A spectacular late strike from Josh O’Grady helped Daventry Town hit back from two goals down to earn a deserved point in a 2-2 draw against St Ives Town on Tuesday night.
Daventry had been on top for much of the first half but it was St Ives who went two goals in front at half-time after Daventry failed to finish off a number of goal-scoring opportunities they created.
Saints goalkeeper Barney McLaughlin was the busier of the two keepers in the first 15 minutes, turning a shot from winger Dior Angus around the post for a corner, tipping a strong header from Jamie Calvin onto the crossbar and then holding onto the rebound, then saving a shot low to the ground from the same unlucky striker.
Nathan Haines put a header narrowly wide at the far post from a fiercely struck Tommy Berwick free-kick, but it was the Saints who took an unexpected lead from Scott Sinclair.
A cross-field ball found Sinclair out on the right in acres of space and without taking a touch to control the ball hit a first time shot into the roof of the net, leaving Daventry keeper Richard Morris grasping at thin air.
A shot from Jamie Calvin into the chest of Saints centre-back Will Farnham brought loud appeals for a penalty from the Daventry bench but the referee waved them away.
Despite being a goal down Daventry were still creating the better chances, but it was Saints who increased their lead minutes before half-time.
Daventry keeper Richard Morris could only block a superb strike from Ben Seymour – Shore and Saints winger David Cobb was quickest to react to the loose ball, nudging a shot inside the post to give Saints an unexpected two-goal lead.
Ryan Howell had two chances saved within minutes of the second half but then Daventry were awarded a penalty for a trip on Dior Angus as he dribbled his way into the area.
Striker Tommy Berwick stepped up to slam the ball past a helpless McLaughlin to put Daventry back into the match.
Morris made a wonderful match-winning save after an hour’s play, tipping a Ben Seymour – Shore shot over the crossbar with his fingertips.
Angus and Howell both had shots which went wide before Josh O’Grady saved a point for Daventry with a wonderful strike with minutes remaining.
Collecting the ball out on the right he played a number of short passes with team mates before moving inside from where he hit a thunderous shot past McLaughlin.
A foul minutes later on O`Grady resulted in Josh Cole heading over the crossbar in the final few minutes.
Overall a good point for Daventry Town, coming back from two goals down, four points and still undefeated from their first two games.
Daventry Town manager Darran Foster was disappointed that his team did not take all three points from a match they should easily have won.
“This was a performance that showed so much more than the result,” he said.
“I felt we dictated the game from start to finish playing some neat football creating numerous chances on goal, which we must really do better with.
“Three times we created glorious opportunities then shot straight at their keeper and sent two or three chances wide or over the target, when it was harder to miss.
“The two goals we conceded were completely against the run of play and we should have dealt with them much better than we did.
“Two breakaway goals where we failed to deal with the long ball and never tracked back, which is basic football.
“In the second half we showed plenty of spirit, hard work and character to pull something from the game and Josh O’Grady’s equaliser was a very special goal to seal the point.
“We will have to learn very quickly that it is not all about attacking football, the ugly side to the game must be done too and every player in the squad must start showing both sides to their game, if we are to overcome much stronger opposition in the coming months.”
Daventry: Richard Morris, Ashley Deeney, Josh Blake, Nathan Haines, Ollie Wilkinson, Josh Cole, Josh O`Grady, Ryan Howell (Deacon 82mins), Jamie Calvin, Tommy Berwick (Power 80mins), Dior Angus (Fitzgerald 88mins). Subs: not used – Mitchell Piggon, Martin Hutchcox
Goalscorers: Tommy Berwick (pen) 55mins, Josh O’Grady 88mins
MOM: Josh O’Grady
In the book: Yellow – Josh Cole 51mins