In the shadow of Liberty’s huge steel plant, Hallam came from behind yesterday afternoon to take a point in a feisty Toolstation NCEL Division One clash with promotion contenders Parkgate at the Roundwood Sports Complex, but it was a result which left Countryman Assistant Manager Wez Hill with mixed feelings, write Ian Jones and Glenn Poulton for the Hallam FC Website.
Watched by a crowd of 109 on a beautiful afternoon in Rotherham, it was the home side who made the early running. Harrison clipping the cross bar with a fourth-minute free-kick and having Matt Crookes’ header cleared off the line, so it was no real surprise when ten minutes before the break, beating James Leverton low to his left with a smart half-volley from just inside the box. Parkgate held this slender advantage at the break.
The Countrymen came out fighting in the second half. Will Wraith saw his shot saved low down by home ‘keeper Chris Butt, and after going close Micah Bishop levelled the contest with 12 minutes left, firing home from close range after a scramble in the six-yard box.
Hallam, by now well on top, pushed for a late winner. But as the contest entered added time, the game erupted with a flurry of yellow cards. Former Hallam favourite Elliott Simpson received a straight red after an awful challenge on Hallam defender Kiyani Clayton and visiting defender Tyler Bradley was dismissed by referee Steven Taylor for a second yellow card as the clock ran down to confirm a 1-1 draw and a point apiece.
In the enforced absence of manager Stephen Whitehead, and a few of the first team squad, you might have expected Assistant Manager Wez Hill to have been happy with a point; but Wez was having none of it, as he explained to Ian and Glenn after the game.
“Not really” Wez insisted. ” The squad we have is strong enough. We came to Parkgate to get three points; at half time I would have taken one point though. We asked the lads to do certain things and stick to a game plan, but in that first half we didn’t do it. We had words at half time and changed the formation, and I think that suited us a lot better. We looked more solid, created more and had chances to win the game.”
What were the key factors in the game for you this afternoon?
“It was a game of two halves really. We worked hard in the first half, but on the ball, we weren’t as affective as we can be. In the second half-and until we scored, we were camped in their half, then the game opened up with both sides going for the winner. I thanked the lads after because we could have sulked after half time -but we did the complete opposite”.
How did you see the red card incidents?
“Tyler’s first is never a yellow ; and he’s stopped a quick free quick in last minute so unfortunately they’re the rules Parkgate’s sending-off is a red all day but I know El; he’s a good lad , so maybe it was out of frustration because of how the second half panned out” It's another decent point .How are you feeling about the season so far ?
“Yes, a good point, but we should have got all three. It hasn’t been the start we wanted in our season, so hopefully we’ll go on a run now as we are unbeaten in two games…”
Wez Hill was talking to the Hallam FC Website
*Photo courtesy of Parkgate FC