Wittenberg keeps his composure to earn Stones dramatic point

By Mark Symonds, December 17, 2008

WFL Under 15 Yellow Division: Stonegrove Park 5 Watford Red 5

Despite the Shabbat downpour the teams turned up on Sunday morning to a puddle-less pitch and, believe it or not, bright Sunday morning sunshine.

The Stones were up against Watford Red, a team they have beaten before but who knocked The Stones out the cup.

Unfortunately, when the game kicked off it showed that Stonegrove hadn't got out of bed yet and Watford took an early lead.

In the first half The Stones were second to every ball and paid the price when Watford knocked another couple in.

Stonegrove rallied then and had several good chances saved or even cleared off the line.

As the day clouded over Stonegrove grew frustrated and the half ended very much in Watford’s favour with a 4-0 lead. Coach Grant Levy then had a good strong word with the team and the second half opened with more pressure from The Stones.

This time Stonegrove were rewarded with a quick couple of goals which rattled Watford. Even better news as a brace from attacking wizard Jason Weldon and goals from Gideon Heilpern and Ethan Stern bought the score level within 15 minutes. 4-4 who would have believed it, but there was more to come.

The Stones were now well on top, but again were frustrated by a revitalised Watford. Time was ticking by with the end approaching when the Stones broke down the left and crossed the ball in to be knocked into Watford's net. The crowd erupted but were soon dismayed to see the effort ruled offside. Soon after to add insult to injury Watford broke upfield in a rare sortie and Aden made a great save. However, Watford pressure meant a Watford ball was deflected by the Stones into the path of Watford's striker who made it 5-4 with only a couple of minutes to go. The controversial goal did not dishearten our boys as much as it did the ref who gave it! (It was me!)

Time was ticking by and the game was slowing down. Stonegrove's captain Jason Levy had to be replaced by Jonathan Simmons when he cramped up. However, all was not over as Gideon Heilpern broke down the left and was bundled over as he entered the area. PENALTY. So deep into injury time, tower of strength Adam Wittenberg stepped up and bellowed the back of the net. 5-5.

That was it though; as Watford restarted the final whistle blew. After all the goal-scoring excitement it was centre back Gavin Fox who picked up man of the match. Overall it was a thrilling game with The Stones earning a brave point from the ashes of a 4-0 half time deficit.

Last updated: 12:42pm, December 17 2008