Mettam returns with a bang to rescue a point

Jake Scott in action at Witton Albion (Pic: Matt Sayle/Mid Cheshire Guardian)
Jake Scott in action at Witton Albion (Pic: Matt Sayle/Mid Cheshire Guardian)

A late goal from substitute Leon Mettam on his return from injury rescued a point for the Tigers, in their disappointing 2-2 draw at Witton Albion.

A substitute appearance was Mettam’s first outing in 2014, and his 37th goal was as vital as it was perhaps inevitable given his outrageous form this season.

Worksop had the advantage of the wind at their back in the first half; however, both sides struggled to come to terms with the conditions on a heavy pitch in the opening period.

The first chance of the game fell to Scott Bakkor who blazed over from 20 yards out.

However, good football was at a premium with the best piece of play in the opening 20 minutes coming from a set piece routine when Adam Quinn’s diving header prevented Rob Bodie ghosting in at the back post.

Tigers started to exert more pressure through Jake Scott’s long throw-ins and a couple of runs down the right from Jamie Jackson but failed to create any clear cut chances.

Worksop eventually took the lead just before the half hour mark when Jack Muldoon latched onto Mark Gray’s long clearance out of defence, holding off his marker before firing past Matthew Cooper.

Buoyed by the goal Worksop pressed forward in search of a second goal, however they lacked the guile to create goal scoring opportunities.

With seven minutes of the half remaining the home faithful were calling for Jonathan Stewart to be sent off after the keeper reacted to Bakkor leaving ‘his foot in’ and catching Stewart in the mouth as he slid out to gather the ball.

The referee issued yellows to both players.

The home side started the second half strongly and the pressure told on 52 minutes when Michael Powell swept home Andrews’ corner from the edge of the box.

Quinn saw his shot well blocked after Gray laid Phil Roe’s corner back into the path of the centre half as Worksop looked to regain the lead.

On 61 minutes there was a welcome return to action for Mettam as he replaced right-back Alex Pursehouse.

And he almost had an immediate impact – but not before Witton had the chance to go 2-1 ahead as a good through ball set up Bakkor whose shot was blocked for a corner by Stewart.

From the resulting corner the Tigers hit Witton on the break with Higginson releasing Muldoon down the right, and his cross was met by Mettam sliding in at the back post, but his effort from an acute angle came back off the post.

Then Muldoon’s near post header from Higginson’s corner was cleared off the line.

However, it was the home side that started to take control of the game as they dominated midfield.

Andrews and Anthony Gardner were also starting to be threat down the right wing.

A good ball from Jonathan Breeze set up Gardner whose cross shot flashed inches wide of the post.

The home side’s pressure told on 74 minutes when a deft pass from Powell set up Joshua Hancock who curled a superb shot into the top corner via the crossbar from 25 yards out.

Not for the first time this season, Tigers were undone with a strike of real quality.

With five minutes of the game remaining only the offside flag prevented the home side from making it 3-1 when former Chester man Powell ghosted in unmarked at the back post to slot home Andrews’ free-kick.

However, with three minutes of added time played Quinn headed Stewart’s free-kick into the path of Mettam who superbly slotted home the equaliser from a very tight angle.

Yet more heroics from the Worksop captain,who took little time in resuming his prolific goalscoring, ensuring Tigers took a point home with them, but the performance wasn’t vintage.