Mead spot on to deny Laxey vital three points

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Laxey missed the chance to move to within a point of Canada Life Premier League leaders St John’s after wasting an injury-time penalty at home to DHSOB on Saturday.

As a result of Mark Wolfenden’s saved spot-kick in the 93rd minute at Glen Road, the Miners were forced to settle for a point in an entertaining 1-1 draw against an impressive Old Boys side.

Wayne Kennedy’s visitors bossed proceedings in the first half and deservedly led at the break courtesy of Sam Theobald’s own goal.

However, Derek Melville and Keith Brown’s Laxey outfit improved greatly after the break and took a share of the points thanks to Johnny Callow’s late header.

The sides traded chances early on, with Theobald having a volley deflected just wide for Laxey while Callum Stewart went close with a header at the other end.

DHSOB settled into their rhythm quickly and took the game to their opponents, nearly breaking the deadlock after only six minutes when the impressive Gary Quirk set off on a barnstorming run down the left flank and cutting the ball back to the lurking Darren Hudgeon but his shot was deflected behind.

However, the Blackberry Lane side didn’t have to wait too long to open the scoring and it came about after another surging run from Quirk.

The winger escaped his marker to latch onto a neat pass from Michael Hooper and drove to the by-line before sending a teasing ball right across the six-yard box.

Under pressure from Craig Stewart, Theobald attempted to hack the ball clear but only succeeded in planting the ball into the back of his own net for 1-0.

Laxey attempted to hit back immediately but Wolfenden’s free-kick curled just over the bar before Ashley Webster blasted over when well-placed.

Old Boys continued to enjoy the better of proceedings and thought they had doubled their lead shortly before half-time following a superb team move.

Brothers David and Gary Quirk linked up effortlessly down the right wing, the latter crossed to Callum Stewart at the back post who volleyed goalwards and the ball was turned home virtually on the line by Hugdeon but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Whatever Melville and Brown said to their players at half-time clearly worked as the Miners came out with renewed vigour in search of an equaliser.

They very nearly found it in the 51st minute when a header by Webster was blocked and the rebound fell to Theobald just a few yards out but his effort was somehow brilliantly kept out by goalkeeper Danny Mead.

Despite the momentum being in Laxey’s favour, Old Boys twice went close to doubling their lead when first Gary Quirk fired just wide before Callum Stewart curled a sublime effort onto the roof of the net.

The hosts were guilty of an astonishing miss shortly after the hour mark when some good work by Lee Cowley saw his cross deflected to Theobald at the back post but, with the goal at his mercy, the defender somehow smashed his header against the bar from only three yards out.

Another big miss soon followed when Wolfenden’s inch-perfect free-kick found Webster in acres of space in the box but the striker glanced his header wide.

Just when it appeared that the Miners’ quest for a leveller would prove to be in vain, they finally found a way through with just four minutes of normal time remaining. Wolfenden swung in another fine set-piece, this time a corner, and it was met by a thumping header from Callow who guided his effort past Mead and into the net to rescue a point.

The visitors attempted to hit back straight away and very nearly stunned the Miners just a minute later when sub John Quirk tried his luck from range but his effort sailed only just wide of Andy Perry’s right-hand post.

The result could have been even better for the hosts when deep into injury time Old Boys defender Liam Buckley, only just on as a substitute, brought down Callow in the box and referee Peter Greenhill pointed straight to the spot.

Up stepped Wolfenden to take the penalty but the striker could only watch as his powerful spot-kick was brilliantly repelled by the outstretched leg of Mead and the game finished 1-1.

TEAM CHECK

Laxey: Andy Perry, Gary Williams, Alan Harrison, Sam Theobald, Declan Cummins, Paul Rowley, Johnny Callow, Michael Fernandes, Ashley Webster, Mark Wolfenden, Lee Cowley (Jamie Clague 79m): Subs not used: Derek Melville, Keith Brown.

DHSOB: Danny Mead, Martin King (Liam Buckley 90m), Phil Knox, Tommy Miller, Ian Ramsay, Michael Hooper, Callum Stewart, Dave Quirk (Chris Coxon 65m), Craig Stewart, Gary Quirk (John Quirk 87m) , Darren Hudgeon

Referee: Peter Greenhill - enjoyed a thoroughly impressive afternoon in the middle and was always in control of the match

Assistants: Colin Coole and Peter Lewis

Booked: Hooper (DHSOB, Callow (Laxey)

Man of the Match: Gary Quirk - took the game by the scruff of the neck and caused all sorts of problems. Match rating: HHHHI

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