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Nunthorpe.

NUNTHORPE Athletic JFC Under-13s 'A' visited hosts Whinney Banks looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league.

And they came away with a well -earned point in a tough fixture that was played in good spirit by both sides.

On a heavy pitch in very blustery conditions, Nunthorpe got off to the perfect start opening the scoring after only 20 seconds. A fine through ball from the back by Joynes was seized upon by Shaun Hudson, who broke free of the defence to round the keeper and coolly slot home into the empty net.

With the swirling wind giving Nunthorpe a slight advantage, it looked like they would press on and rack up more goals. But they were to be disappointed, as they scorned several chances as result of poor finishing and good defending by the home side.

Hudson picked up another through ball, but this time he was stopped in his tracks by the onrushing keeper, who cleared from well outside his area.

With Nunthorpe settling to the terrible conditions slightly better than the home side, they continued to probe the Whinney Banks defence, breaking free on several occasions, then stumbling at the last as efforts were either gathered by the keeper or cleared by the defence getting back.

Banks then came close to equalising, McGregor having to smother a close range effort at the feet of a forward before the defence cleared the danger.

As the half drew to a close, Nunthorpe would go into the interval two-up. Great vision by Saunders released Hudson through the centre, who latched onto the ball in a flash, driving to the edge of the area and letting fly a low rasping shot past the keeper.

Whinney Banks started the second half with a nowvery strong wind at their backs, forcing Nunthorpe onto the back foot and making it difficult for the visitors to clear their lines.

A loose ball in the area saw Banks go close, before going even closer when a superbly struck free kick flew past the foot of the Nunthorpe post.

Banks were playing some neat football and were rewarded with a penalty. A free kick, fired into the area, was adjudged to have been handled by aNunthorpe defender, with the resulting spot kick being dispatched low into the corner.

Nunthorpe gathered themselves and countered, as Hudson went on a fine run down the left before his cross into the box was met by Holden, whose snapshot was saved by the keeper.

The home keeper was again called into action, saving a Mansell shot low down, following good build-up play by Turner.

Nunthorpe looked comfortable, without being greatly threatened at the back, and looked to have earned all three points until the final moments of the game.

Deep into injury time, Whinney Banks benefited from a decision when it looked like Holden had been bundled over in the area, only for the ref to wave play on.

The Banks 'keeper gathered the loose ball and hoisted it downfield.

A teammate got on the end of it and broke free in the area to curl his shot past the 'keeper, with the final whistle following shortly after.

The 2-2 final score was a fair result as both teams had attempted to play positive football under harsh conditions.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2011
Words:549
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