Festive games good to Durham City

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DURHAM City boss Dickie Ord didn’t manage maximum points from the three holiday games but will no doubt be satisfied at taking seven – a significant improvement on the dismal return yielded from previous matches.

Following lone-goal victories, the former Sunderland defender was hoping to start the new year with a hat-trick but they had to settle for a draw against Ossett Albion in yesterday’s Evo-Stik League Division One North game at New Ferens Park.

Ord’s side made the worst possible start, conceding the lead in the very first minute.

City lost possession in midfield and Dale Kelly and Darol Lucas pounced to set up Mark Thompson who scored with the greatest of ease.

The home side took 15 minutes before managing their first attempt on goal but David Dowson’s header was comfortably cleared from the near post.

Goalkeeper Lewis Graham was yellow-carded when he brought down Dale Kelly outside the area and the punishment would have been greater had there not been a covering defender.

City were losing possession far too easily to a competitive Ossett side but hopes were raised as Stefan Holt was forced to concede a corner with Andrew Thompson in on goal.

Early in the second half Evann Graham volleyed over the Ossett crossbar before City equalised against the run of play.

Andrew Stephenson sent Home Jackson towards goal and he lobbed keeper Phil Wood and then ran the ball into an empty net.

Inspired by the success, City launched a grand-stand finish and had four attempts on goal in the last 10 minutes.

Elliott Cutts drilled past the far post and Thompson’s first-time effort flashed narrowly wide.

A Thompson free kick was headed over by a defender and Gary Brown was also close to a winner with a speculative overhead kick.

This was City’s first draw of the season and they are now unbeaten in three games.

DURHAM CITY: L Graham, Brown, Shaw, E Graham (Greulich-Smith), Madden, Arjun Purewal, Home Jackson, Stephenson, Dowson (Pounder), Thompson, Cutts.