A superb stoppage-time strike from Chris Blunden rescued a point for Leverstock Green in a 2-2 draw at Cockfosters on Saturday.
A point was the least Levy deserved from a competitive game in which they had more of the ball and more chances than their opponents.
As has happened many times this season, though, Leverstock put themselves on the back foot by conceding an early goal. In the fifth minute a punt upfield from Cockfosters keeper Rayen Constable took out the whole Green defence to leave Ben Hart through on goal, and he sidestepped Sam Mazurek before slotting home the opener.
Levy soon recovered and played their way into the game. In the eighth minute Louis Bircham played a free-kick to the near post from which Joe Horwood shot just wide.
In the 24th minute a long throw dropped inside the box for Chris Blunden, but his hooked shot went just wide, while a quick break on 38 minutes saw Gavin Smith play the ball up to Blunden, who played a crossfield ball which set Curtis Donaldson on a run at goal, but his eventual shot was turned wide by Constable.
Leverstock still trailed 1-0 at the break, but they finally got a deserved equaliser 10 minutes into the second half thanks to a defensive blunder from the home side.
A back pass to Constable came up short, and Reece McArthur nipped in ahead of the keeper and took it round him to score his third goal in successive games.
A rampant Green side then went close to taking the lead several times over the next few minutes. A shot from Timi Salako was tipped over the bar by Constable’s fingertips. From the resulting corner James Budden got up highest but his header drifted wide. Salako then had another good
At the other end on 62 minutes Mazurek had to turn a free-kick from Hart round the post, but Leverstock had another good spell midway through the half.
Having had so many chances but not made them count, Levy ended up paying the price when Cockfosters went back in front with a rather soft goal on 83 minutes. Hart hit a curling shot from out near the left touchline which didn’t seem to be a great danger, but a bounce off the pitch seemed to fool Mazurek as the ball went in at the far post.
Leverstock certainly didn’t deserve to lose this game, and in the end they didn’t. In the second minute of stoppage time a pass from Lee Faulkner gave Blunden a run at goal, and he sidestepped a defender on the edge of the box before curling a superb shot into the top corner of the net to make it 2-2.
The final whistle came soon after, and the late drama sends the Leverstock side into a 10-day break in good spirits. They have no game next Saturday, and on Tuesday week they are at home to Bishop’s Stortford in the first round of the Herts Senior Cup.
Cockfosters: 1. Rayen Constable, 2. Kaine Campbell, 3. Chris Cordara-Soames, 4. Gary Simmonds (12. Sivi Bao 68 mins), 5. Jack Grosvenor, 6. Tom Massey, 7. Ben Hart, 8. Ben Spaul, 9. Emmanuel Melford-Rowe (15. Evans Omondi 85 mins), 10. George Ironton, 11. Courtney Lawrence (14. Shane Reid 77 mins). Subs not used: 16. Matteo Esposito, 17. James Cattlin.
Leverstock Green: 1. Sam Mazurek, 2. Gavin Smith, 3. Liam O’Keefe, 4. Joe Horwood, 5. James Budden, 6. Timi Salako (17. Reece Cameron 86 mins), 7. Jack Halcomb (12. Lee Faulkner 80 mins), 8. Reece McArthur (14. Jack Gilmartin 74 mins), 9. Louis Bircham, 10. Curtis Donaldson, 11. Chris Blunden. Subs not used: 15. Dale Small, 16. Chinua Phinn-Archer.