Veterans up and running with their first point
Southside Veterans 3 Outcast Veterans 3
SOUTHSIDE Veterans gained their first point in the GFA Veterans League North Division with a spirited second-half display.
They were unlucky not to take all three points as they let Outcast grab an equaliser just five minutes from time.
The opening goal came after 20 minutes when a cross into the box was glanced home by the Outcast centre forward.
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However, for the rest of the half the Southside defence battled well and the team were gradually making inroads further up the pitch.
A clever bit of skill on the right wing from debutant Steve Shepherd resulted in the ball finding its way to centre forward Paul Cave, who drew two or three defenders and then had the strength to hold them off and slip the ball square to an unmarked Craig Richards who netted from five yards out and sent the teams in level at the break.
Southside began to take the upper hand in the second half.
Nick Taylor found some good positions on the left-hand side and Richards was also finding more space in the second half as well.
Southside pressure was rewarded midway through the half when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box and Cave stroked the ball wide of the wall into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.
Outcast came back strongly after that and forced a few more corners and enjoyed some speculative shots from long range, but they failed to seriously trouble the goalkeeper until the defence failed to clear another cross and the ball fell kindly to the Outcast player at the edge of the box and he fired in a low shot to bring the scores level.
With the teams starting to tire there were opportunities at both ends for further goals.
Then, in the space of a minute, claims for an Outcast penalty were turned down by the referee, only for a break straight up the other end and, after the ball was flicked on past the defence, Richards was completely upended by the goalkeeper inside the box.
Richards slotted the penalty home to give Southside the lead for the first time.
But Outcast came up with a sucker punch when a through-ball inside the full-back evaded Mark Holtham and the left winger managed to curl the ball into the far corner to level the scores.
The only sour note was an Achilles injury in the last few minutes to centre-half Jon Carpenter, who faces a long spell out.