A controversial last-minute penalty denied Manchester Maccabi 1st victory in the Thameside League Division One as they were forced to share the points following a four-goal thriller against Astley.
Played in windswept conditions, it was Maccabi who played the better football and dominated the first 25 minutes with some lovely one and two-touch football without an end product. But for all there lovely play it was Astley who scored first.
From a Maccabi corner, the Astley keeper punched clear to his centre back who hoofed the ball downfield. The ball was in the net seconds later as the Astley forward fired past the advancing Dan Garman for a shock 1-0 lead, and that how it stayed till half time
And to add to Maccabi’s misery, Alex Lee and Ben Loofe were both taken off in the first 20 minutes with injuries which meant a total reshape of the team. However in the 51st minute a through ball by Mark Woolfe put Josh Rubin through and he lobbed the keeper to equalise.
Maccabi were in front three minutes later as Rubin sent over a great cross which was met by Andy Rosenberg to power a great header home, giving the keeper no chance
It was all Maccabi, but they could just not get that vital third goal and they were really made to pay for that when in the 92nd minute a speculative cross from Astley’s Wayne Tiler hit Woolfe on the chest, but to the amazement of both sets of players, the ref awarded a penalty. Astley’s Graham White cleared his head to slam home the equaliser.