Bright start for Gardner as new boss sees Green rescue a point late on


New Leverstock Green boss Dene Gardner made a promising start to life at Pancake Lane as his side battled back from 2-0 down to clinch a point against Hoddesdon Town with a dramatic late equaliser.

Liam O’Keefe struck in the ninth minute of stoppage time to earn what could be a morale boosting point for the new-look Levy side.

Gardner has wasted no time in ringing the changes, with seven new players in the starting line-up and four more new signings on the bench on Saturday.

However, it was the visitors who took the lead in the 17th minute when Adam Bolle nodded home.

Leverstock’s first real chance came after 24 minutes when Tunde Owolabi headed over the bar.

But it was the visitors who added a second goal a minute before half-time as Levy keeper Joe Mudd somehow allowed a shot from Tyler Hatherly to squirm under his body and into the net.

Gardner had plenty of work to do at half-time, but whatever he said in his first Green team-talk clearly did the job as Levy pulled a goal back on the hour mark.

An O’Keefe free-kick was headed back across goal where substitute Billy Smith netted only two minutes after coming off the bench.

A rocket header from Bolle came back off the post five minutes from time, and that proved crucial as the referee added on a lengthy amount of stoppage time following injuries and some time-wasting by the visitors.

Green battled hard and they got their reward when O’Keefe curled a free-kick into the top corner to rescue a point for his side.