AFC Kirk Hallam had to settle for a share of the spoils as they entertained Ripley Town at the Gallows Arena.
It was the away team that struck first with a scrappy goal. AFC were always in the game and had half chances. Adam Parsons tried his luck from distance but his shot lacked power but it was often a case of the final ball lacking accuracy or Ripley defenders being alert and clearing any threat. At the other end Kirk Hallam had their keeper Josh Allsopp to thank for keeping them in the game with a fine double save. Bradley Mitchell also chased back well from a left midfield position to cut out Ripley when clean through.
The second half was much better for Kirk Hallam as they set about tying to find an equaliser and Regan Atkinson came mighty close with a lob that the keeper got his fingers too and ten minutes later Atkinson was to be denied again, this time by the outstretched hand of the diving Ripley goalie. But on the hour mark Kirk Hallam were awarded a penalty when a fine challenge by Kai Pritchard fell to Jake West in the area and he was felled and a spot kick awarded. West picked himself up and coolly slotted the penalty away.
Ripley came straight back and it wasn’t long before they restored their advantage with yet another scrappy goal. It was backs to the wall time for Kirk Hallam and Ripley felt hard done by when Dan Lockhart looked to have brought down a man in the box but nothing given. However, Ripley did get chance to increase their lead further from the spot when Harry Foster was rather harshly adjudged to have pulled his man to the ground.
Justice was done though when Allsopp guessed the right way, not only saving but holding on to the hall. With ten minutes to go AFC drew level for a second time in the game. A fantastic Dan Stokes free kick was nodded in at the near post by Ian Bailey.
It was a nervy finish but Kirk Hallam held on for a well deserved point with some fine last ditch defending and blocks.
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Goal for Ripley Town
Jake West scores a penalty for AFC Kirk Hallam