DURHAM City’s mini-revival came to a shuddering end after they were at the wrong end of a nine-goal thriller against Garforth Town, writes Malcolm Pratt.
Three times behind, Dickie Ord’s side led 4-3 at New Ferens Park with only a couple of minutes remaining, but then conceded two goals in the last two minutes.
City almost went ahead early on when David Dowson beat the offside trap, only to be denied by the outstretched legs of goalkeeper Ben Higginson.
At the other end, keeper Lewis Graham was forced to turn aside Paul Walker’s shot before Garforth went ahead on 20 minutes as Rob Pacey firmly planted his header into the net.
Three goals then flowed in as many minutes.
Andrew Stephenson drove in for the equaliser, only for David Brown to score within 60 seconds.
Durham immediately hit back and Dowson completed a brilliant solo run with a drive into the bottom of the net.
Before the interval, however, Garforth went ahead for the third time, Brown poking the ball home at the near post.
However, six minutes into the second half the scores were level again.
Jack Pounder laid the ball off to Dowson, who made no mistake from the edge of the penalty area.
Durham then went in front for the first time with the best move of the game.
Stephen Thompson was the architect, with a great run at the visitors’ defence and a wonderfully timed ball to Dowson, who completed his hat-trick.
Amar Purewal, returning from injury, had the chance to make it 5-3 before City’s defence wilted in the final minutes.
Poor defending allowed Brown to complete his own hat-trick as he took advantage of shocking marking.
And in the last minute, Durham again paid the penalty as Chris Walton was allowed to crash the ball into the net and snatch victory for his side.
The only sour notes were some ugly scenes between both sets of players at the end of the game.
Durham City: L Graham, Brown, Shaw, E Graham, Madden, Arjun Purewal, Pounder (Amar Purewal), Stephenson, Dowson (Davis), Thompson, Cutts.
Ref: Mr M Edwards; Att: 154.