A tight clash petered out, but Ollerton Town were reasonably satisfied with a 1-1 draw in their opening match of 2018 in the First Division of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League.
A hard-earned point was a respectable effort against a Winterton Rangers side who sit a handful of places above them in the middle of the table. Ollerton even felt that the pressure they applied in the second half might have earned them a victory.
In front of a crowd of 72, the Scunthorpe visitors looked the more dangerous team early on and arguably should have taken the lead within the first ten minutes when Luke Anderson rounded goalkeeper Ryan Brooks only to be denied by Ben Bowring’s last-ditch clearance.
Ollerton’s general play on the ball was superior to Winterton’s, but their final ball lacked quality, and the away team were more ruthless in terms of creating chances, one of which saw Anderson’s lobbed effort drop just wide of a post.
The hosts went close themselves when Sam Stretton’s low drive from the edge of the box was well saved by Dale Coy, but on the half-hour mark, it was Winterton who took the lead as James Dean Atkinson spread the play out wide to Robbie Start, who drilled a low ball that was met by a first-time finish from Lewis Bemrose.
Ollerton responded by ending the half strongly and were unlucky to not equalise when Gav King’s free-kick, which was dipping towards the bottom left corner, was well saved by Coy. They also applied most of the pressure at the start of the second period and were almost rewarded when Lewis Bingham’s corner was dropped by Coy, leading to a goalmouth scramble that ended with the ball being turned over by King.
The home side continued on the offensive and finally levelled when Tom Moody’s cross from the byline was diverted towards goalkeeper Coy, who was unable to claim the ball and palmed it into the back of his own net. Not a quality goal by any means, but one that Ollerton’s build-up play and second-half dominance warranted.
They pushed forward again late on in the game against a tiring Winterton side, but they weren’t able to carve out enough chances to trouble the visitors’ defence and eventually had to settle for a draw which, on the balance of play, was considered by both teams to be a fair result.
This Saturday, Ollerton are away to Brigg Town.