Stoke Ramblers 4-4 Motley Crewe

Last updated : 22 January 2011 By Dan Buxton

Stoke Ramblers came agonisingly close to securing a first ever win in their history but an injury time goal meant they had to settle for a point after an eight goal thriller at Halls Road.

The Ramblers went into their first game on 2011 with a couple if new faces and also players who appeared in the mauling at Hull in late-2010 now more settled in the side and it showed early on as pressure finally paid off when a Simon Duckmanton long throw was half cleared to Lee Tawn on the edge of the box, and the striker made no mistake volleying into the net from 18 yards.

Duckmanton was enjoying his new role sitting in front of the defence as Ramblers went with a 4-1-4-1 formation to try and onminate the game from the middle after Hull's display in how to do just that three weeks earlier.

The game did however turn away from the Ramblers as three goals before half time gave Crewe a comfortable advantage at the break. Firstly a corner kick was headed in by a Crewe player, leaving stand in keeper Tim Doherty no chance and after the visitors had an effort cleared off the line they made no mistake when a through ball deflected off the shin of Buxton, over fellow defender Myatt and into the path of the Motley forward.

Two became three when a break down the wing saw the ball rolled across the six yard box for a breaking midfielder to tap in from 6 yards.

The Ramblers didn't deserve to be behind and had put in numerous exquisite crosses but despite some near misses, had failed to find the net and bring themselves back in the game.

They were back in the game though, just moments after half time when Tawn collected the ball out on the left and fizzed another dangerous ball into the box. The defender wasn't as lucky as he had been in the first half, when the ball hit him three times in front of goal and deflected away from the goal, as the ball was sliced opff his shin and into the net.

Ramblers were buzzing and the game was a thrilling end to end affair that saw Ramblers draw level when, with a hint of offside, Tawn went through on goal. His shot was parried by the keeper, into the path of Adam Morris. His first time shot was blocked by a defender on the line before Ben Steadman was on hand to tap in and equal the scores.

Stoke weren't finished though and after winning a free kick 22 yards out they took the lead. Steadman rolled the ball into the path of Alex Bradford and he hammered the ball into the roof of the net to start a celebration that saw him mobbed by his teammates.

The game continued to ebb and flow and, after two Ramblers goals were controversially ruled out, an equaliser with 25 seconds of injury time left broke the hearts of the Ramblers. A ball over the top was flicked on and the striker rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the unguarded net.