Smith and Rose on target as Sports make their point

Tom Smith gave Easington Sports the lead at Flackwell Heath
Tom Smith gave Easington Sports the lead at Flackwell Heath

Easington Sports have got their first point on the board – but it should have been three.

Matt Giles’ boys returned from Flackwell Heath with their first uhlsport Hellenic League point of the season in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw.

Giles saw his side produce their best performance so far following promotion to the premier division for the first time in the club’s history. It’s taken three attempts but they’re up and running even though they squandered a two-goal advantage.

All four goals came in the second half with Tom Smith and Josh Rose giving the visitors a 2-0 lead only for keeper Adam Rimmer’s error to gift Heath a way back into it and Dan Watkin to blot his copybook performance with an own goal.

In a tight first half, Heath edged it in a quick encounter but Sports remained well organised and disciplined, restricting the hosts to few chances. At the other end, Joe Eyre did well to set up Andrew Stidder who turned well in the box before firing over.

Heath created a couple of good openings before the break, Ashley Howell beat Rose but fired straight at Rimmer while Phil Pryor headed wide at the far post from a corner. Rimmer produced a great save to deny Howell after he raced into the box and just before the break Eyre cut inside but shot straight at Aaron Watkins.

Sports broke the deadlock after the restart when Smith chased a lost cause, before nipping in between Watkins and Tyler Gregory to head the ball past the stranded keeper and tap it into an empty net. Smith went close moments later when his close range shot from Eyre’s cross was blocked at point-blank range.

Rimmer saved well from the impressive Jack Taylor following a free-kick from Josh Baines as Heath upped the tempo and substitute Adam Thomas dragged a free-kick wide of the far post. But it was Sports who struck again when Rose powerfully headed home Callum Convey’s near post corner.

Two goals to the good, three points were looking good but Sports were pegged back almost immediately when Rimmer allowed a close range effort from Thomas to slip through his grasp and over the line despite the keeper’s frantic efforts to keep it out. Worse was to follow moments later when Mo Ceesay’s cross was glanced into the roof of his own net by Watkin with Rimmer a stranded onlooker.

Heath had their tails up and sensed an unlikely winner and it nearly came when Baines failed to take advantage of hesitancy in the visitors’ defence. But Sports held out to make their point.