Shirley Park player-manager Dan Oade believes that his team has what it takes to go up after displaying their promotion credentials in a six-goal thriller against Jewventus at Gladstone Park.
It needed a goal 18 minutes from time to earn his team a point as Jewventus goal-poacher Richard Fogelman has tried to wrestle the initiative with a hat-trick.
Oade said: “I didn’t think we played as well as we can, but we were certainly good value for a draw. Their third was a lucky goal but we fought back well to level. I think we have a good chance to get promoted, although we could do with having more of our players available.”
It was the hosts who took an early lead after 15 minutes after Sacha Benfedj turned and slotted home a finish from a Gideon Gold long throw.
But they held the lead for only two minutes as lone striker Fogelman latched on to a through ball and clipped a finish into the left hand corner of the net.
Shirley Park deservedly restored their advantage when a first-time drilled cross from the right was met by Jason Lindsay who volleyed home.
The home side had most of the pressure for the next 15 minutes but were made to pay just before the break when a Jeremy Kornhauser cross from the right went right across the face of the goal for Fogelman to tap in a second at the far post.
Jewventus were galvanised at the start of the second half, and nearly took the lead when Dan Channing crashed a fierce shot against the upright.
It was the visitors who went ahead for the first time just before the hour. Fogelman’s 30-yard inswinging free-kick was missed by Shirley Park goalkeeper Scott Balasco. He appeared to have lost sight of the ball in the sun and inexplicably failed to make his punch as the ball landed in the net.
Shirley Park regained their impetus when 18 minutes from the end a corner from the left was missed by Jewventus at the near post for Lee Bushall to skilfully prod home an equaliser.
The concluding minutes were end to end with Fogelman blasting over when clean through and Lindsay wasting a good opening.
Jewventus manager Gabriel John said: “This result puts us on track after two bad results. They will definitely get promoted so it’s a good marker for us. The pleasing thing is that we showed we want to compete and have a desire to achieve something this year.”
Shirley Park 3, Jewventus 3
Shirley Park: Balasco; Jackson, Shaki, Lee Bushall, Mitman (sub: Jacobson); Lusman, Gold, Ben Bushall, Benfredj, Oade; Lindsay
Jewventus: Shooter; Cowan, Schenk (sub: Lax) Daniel Blass; Weingarten, Channing, Martell (Taylor) Saul, Stone; Kornhauser (sub: Adam Blass); Fogelman