Millers rescue point in six-goal thriller

North West Counties First Division South: New Mills 3-3 West Didsbury & Charlton

Ryan Shenton tucked away an injury-time penalty to earn the Millers a third successive point on Tuesday night, as Dave Birch and Mike Norton’s side showed great character in twice coming from behind against one of the favourites for the NWCFL Division One South title.

The Millers were struck by injuries pre-match, with James Neild and in form Ed Driver ruled out, while Nat Kerr began his suspension following successive red cards. To counter that, Will Ozono returned to the squad and player boss Norton made his first appearance in a Millers shirt. Dennis Sherriff was also brought in at centre back to replace Kerr, alongside club skipper Adam Jones.

The visitors took the lead with barely a minute gone, James Cotten nipping Round Sherriff and firing past Alex Fowell from 25 yards out. The goal sparked the Millers into life and they dominated long periods of the first half, as Nathan Ntalu and Ozono caused their opponents no end of problems, while Norton was a constant menace in attack. Indeed Norton should have opened his account for the club when shooting wide from a Ntalu cut back. 

With half-time approaching Sherriff was forced off with injury, replaced by Benito Lowe, and Norton moved to an unfamiliar central defensive position alongside Jone. Lowe took his place in attack, and it was he who levelled the scores right on half-time heading home from a right wing free kick sending the sides into the interval level.

Following his introduction Lowe was to be involved in almost every incident in the match, and he became the first New Mills player to be sin-binned early in the second half. It was on his return after a ten minute cooling off period that the game burst into life, his square pass was picked up by Ryan Shenton and the former FC United and Curzon Ashton man drove home from outside the area to give the Millers the lead.

With 15 minutes to go the visitors levelled, former Miller Chris Middleton turning home from close range and then as the game neared it’s close Fowell was caught out as Dylan Moloney’s 30 yard effort crept past him and into the corner. The game was not over though as for the second game in succession at Church Lane there was to be penalty drama in injury time. As Lowe burst into the visitors penalty area he was tugged to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot. Ryan Shenton stepped up and confidently shot home to earn the Millers a deserved point and to send their vociferous supporters home happy as their side stretch their unbeaten run to three games.


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