Wakefield Athletic open new Sunday League season with victory in 12-goal thriller
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Athletic came out on top 7-5 at their West Yorkshire Sports & Social Club home, but it was their Huddersfield opponents who opened the scoring on seven minutes.
Wakefield responded immediately and levelled when a looping header by Joe Dack was well read by Danny Young whose first touch control saw him drive forward before delivering a powerful effort on target.
Two quickfire goals following excellent right-wing play saw the visitors lead 3-1, but Athletic made four changes for the second half and they paid off.
Abubakary Touray, Danny Jones, Banta Darbol and Kane Whitaker were all introduced and a change in momentum followed with Darbol finding the net with an outside of the foot finish after being found superbly by an accurate through ball from Jones in the 50th minute.
Five minutes later, Young was fouled by the visiting goalkeeper and Danny Jones put the resulting spot kick away.
The hosts continued through the gears and went 5-3 ahead with Darbol securing his brace before Danny Young also grabbed his second, with both goals assisted by clever wing play from Abubakary Touray.
However, the home side’s two-goal lead only lasted three minutes with the visitors levelling with two set-piece goals inside a four-minute spell.
With 10 goals shared and the game in the balance with a quarter of an hour remaining, something special was needed and Tatenda Tumba came up with it as he struck twice in the last 10 minutes.
Tumba's strike into the bottom corner made it 6-5 and then an assist by Jones led to the goal of the game by Tumba with a mazy run, beating three players before rounding the goalkeeper for a superb individual finish.
The Howden's man of the match award was shared by Tumba, Darbol and Young.
Wakefield Athletic A midfielder Jacob Marsh scored a brace before Carlton Athletic stole a last gasp goal to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw in their opening Premiership Two opening day fixture,
Both sides were well matched and produced a good brand of football on a splendid playing surface on a humid day that saw water breaks midway in each half.
The home side made a dominant start but the visitors rearguard, Callum Taylor repelled any threat. However, a slight lapse concentration in the 15th minute saw a through ball wide on the right flank allow Oliver Maundrill to break clear past his marker, cut inside before drilling the ball across the diving Wakefield goalkeeper Will Rushforth to give Carlton a 1-0 lead.
A subtle tactical tweak and positional changes saw the visitors grow more into the game and in the 28th minute Craig Holdsworth's set-piece ended with Daniel Carter forcing home goalkeeper Taylor into a point-blank stop on the line.
However, seven minutes later, a driving run from the heart of midfield saw Marsh end with a piledriver on target to haul his side deservedly level.
The home keeper twice came to his side’s rescue with a fingertip save from Craig Holdsworth and an excellent stop from a Dan Carter close range header.
Wakefield took a 2-1 lead in the 71st minute when Joe Scargill picked up a loose ball on the right and found Marsh who applied a clinical finish from close range.
The visitors’ game management appeared perfect before Carlton threw the last dice with the luxury of introducing fresh legs and forced the visitors on the backfoot.
The woodwork kept Wakefield holding on, but lady luck was not on their side when a corner by Jake Newell created a scramble at the near-post and saw Taylor Lloyd poke the ball over the line for a last-gasp equaliser.
A draw was a fair reflection of the game which was played in a sporting manner.
The On Track Coffee man of the match award was shared by Darreen Smith. Jacob Marsh and Sam Nicholson.