New Bradwell St Peter had two men sent off but held out for a 2-2 draw with SSML Division 2 promotion rivals Enfield Borough on Saturday.
After having Christian Lester send off for two first half bookings, and trailing 1-0, Craig Bicknell's side found themselves 2-1 up thanks to goals from Stacey Field and Billy Lobjoit.
But when substitute Alvin Rajaram was send off with 15 minutes to go for deliberate handball on the goal-line, St Peter were reduced to nine men, and Enfield scored the resultant penalty for a share of the spoils, meaning the sides remain level on points.
A poor defensive back pass early on almost set in Christian Lester but he couldn’t quite connect with the ball to really test Milvydas Lukosius in the Enfield goal, before Billy Lobjoit worked hard in midfield to set up Lester with another shooting opportunity which again never really troubled the Borough keeper.
A ball over the top of the visiting defence then saw Lobjoit away on goal, the ball holding up on the heavy pitch which slowed down the attack, and some hesitancy then allowed two defenders to get back and rob the Peters man on the eighteen yard line as he lined up a shot.
It took until the fifteenth minute for Enfield to threaten when a corner from their right was headed over by Brian Tshibangu who climbed highest amongst a mass of bodies, and moments later a free kick floated in by Jamiah Plentie-Lawrence again saw Tshibangu diving in to head wide of Dan Green’s goal.
As Enfield grew into the half, Orlando Abrahams was allowed time out on the left and he flashed a shot across the face of goal and wide, before Bradwell then saw Stacey Field get into the Borough box with two defenders on his shoulders, he fought them off and got the byline before firing into the side netting.
Olakunle Akinwande stole the ball off a hesitant Peters defence but from close range just shot straight at Green, before Plentie-Lawrence fired high and wide from the edge of the box with little other option in front of him.
Enfield took the lead on thirty six minutes through Solomon Nwabuokei, with the ball just six yards out he faced four Peters men in front of him, he drew them across goal before calmly slotting inside Dan Greens near post.
As half time approached a Bradwell corner was glanced goalwards by Steve Flux and the ball looped up and agonisingly over the crossbar onto the top of the net. The referee sounded the whistle for half time, and as the players and management headed for the dressing rooms the referee blew his whistle and called back Christian Lester. Having already been booked in the first half for dissent, the official produced a second yellow for comments made and a subsequent red sent Bradwell in reduced to ten men. H/T: 0-1
Billy Lobjoit took the game to Enfield after the restart, and early on collected the ball on the corner of the area, his first time snap shot flew just wide of the far post. Just past the hour mark saw Bradwell equalise which saw the Enfield side up in arms over a decision that led to the goal.
As the home side attacked down their right, a ball through saw the assistant referee raise his flag for offside, the referee overruled the decision signalling it came from a deflection from a Borough player and waved play on, Lobjoit travelled with the ball and with Enfield arguing with the referee he crossed to Stacey Field who tapped home.
Stacey field then had a shot blocked inside the area by Lukosius and the follow up was blazed well over the top, but Bradwell then took the lead on seventy two minutes. A deep cross into the Borough area again saw the entire backline calling offside, but with no flag raised Billy Lobjoit fired back across the goal face & into the bottom corner.
The lead lasted just three minutes and in the process Bradwell had a second player shown a red card. An Enfield attack saw the ball crossed into the box, as Dan Green came out to punch he collided with a couple of players and the ball bounced loose, a header came in that saw the ball heading for the back of the net but on the line substitute Alvin Rajaram deflected over the crossbar.
Unfortunately for the home side he used his hand and the referee was well placed to see, and awarded the penalty kick before sending Rajaram for an early shower. Olakunle Akinwande put the spot kick away to level matters, and Bradwell faced fifteen minutes with two bodies short.
Enfield sensed a win and started to build some pressure and Dan Green got down well to save a difficult looking shot from Guy Kiangebeni, then Solomon Nwabuokei cut in from the left and fired wide of Greens left hand post. In the dying moments a loose ball inside the Bradwell box found Isaac Stevens and with more time than he realised he rushed a shot that looped high over the crossbar.
Peters almost snatched a late winner deep into added time, when Oluwanimilo Ajigbolamu dispossessed an Enfield defender out on the far left touchline and made for goal, from the edge of the box he squared to Tyrone Taylor who never really looked like he had the ball fully under control, the defender opted to shoot but fired past the post with Lobjoit in space to his right screaming for the ball.