Depleted Stansfeld/ Eltham Palace came from two goals down in the last half an hour to stun Meridian VP at the weekend.
Stansfeld were without seven first-team regulars but dominated the first 30 minutes, creating a number of chances. Ryan Hassan could have grabbed a hat-trick, but first he failed to force the ball over the line from close range at a corner and then twice dragged the ball wide of the left-hand post when he was put through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Charlie Richmond then had a shot from distance saved and Sam Ryan also saw an effort from the edge of the area go just wide. Frankie Beale was next to try his luck, bending a free-kick around the wall but the goalkeeper again made a good save.
Meridian went ahead in the 35th minute when Michael Shipp headed home from a corner.
Stansfeld were briefly shocked by the goal, but they were given the chance to level when Freddie Sansom was tripped inside the box for a penalty.
With regular penalty-taker Billy Jolley absent the responsibility fell to Hassan, but his effort was saved. The second half took on a similar pattern to the first, with Stansfeld pushing forward for the equaliser.
But, on 51minutes, against the run of play, a misplaced pass was pounced on and Grant Lye put Meridian two goals up.
That prompted a personnel and formation change and, after Perry Holland came on, Harry Gamble pulled a goal back when he bundled home at the far post. Seven minutes later Stansfeld were level through Jesse Thackham’s finish from two yards.
With time running out it was left to Hassan to redeem himself after his earlier misses, and he neatly controlled Ryan’s chipped through ball before lashing his shot high into the net to complete a superb comeback.
*Stansfeld/Eltham Palace are at home to Crockenhill in the SCEFL Division 1 on Saturday, January 21. Kick-off is 3pm.. Stansfeld’s new 1st team and Reserves’ games fell victim to the weather at the weekend.