Battling Second Half Performance Doesn't Get Full Reward
By Keith Inkster
The Yellows travelled to Longbenton Sports Ground to face Team Gosforth Ajax looking for a much needed win which would help their relegation fight. This was a fixture the boys felt they could get something from providing they put in a performance.
The rain began to fall at kick off but the pitch was in fine condition as the hosts started the better of the two teams and their early pressure paid off as they took the lead after five minutes. As the ball entered the box at least four defenders stood off, which allowed their player to turn and curl a shot past Cole in goal. Once again some poor defending with no one taking responsibility to put a challenge in or clear the ball. Yet another mountain to climb for the Yellows and another game when the opposition scored first. In fact the last time Tynemouth scored first in a league game was late November. However, the boys do tend to find a way to get back into games and there was a sense that as the half went on Tynemouth were adjusting to the game and could have equalized after a fine ball by Lucas was met by Owen, he could have took it on and shot but he passed it sideways to Astin, but his shot was saved. The home side were winning the midfield battle but a formation change and bringing on Lewis to add to the numbers in the middle helped towards the game changing with the away side becoming more dominant. Nothing much else happened up to half time apart from a few half chances, mainly to Gosforth, so as the whistle went it was still anyone's game at 1-0. Once again some words were said at half time, like last week, and the boys came out fighting and with a determination that has been missing in recent months since joining the Premiership. Lewis, Lucas and Elliot started to win the midfield battle and more possession was had by the visitors and anytime the hosts attacked Harry and Nathan looked rock solid at the back. Chances were now being created especially down the left with Kai looking dangerous and on one occasion he seen his shot flash past the far post and on another occasion the keeper saved well only to see the rebound not punished by a United player. At the other end Cole had to dive to his left to palm away a free kick, which was the only threat from Gosforth. The equalizer was coming and eventually did with fifteen minutes to go when Owen was fouled in the box. The Yellows have not found a regular penalty taker, as generally this season these have been missed, so it was Lewis who stepped up only to see his shot saved well by the keeper, the chance was not lost though as Lewis ran to the rebound and from the by-line he crossed it along the line for Elliot to be on hand to tap in from close range - a deserved equalizer. The last fifteen minutes Tynemouth were on top with James still looking sharp and after a run down the right his cross was waiting to be met but no player could get there in time. Lewis (pictured) did well too to get the ball over into the six yard box but no Tynemouth player could get the final touch. So a point it was, but a fine second half display shows the boys maybe are getting used to this league now. Lewis was awarded man of the match after a fine captain’s performance just in front of Nathan who is getting back to his best. Next up a trip to unbeaten Whickham FC where a tough game is expected.