Frampton United remain unbeaten in the 2019/20 Gloucestershire County League season after Steve Jackson came off the bench to salvage a 1-1 draw, earning a point for a side who played for over 50 minutes with 10 men.
The game started off like a heavyweight boxing fight, slow yet methodical as both contenders felt their way into the contest.
Frampton’s Ryan Vincent went close just after the quarter of an hour mark, but his shot was just wide. Gala then had a free kick that was tamely through to Frazer Wilson in the Frampton goal.
With the September sun beating down on the Gala Club, the action was hotting up. The hosts began to move the ball quicker and after breaking with pace, the ball fell to Jay Dare on the left side of the box. Dare cut back before firing low down to Wilson’s right and the keeper did well to hold it.
Ryan Dobbins had gone down earlier in the move, so cue a much needed drinks break for all.
From there Frampton began to play on the front foot and had the better of the play for most of the second half of the half.
Liam O’Neill whipped in a free kick from wide on the right and a terrific double save from Gala keeper Lewis Skyers was the only reason Frampton didn’t take the lead. The ball in was met by a thunderous header down into the ground that Skyers clawed out low to his right, then from a seated position he managed to block Ryan Vincent’s follow up. Gala defender Shay Lyons was on hand to then hook the ball out for a corner from practically under his own crossbar.
Lyons was on hand to hook another effort off the line just before the break, when Manolo Espada was found in space on the right side of the box and he drilled the ball goalwards. Moments before, Martin Smith had a decent effort from 20 yards saved by Wilson.
It wasn’t a feisty or dirty half but on 44 minutes O’Neill was given a red card for a tackle that was late and full bloodied. After Jay Dare skipped past two Frampton men, O’Neill flew in, didn’t get the ball and sent Dare up into the air. The overall consensus was that the referee was left little alternative.
So after being goalless at the break, Frampton thought they scored when Vincent chased a long ball and did well to slot beyond Skyers – only to see the linesman flag up for offside despite Vincent’s protests that he was in his own half when the ball was kicked.
The second half flew by and with twenty minutes left it became a lot more open. Frazer Wilson pulled off a great save when Dobbins was slipped in on the left hand side of the box.
But Wilson could do nothing when on 78 minutes a deep corner was met by a Martin Smith header sending the ball back across goal and in, much to the joy of those in attendance.
The lead lasted five minutes when Gala failed to clear their lines from a long ball forward and it ended up at the feet of Steve Jackson, who calmly stroked the ball past Skyers to claim a point for his side.
Gala thought they had won the game in the final moments when Dare leapt highest to head towards goal from about 8 yards and Wilson pulled off a remarkable save to palm the ball out for a corner.
All in all a fair result and both sides remain in the top three, now both two points behind leaders Wick after their 2-0 win at Little Stoke.
Gala Wilton: Skyers, Loveridge, Webb, Mace, Lyons, Howell, Dare, Molyneux, Dobbins, Smith, Bowers
Subs: Moody, Sluman, Sabally, Pritchard, Brice-Ingles
Frampton United: Wilson, Harper, Brown, Dennis, Bartman, Cook, O’Neill, Mills, Gardner, Vincent, Espada
Subs: Day, Jackson, Maule
Severn Sport Man of the Match – Lewis Skyers (Gala Wilton)