Birkenhead United 1 ECB 1 played 09/05/2015 at Shepherds Park

Bays dominated the first half but ended up 1-0 down at half time as they were unable to convert their chances. The first fifteen minutes were like the opening gambits in a game of chess with each protagonist looking for chinks in the defence of the other.


A John White break in the seventeenth minute drew the Birkenhead keeper out but the shot was just wide of the far upright. Another cross from the same player a couple of minutes later eluded both defenders and attackers.


The Birkenhead goal was under sustained attack for most of the remainder of the half with Dylan Stansfield blocked by the defence, James Anderson warming the palms of keeper Damian Hirst and Zane Olla and Jason McKeown off target.


A long throw from Avi Estrin found Joe Bresnahan but his drive hit the post and bounced clear.


A rare Birkenhead foray caught the bays defence off guard but Adam Dickinson missed an absolute sitter. However with just two minutes remaining before the break another Birkenhead attack saw Dylan Windust head past Alex Carr to open the scoring.


Bouyed by this late goal, Birkenhead were quickly into attack mode after the break and and it needed a fine block by Jack Beguely to deny a goalscoring chance.


It had been a fairly physical game with much let go but cards issued and a bad challenge nine minutes into the second half saw Birkenhead reduced totem when David Parkinson saw yellow for a second time.


The game opened up with both sides attacking and countering. Dan Morgan hit the crossbar from a free kick and Hirst pulled off a great save to deny Kieran McMinn.


Hirst had earlier been warned by the referee for pushing during defensive set plays, so when he shoved Bresnahan aside to collect the ball from a Bays corner, the referee pointed to the spot and Bresnahan equalised from the spot.


The final ten minutes was helter skelter with both sides going for the winner.

Bays had a great chance from a break but McMinn and Sheldon Pillay somehow  managed to lose the ball at the vital time.  Dickinson wasted a chance in the last minute of normal time, Carr saved a Morgan free kick in stoppage time and a Bresnahan goal line clearance in the last seconds ensured the points would be shared.


An entertaining game, the final ten minutes riveting.


Team:  Carr, Barnett, Robinson, Anderson, Estrin, Beguely, Bresnahan, McKeown, White (McMinn 63), Stansfield (Pillay 73), Olla  (Zwetsloot 93)


Scorer:  Bresnahan pen 80


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