Neighbour strikes late to give Petersfield winning feeling

Joe Richardson. Picture: Neil Marshall
Joe Richardson. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Petersfield Town left it late before securing a 4-3 win over Leighton Town in the Evo Stik Southern League division one central contest at Love Lane.

Howard Neighbour kept his nerve to fire home from the penalty spot deep into stoppage-time at the end of the game.

The Rams were trailing 3-1 early in the second half before launching a terrific fightback to snatch the points.

Manager Ian Saunders was delighted to see his team get the win after making hard work of the contest.

He said: ‘It was unbelievable.

‘We have done that a few times this season and also had it done to us.

‘It is nice for us to come away with the winning feeling this time.

‘We certainly made life difficult for ourselves with some poor defending allowing them to twice go into a two-goal lead.

‘But we fought back and got a lifeline just before half-time, only to concede again at the start of the second half.

‘I must admit I was wondering where it was going to go from there.’

A disastrous start saw the Rams concede twice in 30 minutes but they quickly got themselves back into it.

On 33 minutes, David Jerrard put Oliver Bailey in down the side and his cross picked out Neighbour inside the area.

The forward cut inside his marker before sending a curling shot into the far corner of the net.

However, the lowly visitors restored their two-goal lead at the start of the second half.

The ball was chipped over Town goalkeeper Anthony Ender from the right-hand edge of the penalty area.

Petersfield faced an uphill struggle from there.

But they rolled their sleeves up and set about repairing the damage.

On 59 minutes substitute Joe Richardson was on hand to bundle the ball through the mud and in from close-range.

The Rams were level in the 73rd minute when Jerrard tucked his shot just inside the post after good work from substitute Andy Todd.

In a dramatic finish, Richardson was hauled down inside the penalty area with the Leighton defender getting his marching orders.

When the dust settled Neighbour made no mistake, blasting his spot-kick into the net.

‘In the last week we have beaten the clubs at the bottom and second from bottom,’ said Saunders.

‘They are huge wins for us and though we are not safe it does open up a bit of a gap between us and the clubs below.’