play won Halli a penalty kick after Young linked with Simpson who fed Webster. He chipped a perfect ball into the path of Hunter who was dumped inside the area. Wilson did the needful and blasted home the spot kick 2-2.

Brown was then introduced for C.MacDonald.

N.Duncan did well to get a foot to a low ball in but it broke to Davis who drove into the box.

His low shot deflected off Simpson, forcing an excellent reflex save off keeper Sct Marlow.

The Halli keeper then had to save his side again following a foul on Laing.

Halli stood up protesting instead of defending, leaving the keeper to hold the fort alone.

Webster broke upfield for Halli and won a throw-in which Mutch launched into Young.

His header disappointingly drifted well wide .

Great Northern created the bulk of the chances but it was a good point for Halliburton and credit is due for fighting back to get the draw.

Halli man of the match was Scott Marlow.

Great Northern Athletic - B.Duncan, Wright, Middler, Jack, McPhee, Davies, Webster, P.Duncan, Smith, MacIntosh, Durno.

Substitutes - Reid, Stewart and Morrison