West Auckland Town 1-1 North Shields
Fine goalkeeping from Greg Purvis prevented West Auckland from taking all three points against North Shields at the Wanted Stadium in an agonizing draw.
Kyle Patton broke the deadlock in the 19th minute before West responded close to half-time through Adam Burnicle as they slipped to 17th in the Northern League Division One table.
Brian Atkinson named two changes from the midweek defeat to Newcastle Benfield as Jamie Cobain and Amar Purewal replaced Tom Price and Chris Hunter.
Prior to kick-off, there was an impeccable minute’s silence in memory of Allen Bayles, a former club secretary at West Auckland Town for over 20 years. Everyone at West Auckland would like to send their deepest condolences to Allen’s family, friends and loved ones – an unsung hero. RIP.
After an emotional start, West presented the first chance 11 minutes in as Burnicle was left unmarked inside the Robins box and forced two quick-fire saves from Purvis, who produced exceptional reflexes to deal with the danger.
Though a promising opening soon turned into bitter disappointment as Marc Nash’s side took the lead on 19 minutes following a clinical move down the left-hand side as Adam Forster’s delivery allowed Patton to carefully stroke the ball home from 12-yards out.
West were dealt with more bad news a quarter of an hour into the game as Anthony Bell limped off in what looked like a suspected ankle injury and was replaced by former Gateshead defender Ross Colquhoun.
As we approached the interval, North Shields were being pegged back in their own half as West threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser and in extraordinary circumstanceswere left scratching their heads as Purewal’s deflected shot in the area found Nathan Fisher, who’s snapshot was saved by Purvis. The resulting rebound fell to Burnicle, however to his astonishment crashed his effort against the crossbar as the ball bounced off the line before Francis blasts over the top.
On 43 minutes, West deservedly levelled proceedings whenLiam Hegarty released it through to Purewal, who’s cut backfrom the right, made its way to Burnicle in the middle to sweep in at the back post after it was mistimed by a Shields defender.
The Robins survived an early scare shortly after the break as Adam Mitchell’s cross was flicked towards goal by Purewal though Purvis showcased his experience with another stunning save.
At the opposite end, Tom Flynn was noticeably quiet but still had to remain alert in the 59th minute to deny Gareth Bainbridge’s tame effort.
West looked the more likely in finding a winner though remarkably couldn’t find a way through Purvis, who was solid throughout the contest and pulled off a miraculous save to prevent Purewal, as his thumping header was expertly tipped round the post via Hegarty’s teasing ball.
Neither side were able to find a decisive breakthrough as West were left to rue missed opportunities, having now picked up two points from four games.
Next up for West is a trip to Guisborough Town on Wednesday evening (19:45pm).
West Auckland Town – Flynn, Hegarty, A. Bell (Colquhoun, 25), Cobain, Mitton, Francis, Mitchell, Hillerby, Fisher (c), Purewal, Burnicle (Dowson, 63)
Subs not used – Connor, M. Bell
Goal – Burnicle (43)
North Shields – Purvis, Cassidy, McDonald, Ormston, Williams, Buchanan, McCarthy (Robinson, 74), Forster (c), Bainbridge (Campbell, 84), Van-Zandvliet (Carr, 68), Patton
Subs not used – Cunningham, Jacques
Goal – Patton (19)
Referee – Matthew East
Attendance – 201
Report by Harry Connor Crowe
Picture by Yvonne Wood. (NAFC).