Stone Dominoes 3 Audley 2
SCSL Division One
Saturday 18th February 2017
Stone Dominoes recovered from two goals down to maintain their position at the top of the league table thanks to a Ryan Mayer brace and an Ash Thompson winner. Two goals in the first 12 minutes from Ben Longstaff and Daniel McDonald gave Audley the lead before Mayer reduced the deficit before the half hour mark; Mayer’s strike levelled proceedings early in the second half before Thompson found the net with a free kick. Joint-manager Dom Ryder was delighted with the turnaround but concerned with the poor start from his side.
“We’ve recently developed the unwanted habit of starting games slowly and today was no exception,” he said. “That said, the lads showed great resolve to turn it around and get the 3 points. Even at two nil down I still thought we were in it and could’ve easily scored a couple more in the second half.”
Stone were missing Jake Hughes, Lewis Adams and Keeylin Thomas but welcomed back Ryan Mayer. New signing Lee Hollins was also included. The visitors raced out of the blocks and were ahead within 30 seconds when Longstaff was first to a loose ball in the penalty area to lash the ball past Dan Marsh. McDonald doubled the lead in the 12th minute as Audley cut through the Dominoes back-line before Jimmy Garlick squared for the forward to slide the ball into the net.
Tom Broadhurst almost pulled a goal back immediately but was denied well by Luke Jones at his near post. Audley almost increased their advantage midway through the half when Garlick flashed a free header wide of Marsh’s post from a free kick. The deficit was reduced minutes later when Mayer met a good Jack Steele cross and steered his header into the top corner for his first Dominoes goal.
Stone were on level terms just 5 minutes into the second half as Mayer latched on to a Thompson through-ball before finishing well underneath Jones to double his tally for the afternoon. Midway through the half substitute Chris Nellis did well to win a free kick on the edge of the Audley area and Thompson stepped up to curl the ball over Jones to put his side in front for the first time in the game.
Thompson nearly got his second with 10 minutes remaining as he stretched to lift the ball over Jones but he watched his effort bounce down off the crossbar and cleared to safety. The away side had an opportunity to snatch a point late on but Tom Farr dragged his shot agonisingly wide of the target from 16 yards. Audley’s hopes of a dramatic late equaliser were further dented when captain Jake Smith was dismissed with a few minutes remaining for foul and abusive language and Stone held on for the points.
Dominoes welcome Market Drayton Tigers to Yarnfield on Saturday hoping to keep the pressure up on their rivals below.
Stone Dominoes: Marsh, E.Adams, Steele, James, Parkes, Thorp, Glover, Mayer (Nellis 70), Hollins, Broadhurst, Thompson (Paterson 80); Subs not used: Bould, Smith
Goals: Mayer 27, 50, Thompson 72 (Stone Dominoes); Longstaff 1, McDonald 12 Audley