In a repeat of the opening game of the season, Reds edged out Miners by the odd goal in seven in another topsy-turvy County League encounter.
The game was riddled with mistakes and individual errors – not what the respective managers Lee McCullough and Gareth Messenger were hoping for – but it certainly made for an entertaining ninety minutes.
Miners will probably count themselves unfortunate not to take something out of the game, having led 2-0 and 3-2, and seeing two further attempts rebound off the woodwork. In addition, they had two efforts cleared off the line, had appeals for a penalty turned down and saw Scott Paden-Gale pull off three excellent saves.
Reds finished each half strongly, but were well below par for two-thirds of the game, yet had the satisfaction of recording back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Miners made the best possible start and were ahead inside thirty seconds when Alex Parr forced home the opener, on his debut, after Paden-Gale had kept out the original shot.
The visitors doubled their advantage after twelve minutes, a fine headed goal from Bradley Glaister, when Reds failed to defend a teasing cross from the right.
A third goal in the opening half hour would have secured the points, for sure, but Reds got themselves back in contention after thirty-six minutes thanks to a well struck twenty-yarder from Evan Stephenson.
They almost equalised soon after when Jack Brown chipped Miners’ ‘keeper, Andrew Monaghan, only for Ryan Doran to make a spectacular goal line clearance.
But the reprieve was short-lived and Dan Whitehead’s cross shot found the far corner of the net for Reds’ equaliser seconds before half time.
Miners started the second half like they had the first and it was no surprise when they regained the lead just past the hour mark. A good cross from the left saw a home defender and Lewis Park challenge for the ball and it was the latter who got the vital touch to steer home the visitors third.
Out of sorts for most of the second half, Reds came on strong for the final fifteen minutes and started to move the ball about with more conviction. They scored two fine goals in four minutes but Miners claimed they should have had a free-kick in the build-up to both.
Ben Davidson netted a seventy-seventh minute leveller but the goal-of-the-match, after eighty minutes, was a superb curling shot from substitute Jack Dunstan. A goal fit to win any game but a tough one to take for the visitors.
Team: Scott Paden-Gale, Hayden Percival (Hayden Rae, 46), Dan Whitehead, Scott Williamson, Zach Martin, Evan Stephenson (Robbie Wilson, 80), Zach Lester, Cain Pears, Ben Davidson (Milo Cook, 80), Jack Brown (Jack Dunstan, 46), Lewis Moore. Substitute: Aaron Lister (not used).