Storm Doris took its toll on a pitch already heavy and cut up from previous games, yet a determined Esh side looked for a repeat performance to secure the double against 10th in the league Hebburn.
A fairly quiet opening 5 minutes, was punctuated by a nasty looking head injury to Esh number 9 Nick Marley. Claret was falling from his face yet Jackey Traynor in the physio role came to the rescue with an impressive looking bandage….. whether Marley could see anything is another matter (Pictured)
The first effort of note fell to Hebburn on 11 minutes with a flashing shot from John Blackburn just over the Esh goal.
Shortly after; on the 13th minute Channon North broke through Joe Wilkinson and James Huntley, getting a one on one with Esh Keeper Mark Fish, Fishy standing up and a strong left leg diverting it out for a Hebburn corner, which amounted to nothing.
Esh’s first effort came on the 17th minute with Scott Marley blasting over from just outside the box, a decent stop from Hebburn keeper Hubery followed, before Kai Hewitson snatched at a chance and blazed over, again from just outside the box.
Goal – Esh 0 – 1 Hebburn
On the 22nd minute of the game a break forward lead to a strike from Callum Smith, past the despairing dive of Mark Fish in the Esh net, cue a meeting of the minds with the leaders on the pitch pulling the lads together.
Goal – Esh 1 – 1 Hebburn
The meeting of MENSA clearly worked, not 2 minutes later following a superb ball through from Captain Max Stoker, the keeper came charging out but miss-judged the flight of the ball and left Chris Mordue the task of beating the two men on the line which he did superbly and slipped the ball into the net to get a deserved Esh equaliser.
For next 10 minutes The Stags dominated the play, Hewitson with a snap shot testing the keeper, a long range effort from Marley and most notably, after superb work from Callum Boakes presented Hewitson with the chance to set up Marley, Marley hit a rasping effort clipping the inside of the post with the helpless keeper looking on in relief!
Goal – Esh 1 – 2 Hebburn
Massively against the run of play, on the 37th minute, following an Esh set piece, a long hopeful ball up from the Hebburn defence split the two Esh defenders to leave Channon North with a 20 yard free run to work out how to pass the impressive Fish. With a deft touch the big man managed to stroke the ball into the bottom corner.
The remaining 10 minutes of the half was a 50/50 affair with Fish making a superb save from Blackburn, Hurbley making an equally impressive save from Marley.
Half Time – Esh 1 – 2 Hebburn
The second half took some time to alight, the first effort came on the 52nd minute after good work by Stoker to give a chance to Marley, the ball hitting a bobble at the worst possible time, Marley finding the road behind the fence!
The 55th minute saw a superb near post save by Fish after a set piece fell to Chris Smith, who turned and unleashed a vicious shot from 12 yards out. Fish launching himself to his left, if I had a proper camera man it would have looked superb…. I promise!
Goal – Esh 2 – 2 Hebburn
After a free kick following a handball was awarded on the touchline some 40 yards out, the ball was whipped in dangerously to find the stooping Max Stoker to powerfully head the equaliser. The goal was coming with the game starting to swing more and more into The Stags favour.
Shortly after the restart, Hebburn gave possession up too easily with substitute Joe Kerry nipping in; after taking it past one player in flew a rash tackle, not helped by the pitch, saw the studs of the Hebburn player leave an imprint just above Kerry’s knee, the referee admitting after the match that he came close to sending the player off, showed leniency by producing a Yellow card and offered strong advice.
The game started to fizz out with both players, understandably, tiring on the heavy surface. A few half chances falling to both teams.
On the 88th minute the last chance fell to Nick Marley, who was played through, yet again the ball taking a bounce at an inopportune time, Marley finding the road behind the goal for the second time.
All in all a point was a fair reflection, it takes us off the foot of the table, and is another positive step forward. A trip to a new ground awaits us in the form of Blyth Town next weekend.
Esh: Fish, Chester (Gray), Young, Stoker (c) (G and YC), Huntley, Wilkinson, Mordue (G)(Kerry), Arnott, Marley, Hewitson, Boakes (Robinson)
Unused Subs: Ryder, Hird
Hebburn: Hurbery, Malley, Bickerstaff, Watson, Summers, Ch Smith, Ca Smith (G), Pegram, North (c) (G), Blackburn, Fease
Subs: Williams, Furness, Talbot, Dykes
Referee: A. Nichol
Assistants: A. Bleeze, E. Culling
Match Sponsor: Consett & District Sunday League
By Adam Wilding
The views and opinions above are my own and do not represent those of the club.