Korie-Butler re­turns to haunt his old club in dra­matic fi­nale to match

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

Widnes FC 2 Ash­ton Ath­letic 2 WIDNES FC were held to a 2-2 draw by Ash­ton Ath­letic at the Se­lect Se­cu­rity Sta­dium last Satur­day af­ter­noon in a pul­sat­ing Hall­mark Se­cu­rity League Pre­mier Divi­sion con­test.

Widnes held a 2-0 lead at the break only for Dale Korie-Butler to re­turn to haunt his for­mer side, net­ting twice in the last 20 min­utes to res­cue a point for the vis­i­tors.

Af­ter a cagey start to the game, it was Widnes who opened the scor­ing. Af­ter his ini­tial cor­ner was only half-cleared, Luke Ed­wards floated a de­li­cious cen­tre into the area that was di­rected against an up­right by the head of Chad Whyte. Kev Pollard, mark­ing his first ap­pear­ance of the sea­son, was quick­est to re­act in­side the six-yard area to prod the ball home.

Colin Quirk then flashed a shot wide of the tar­get be­fore both goal­keep­ers were called into ac­tion. Joel Brown­hill forced Ryan Tay­lor into a de­cent stop be­fore Sam Sheen’s cross-turned-shot nearly caught Martin Pear­son out but the Ash­ton No1 man­aged to fin­ger­tip the shot over for an un­pro­duc­tive flag-kick.

Widnes ex­tended their ad­van­tage fol­low­ing the mid­way point of the half with a fine dis­play of coun­ter­at­tack­ing foot­ball.

Af­ter Widnes rou­tinely dealt with an Ash­ton cor­ner, Kev Towey re­leased Quirk into space who surged for­ward as the hosts swiftly turned de­fence into at­tack.

Right-back Jay Roberts busted a gut to sup­port Quirk, latch­ing on to a well-weighted through-ball be­fore ar­row­ing a shot into the net with an as­sist from the foot of the post.

Ei­ther side of the half-hour mark, both sides were de­nied by the wood­work. Joshua Ni­chol­son had time and space on the edge of the ‘D’ to strike a shot against the bar be­fore Alex Davies’s cross found Quirk in the area, whose pow­er­ful ef­fort re­bounded off the bar as the half drew to a close at a fre­netic pace.

The sec­ond half was rel­a­tively tame in com­par­i­son. Af­ter a sloppy open­ing, Widnes spurned a great chance on the hour to bag a third. Striker Whyte was played through on goal by sub­sti­tute Chris Lo­max, only to di­rect his shot against the body of Pear­son who got down quickly to make the save.

Ash­ton set up a tan­ta­lis­ing last 20 min­utes when they halved the deficit in the 70th minute. For­mer Widnes man Korie-Butler had time on the edge of the area to curl an ef­fort into the bot­tom cor­ner to give his side a life­line.

The vis­i­tors were all of a sud­den in the as­cen­dency as they went in search of an equaliser. The un­marked Callum Wil­son nod­ded wide from close-range when he per­haps should have done bet­ter, be­fore Brown­hill was de­nied by the post twice in­side three min­utes.

The Ash­ton striker rose high­est to glance a header against the foot of an up­right 11 min­utes from time be­fore again di­rect­ing a header against the wood­work, only to ag­o­nis­ingly watch the ball trickle along the goalline be­fore be­ing col­lected by the grate­ful Tay­lor.

Ash­ton could not be­lieve their luck five min­utes from time as the wood­work once again came to Widnes’s res­cue.

Slack de­fend­ing from Widnes al­lowed Ni­chol­son to win a free header that bounced back off the post, al­low­ing the hosts to clear any re­sult­ing dan­ger.

In­side stop­page-time, Ash­ton net­ted an equaliser.

A cross was lofted into the area where Korie-Butler was on-hand to guide a header in­side of the near-post.

Drama be­came con­tro­versy as Widnes thought they had won the game less than 60 sec­onds later.

Even from high in the stands in the Se­lect Se­cu­rity Sta­dium it seemed clear that Quirk’s au­da­cious vol­ley had trav­elled well over the line be­hind goal­keeper Pear­son, only for ref­eree Robert Wain­wright and his as­sis­tant on the far side of the field to think oth­er­wise.

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