We had a bad day at the office, says Dagul

Promotion hopefuls Brady and Raiders B finished honours even following a six-goal thriller at Rowley Lane.



Promotion hopefuls Brady and Raiders B finished honours even following a six-goal thriller at Rowley Lane.

The Brady Buffalos started their first home game of the season in the best possible fashion; a superb team passing move fed Reiss Mogilner on the wing, and his centre was finished with aplomb by Joshua Newman after two minutes.

The first half peaked with this goal, as both sides struggled to put any decent passages of play together. Turgid performances from both Brady and Raiders resulted in very little in the way of chances, and when they did arise neither side could make them count.

A sweeping Brady counter-attack involving Mogilner and Sam Monjack ended in captain Danny Harrod hitting the post, whilst Brady dealt comfortably with set-pieces swung into their box as the first half petered out into a dull affair.

Raiders started the second half as brightly as Brady started the first, and within seconds they were level. Their ears clearly ringing from their manager's half time words, the men in orange started with a swagger they lacked in the first half.

Brady defender Simon Moses slid in to intercept a dangerous low cross, but in doing so could only divert Dave Esterkin's cross past the helpless Sam Singer, with Jacob Gold waiting to pounce.

Conceding seemed to wake Brady up, and they began to exert more pressure going forward. Eventually this pressure told, and Brady regained their lead. Sam Monjack's pass found Reiss Mogilner on the corner of the box, who cut in, turned his man and slid the ball under the keeper, cuing jubilations from the stands.

Rather than rest on their laurels, Brady pushed for a third. The spirits of the crowd were lifted when Brady's favourite son James Joseph returned for his second debut, and his team seemed to feel this boost.

Joshua Dagul, relishing the new deeper role he has been trusted with this term, found Monjack on the left flank with a pinpoint cross field ping, which was expertly controlled by the youngster, whose mazy run dazzled four defenders, leaving them in his wake as he skipped across the box, stroking home a right-footed effort into the bottom corner.

At this point, Brady would have hoped to close the game out, but they took their eye off the prize, and left the door open for Raiders to get themselves back into the game. The Orangemen broke clear, and the ball was knocked past goalkeeper Sam Singer who, stretching, was deemed to have made contact with Jacob Gold, leading the referee to award a penalty, which was converted coolly by Nicky Woolf.

Motivated by this goal, Raiders sought an equaliser, and with five minutes left on the clock, it arrived. Brady conceded a free-kick on the left about 10 yards into their half. An inswinger from Danny Bloom flew into the Brady box, and the unfortunate Svi Freedman - a substitute for the injured marauding full-back Ben Hildebrand - could only head into his own goal to level.

Following this, Brady threw men forward looking for a winner, but this left them open at the back. A break from Raiders almost brought a winner, with a Jake Gilbert's free header from an accurate cross from Esterkin sailing harmfully over.

Ultimately, Brady will feel disappointed that they were so close to victory before losing concentration so fatally.

NLR boss Jonathan Adelman told JC Sport: "We were 3-1 down with 10 mins to go but you know us, we don't know when we're beaten.

"Overall I have to be happy with a point having been 3-1 down with 10 to go, but we are disappointed with the goals we conceded and know at this level we can't switch off or we'll be punished.

"David Simnock pulled out some top-draw saves and our team spirit is exceptional - the boys proving once again that they never know they're beaten."

Brady player-manager Josh Dagul told JC Sport: "I thought we were very unfortunate not to come away with three points today - conceding off a penalty and two own goals is something of a nightmare day at the office.

"However, I think we were the architects of our own downfall to a large degree - we got sloppy and let them back in the game when we were completely in control, which you can't do at this level. For next week we need to regain this focus."

The Brady chief was asked about the injury to key man Hildebrand. "His injury looks OK - he has a little bit hamstring niggle but should be ok for next weekend, said Dagul.

"It was great to see our three new signings make their home debuts today. The fans have taken to them delightfully, and they have assured me they want to pay back this support with silverware."

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