Henry gets Sarnies out of a pickle

Late solo ef­fort res­cues point, but th­ese are the bread-and-but­ter games play-off chasers need to win

Staines Informer - - SPORT - Foot­ball

GARY MEAKIN’S Egham Town were forced to set­tle for a 2-2 draw in their Evo-Stik Divi­sion One Cen­tral pro­mo­tion push against an Uxbridge side look­ing to avenge their 7-0 drub­bing in Septem­ber.

Hav­ing re­cov­ered in the pre­vi­ous game from 2-0 down at half time to win 3-2 against Ware, a de­cent side sit­ting in the middle of the ta­ble, Egham were un­able to do the same here be­cause they were un­able to take their chances and were let down by their de­fen­sive frail­ties.

Sec­onds af­ter An­thony O’Con­nor, Uxbridge’s num­ber nine, had been de­nied by an ex­cel­lent save by Jamie Nor­ris, Egham’s top scorer Brendan Matthew gave them a 20th-minute lead, head­ing Jake Cass’s ex­cel­lent cross in off the post for his 20th goal of the sea­son. This was Egham’s 11 unan­swered goal against their Mid­dle­sex ri­vals in re­cent matches.

Ryan Phillips saw his shot de­flected for a cor­ner taken by Ba­jram Pashaj, from which Cass headed wide.

Pashaj was lucky to be able to con­tinue af­ter a bru­tal chal­lenge and Nor­ris came off worst as Wayne Carter closed in on goal, with the home side call­ing for a penalty.

Egham

had

been

the bet­ter side but fail­ure to add to their tally al­most inevitably let Uxbridge back in.

With sec­onds re­main­ing be­fore the break some dozy de­fend­ing left Mitchell Wise­man free to nod home.

Nor­ris, who had missed the Ware game with ill­ness and had not fully re­cov­ered, was re­placed by for­mer Bea­cons­field keeper James Read­ing at half time, with Phillips also be­ing swapped for El­liott Carey.

Uxbridge were an im­proved side in the se­cond half and went ahead with Mark Den­ni­son’s header on 66 min­utes, again af­ter Egham had not de­fended a cor­ner. This is an old fail­ing, one of those that his­tor­i­cally be­dev­ils Egham but which seemed to have been pretty much erad­i­cated this sea­son.

Be­fore that hap­pened Matthew had a header blocked and had slid in to poke Chris Henry’s crossshot past Paul McCarthy in the vis­i­tors’ goal, but he was marginally off­side.

Carey went on a solo run that ended with a cross that the Egham play­ers thought had been han­dled in the box, only for the ref­eree to dis­agree. Then, in the 65th minute, O’Con­nor’s clever pass to Carter forced Read­ing to race out to block the shot, con­ced­ing the cor­ner from which Den­ni­son scored.

So far the per­for­mance of the home side had been some­what less than what will be re­quired in the fi­nal third of the sea­son if even a play­off place is to be achieved.

Per­haps re­al­is­ing this they upped their game.

Cass had a close-range shot blocked, then ham­mered a shot which was cleared off the line.

Sub­sti­tute Ryan De Bat­tista saw his ef­fort hit McCarthy’s right post be­fore Egham’s de­served equaliser came with eight min­utes left.

Henry broke down the right, fired in a shot that was blocked straight back to him, be­fore he drilled the re­bound in from a tight an­gle.

Pic­ture: Lewis Dar­ling. Ref: RS156140

Point made: Sarnies boss Gary Meakin will be want­ing his men to be more ruth­less up front and less gen­er­ous at the back dur­ing the cru­cial run-in.

Pic­ture: Les Wil­liams. Ref: RS156731

Boot-iful: Matthew’s de­li­cious 20th-minute opener for Sarnies served up a slice of joy for the fans.

Pic­ture: Lewis Dar­ling. Ref: RS156140

Henry: The Eighth minute from time was the cue for his equaliser.

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