Wearside League: Thompson strikes at the death to rescue point for West End in a thriller
Sunderland West End climbed to fourth place in the table, following a pulsating 3-3 home draw with third-top Redcar Athletic on Saturday.
The Teessiders opened the scoring as early as the third minute, when Stuart Brown powerfully headed home past goalkeeper Graeme Pickering.
But the Ford Quarry men were level just three minutes later as Nathan Burrell equalised.
In the second half, Robert Hall fired West End into a 2-1 lead, but Simon Webster soon equalised.
Redcar took the lead again in the 65th minute when Adam Preston finished well past goalkeeper Pickering, but West End came back strongly and finally equalised in the last minute, when Reece Thompson finished well to ensure a share of the spoils.
West End manager Anthony Nelson said: “I felt it was a really good game and I also felt we were the better side overall.
“There were a couple of mistakes by our goalkeeper, which gave the other team hope.
“Redcar Athletic are always a threat, they were never out of the game. We scored in the last minute, so we have still gained a point.
“I cannot be disappointed with a draw against Redcar – we were just looking to not get beat.
“As long as you don’t get beat by Redcar, I cannot see it as a bad result. They are a good side and always have been.
“We are down to the bare bones through injuries and are still picking points up.
“It was a good, entertaining game.”
Silksworth CW climbed a place to 10th following a close-fought 1-1 draw at Harton and Westoe CW.
The home side struck early, when Steven Bagshaw put through his own net, giving his goalkeeper Joe Clayton no chance.
Deep into the second half, Silksworth’s Paul Muir received his marching orders, following a poor tackle.
But, with just four minutes left on the clock, Silksworth were rewarded for their pressure when Glen Hargrave equalised with a right-footed shot which flew past goalkeeper Dan Hebden.
Wolviston stayed in sixth place, following a hard-earned 1-1 draw at home to league leaders Cleator Moor Celtic.
The visitors took the lead when defender Daon Yrus Kehi was adjudged to have handled the ball in the 33rd minute and Tom Mahone made no mistake from the penalty spot, easily beating goalkeeper Chris Davidson.
The equaliser came just three minutes later, though, with Philip Otele scoring from close range past Chris Devine, following a good move.
Leam Rangers picked up only their fifth win of the season, 2-1 at third-bottom Stokesley SC.
Rangers took a 15th minute lead through Liam McVicar, who tapped home from close range.
It was not until the hour mark that Stokesley equalised, when Dan Joseph reacted first to score following a rebound.
With three minutes left, the visitors pounced for a welcome winner, though, when Dean McCallum’s corner kick somehow found the net, through a ruck of players.
Windscale moved off the bottom of the table, above troubled Prudhoe Town, following a 0-0 draw at home to Darlington Reserves.
The only real chance came in the second half, when Windscale goalkeeper James Dolan made a great save to deny Vinnie Steels.
There is only one match this midweek, with Leam Rangers visiting South Shields Reserves on Wednesday.
Hebburn Town Reserves will meet Hartlepool in the Total Sport Alan Hood Charity Cup final.
Both came through home semi-finals on Saturday.
Pool had to come from behind to knock out Boldon CA, who took the lead through an Adam Burn header, following a corner in the 31st minute.
Seven minutes later, Hartlepool were level following an excellent team move, finished off by Mike Snowdon.
The tie remained in the balance until the 76th minute when Pool went ahead as substitute Andy Blackburn finished clinically, firing a low shot into the corner of the net.
Boldon were killed off with four minutes left, as the prolific Jamie Tumility made the game safe, smashing home his shot to take Hartlepool to their first cup final since joining the league.
In the other semi, Hebburn Town Reserves were comfortable 2-0 winners against visitors Richmond Town.
Following a goalless first half, Richmond’s Michael Gunnell received his marching orders following a second yellow card and Hebburn needed just three minutes to capitalise on their man advantage, with Daley Clarke heading home on the rebound, following a shot from Josh Houghton.
Hebburn clinched their final place four minutes from time, with Dylan Nesbitt drilling his strike low into the bottom corner of Richmond’s net.