Whitchurch Alport boss takes aim at officials after drama

Fuming boss Luke Goddard lashed out at the officials after Whitchurch Alport’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Darlaston Town.

Whitchurch Alport
Whitchurch Alport

Jordan Evans’ free-kick five minutes into stoppage time earned Alport a share of the spoils and capped a frenetic finish as a Midland League Premier Division clash which remained goal-less for the opening 75 minutes belatedly sprang to life.

Visitors Darlaston led twice through Liam Wilkinson and Dominic Dell but were pegged back, first through Alex Hughes before Evans’ last-gasp leveller.

Town boss Dean Gill was himself incensed by the decision to award the free-kick, accusing the hosts of “blatant cheating”.

But Goddard had issues with the events which led to Darlaston taking the lead and said: “The equaliser is just rewards. It would have been really frustrating afternoon had we not scored at the end.

“We did deserve it. They will be disappointed to concede in the last minute but we were disappointed with the horrendous decision which saw them take the lead.

“On a neutral basis, it was probably a fair result. In terms of possession we should have been ahead but we weren’t clinical enough.

“I am pretty sure we have a good chunk of luck coming up in the last few weeks with decisions. You can say that is unfortunate and you can’t keep blaming it. But it is worrying for the future of football with the standard of officials. For both teams today it was poor.”

Elsewhere, a thoroughly entertaining clash between third-placed Shifnal Town and fifth-placed Lichfield City ended in a 2-2 draw.

Cameron Dunn fired Lichfield ahead in the 13th minute after Johnny Johnston’s shot had looped back off the bar and though Keanu Cooper missed a golden chance to reply for the hosts within a minute, he made amends later in the half by firing home at close-range to equalise.

Shifnal should have led by the break but when Luke Walsh was brought down in the area, Tom Hill placed his penalty too close to James Beeson and the goalkeeper was able to make the save.

Instead, it was Lichfield who went back in front just after the hour mark, Luke Childs taking advantage of some ponderous home defending to score at the second attempt after his initial shot was saved.

Shifnal poured forward after that looking for another leveller. Joe Thompson was just off target with a free-kick, while Beeson twice denied Micky Nelson before, with 10 minutes remaining Jeremy Abbey headed home to give the hosts a deserved share of the spoils.

Market Drayton’s tough start to the season continued as they were beaten 2-0 at Studley, their ninth defeat in 10 matches.

In Division One, Haughmond found themselves on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller as they were beaten 3-2 at Chelmsley Town. Adam Woods scored twice in the second half as the hosts overcame a 2-1 deficit. Shawbury United were beaten in another high-scoring contest, 4-2 at home to Wolves Sporting.

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