Stanley Blackcats 5 – 5 Sabden

Stanley Blackcats 5 – 5 Sabden FC

Paul Astin scored four times in a five goal haul, away at Stanley Blackcats. Shockingly, this was not enough to secure the three points as Blackcats fought back from 5-2 down to seal a 5-5 draw.

In reality, despite Astin`s heroics in front of goal, Sabden barely deserved a point in what was their worst performance of the season. Far too many players had a real off day, and had Ryan Graves and Sol Islam not been on their game, then the goals against could have been even worse.

In a bright start, Sabden took just 4 minutes to unlock the Cat`s defence; Astin finishing smartly from a David Fallon cross. Astin doubled his tally on 25, this time latching onto an Adam Fuller through ball.

Although they were 2-0 up, Sabden were not playing fluidly, with the left flank being given a torrid time by the Blackcats No 9. On 26 minutes, Cats pulled one back, and just six minutes later, the contest was all square at 2-2, due to some lackadaisical team defending.

To give some credit, Sabden did momentarily lift themselves, and Zac Musker skipped past the Stanley full back on 40 minutes to deliver a cross which Charlie Collinge could not miss – and he didn`t !!

Just before half time, Blackcats gifted Sabden a fourth goal, with Astin gleefully knocking the ball past Burrows for his hat-trick.

Having not played well at all, but with the gift of a 4-2 lead, the anticipation was that Sabden could not play as badly in the second half. They got worse! Nevertheless, the opening minutes of the second half we promising. Just three minutes into the second half, Fallon claimed his 2nd assist of the afternoon, as he played in Astin who steered home his 4th goal and Sabden`s 5th.

However, the rest of the half belonged to Stanley Blackcats, who used the wind to their advantage. Despite the best endeavours of Diggins in the Sabden goal, and some immense interceptions from Graves and Jack Birkett at the centre of the defence, the goal was breeched first on 58 minutes, and then again on 62.

Blackcats continued to press and an equaliser on 81 minutes led to a very nervous last 10 minutes.

Astin (4, 25, 44, 48), Collinge (40)

Paul Astin – cannot ask for much more than four well-taken goals from a striker

Most of squad still being in the nightclub as dawn broke !

Sabden: Attempts: 23 On Target: 15
Stanley: Attempts: 24 On Target: 11