Winter's new signings salvage fine draw for Ollerton
Ollerton Town manager Dave Winter got into the spirit of the January transfer-window with new signings that paid immediate dividends for him against promotion-chasing Grismby Borough.
Winter raided the market for three players, two of whom were on target as Ollerton fought back from two goals down to snatch a terrific 2-2 draw against a Grimsby side who sit third in the Northern Counties East League, First Division table.
Georhe Pearce, a dual signing also registered with Newark Town, netted the first before Matthew Thompson, who has arrived from Rainworth Miners Welfare, bagged a spectacular last-minute equaliser.
Amazingly, the recovery was a repeat of what had happened when the two sides met in the opening game of the league season, although on that day, Grimsby did still pinch the points with a late penalty.
This time, they took a 13th minute lead when Daniel Trott fired across goalkeeper Scott Gretton, and they doubled it 13 minutes later when the same player was released down the right for a powerful effort that got the better of Gretton and found the bottom corner.
Given that Ollerton had taken only one point from their previous four games, the writing looked on the wall. However, they had posed a threat of their own in the early stages, hitting the bar with a tremendous free-kick from Lewis Bingham, and after further efforts from Greg Tobin and Josh Bowkett, they halved the deficit in the 38th minute. A corner fell to Pearce on the edge of the area, and his well-struck shot flew into the net off a Grimsby defender.
The goal injected confidence and come the second half, the home side were so determined to draw level that they dominated proceedings.
On the hour, Thompson was inches away from converting at the far post after a dazzling run and cross by Bingham, who tortured Grimsby right-back Daniel Grant all afternoon. And as the pressure mounted, Alex Sennett and Kyle Ludlow headed chances over the bar before Ludlow and Bingham had shots saved.
For the visitors, Craig Winfarrah did smash a good opportunity too high, but Ollerton were not to be denied and with time running out, Thompson, making his first start since returning to the club for a brief spell last term, saved the day. Picking the ball up 35 yards out, he unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner that sparked wild celebrations among teammates and fans. There was even time for a goalmouth scramble in which Bingham almost grabbed a winner.