Under 18s maintained their title hopes with a 2-2 draw against Park Street Village in the Watford Friendly League Yellow Division.
The table-topping Sky Blues Under 18s arrived for their crucial league match with only eleven available players. Opponents Park Street hadn't played for some weeks due to bad weather and provided very tough opposition, which belied their mid-table status.
An even first half ended with an excellent finish from Matt Goodfield after he was set up by a fine through ball from skipper Alex Trup to put Pinner one up at the break.
Park Street came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and quickly equalised with a stunning left footed drive by their right winger into the top far corner of the net. Worse followed for the Sky Blues shortlyafterwards when they failed to clear a corner and a close range shot beat stand-in keeper Ollie Sanker to put Park Street 2-1 up.
Passion, belief and teamwork encouraged Pinner to keep pressing and they were rewarded with their own equaliser when a long free kick from Trup was spilled by the Park Street keeper and Matt Bennett forced the loose ball home.
Both teams had chances to win the game in the remaining half hour. Park Street were unlucky to hit the underside of the bar twice in the same move and while the Sky Blues were attacking mainly on the break, their top-scorer, Matt Lubel, terrorised the Park Street defence with his clever close control. He was unable to find a way through on this occasion though and the game finished in a draw which was just about right.
While Matt Goodfield was named Pinner's man of the match for his tireless running up front, this was very much a team effort against very a good standard of opposition.
Led by Maccabi stalwart Scott Shulton, the result left Pinner still clear at the top of the league table, although the chasing pack have games in hand.
In spite of recording nine wins and two draws from their first twelve league games, there have been no easy fixtures and the team have developed a spirit and understanding that has carried them to victory in several tight games instilled and lead by Shulton’s depth of experience evidenced by helping them to earn a well-deserved point in this game and in the absence of key players.
It will need to be in evidence further as the season reaches its business end if the boys are to achieve their goal of finishing as divisional champions.