Mark Collingwood says he is proud of the Jarrow Roofing team after they battled back to secure a late leveller against Shildon in their last home game of the season.
It looked as though a poor first-half performance was going to cost the South Tynesiders dear as Billy Greulich-Smith chipped home the opener for Shildon on the half-hour mark. Roofing looked lethargic and barely threatened the away goal in the first 45 minutes, but a much-improved performance after the break allowed Roofing to snatch a point against one of the top sides in the division. Chris Winn headed in with just 10 minutes to go to ensure Roofing’s home campaign ended on a positive note.
This draw means that Roofing are now unbeaten at home since January, and Collingwood admits that his side have taken another step in the right direction.
“I’m very pleased with that point. We had a number of players unavailable and a number of players who were playing through little injuries and knocks. We’ve went toe to toe with a side that’s probably going to finish fourth, and we probably should have won in the end.
“We were awful in the first half, we were like a rabbit in the headlights. At half-time, Richie and I had words to say, and the players came out and they responded to what we said. We made a fist of it and we dominated the second-half. I can’t really remember them peppering our goal, apart from a couple of long-range efforts.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t take all three points because our second-half performance deserved it. However, it’s another sign of progress because we probably would have lost that game by three or four goals a couple of months ago. But, we matched them and gave it a right go, especially when you consider the players we had missing.”
Shildon had won their last four league games coming into the meeting at the CA, and they very nearly kicked off proceedings in style. Michael Rae got through on goal after just three minutes, but saw his effort come back off the post before Greulich-Smith headed straight at Lewis Brass from close range two minutes later.
The visitors were attacking at will, and Roofing looked unable to cope. However, for all their possession, Shildon struggled to make their domimation count – that was until Greulich-Smith broke the Roofing resistance with a great strike on 30 minutes as he chipped Brass from the right-hand edge of the area.
Shildon continued to threaten the Roofing goal as Adam Burnicle blasted over from 12 yards shortly after before Sam Hodson scuffed his shot wide after Greulich-Smith did well to pick out the midfielder in the box with a cushioned header.
With a good crowd of 132 at the Boldon CA Sports Ground for the game, Collingwood knew that the team had to improve in the second-half in order to send the fans home happy.
“The first half was awful in terms of our decision-making and the amount of unforced errors we were making. We just didn’t threaten their goal, apart from one or two half chances. At half-time we questioned the attitude of the players, and they responded.
“It was our last home game of the season and we had a decent crowd, so we wanted to show a bit of fight. I cannot fault the lads for their performance in the second-half, and it’s something else to build on. It keeps the run going, and it’s all positive here at the club now.”
The second-half response from Roofing was fantastic. They attacked with purpose and ran at the Shildon defence. On 53 minutes, the hosts carved out their first clear-cut chance of the game, but there was a hint of controversy around it. Winn was hauled down as he tried to burst past his marker, the referee pointed for a penalty before running over to consult her linesman, who challenged her decision by flagging for a free-kick. Ultimately, a free-kick was given on the right-hand edge of the area, Dennis Knight stood over it, but saw his dipping effort crash off the bar.
The game started to come to life after that, and Brass had to be at his best to keep the scoreline down on 66 minutes as he produced a flying save to tip Rae’s 20-yard volley over the bar.
There seemed to be a real belief in the Roofing camp that they could get something out of the game, and finally, after all their endeavour, they were rewarded with an equaliser with just 10 minutes to go.
Winn and Knight have formed a prolific partnership in recent times, and it was those two who combined once more. Knight whipped a free-kick in from the right, and Winn got across his marker and headed the ball across Nick Liversedge and into the bottom corner.
From then on, it looked like there was only going to be one side who was going to win the game – and that was Roofing. They were attacking with menace, and causing the Shildon defence all sorts of problems. Paul Chow, Michael Mackay and Winn all saw good chances go begging in the last few minutes, but a point against a side in the top five is a fantastic return, and it shows how much the Roofers have improved in the last couple of months.
- Dan McSkimming
Roofing Man of the Match: Jamie Marshall
Next match: Sunderland RCA (A), Tuesday April 11. Kick-off: 7;30pm.
Boldon C.A. Sports Ground
Jarrow Roofing Boldon Community Association