A frustrating afternoon as the Townhouse Travel and Tours sponsored First Team let a 3-1 lead slip to draw 3-3 with Headington Amateurs at Barton Park losing the 100% league record in the process
In a first half dominated by Town, Nathan Emmett opened the scoring with a spectacular strike from 25 yards out with Woodstock well worth the lead. Town struggled at times to play on a poor and bumpy pitch but copes well with Headingtons long ball game.
Despite going close through Fisher, Waite and Cox, Woodstock couldn’t increase their lead.
Sam Jeffrey came out to smother when Headington managed to break through the Woodstock back line as the hosts got a foothold in the game as the half wore on.
Headington were awarded a penalty as half time approached when Josh Cox needlessly tripped his man in the box when he was going nowhere. The kick was converted and the sides went in level at the half.
Woodstock stepped it up at half time with two early goals to give Town a seemingly unassailable lead. Eathan Waite bamboozled the Headington midfield and defence with a jinking run down the left before cutting inside to lob Jamie Buchannan from 30 yards.
5 minutes later, Town made it three when Callum Emmett picked up the ball and his attempted cross sailed over the hapless keepers head and into the back of the net.
Nathan Emmett went close again but his shot was blocked on the line and bundled away. Despite the pressure, Town couldn’t extend their lead and it was game on when they didn’t deal with a long free kick into the box that was headed home at the far post.
Headington lifted their game and piled on the pressure, which when combined with some uncharacteristic errors and lapses in concentration would come to cost Woodstock dear.
With 10 minutes to go, Headington were awarded a penalty after Will Spackman tugged the shirt of an Amateurs player (who kindly offered him a free trip to the hospital after the game, both generous and classy). However, the spot kick was missed as Sam Jeffrey looked to have flicked it up on to the bar and away.
However, Town’s failure to settle and poor game management allowed Headington to seal their comeback 10 minutes from time when following another smart save from Sam Jeffrey, the lose ball was poked over the line.
There was more late drama as Woodstock should have been awarded a penalty of their own as Jacob Short was kicked not once, but twice. His honesty in attempting to stay on his feet allowed the referee the easy option of waving play on.
There was a red card at the death when the Amateurs right back, frustrated with living in Ethan Waites pocket for 90 minutes, shoved him in the head in full view of the referee. Still better than a toe punt in the eye and a headbutt off the ball as happened last time the two teams met!
A draw was a fair result with positives but also plenty of lessons to take from a game that Woodstock could have and should have won.
The point means that undefeated Woodstock move to the top of the Hellenic League Division 2 North table ahead of Southam and Adderbury with Headington still in 4th position.
Next up is a tricky game away to Easington on Tuesday evening with improvement needed.