Ten-man Newbiggin fight back from two-goal deficit

Action from Newbiggin's draw with Cullercoats on Saturday. Picture by Jason Cullen
Action from Newbiggin's draw with Cullercoats on Saturday. Picture by Jason Cullen
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AFC Newbiggin fought back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw after having a player sent off inside the first five minutes of Saturday’s Northern Alliance division one clash with Cullercoats.

Midfielder Richard Kennedy was shown the red card after just four minutes following a strong challenge, seemingly down to frustration with a few early decisions.

Cullercoats’ Luke Ferguson quickly capitalised and gave his side the lead while Newbiggin struggled to regroup following the dismissal.

Play gradually evened out as both sides had chances, but they struggled to get anything on target.

The visitors looked to have more of the ball and used their extra man to tire Newbiggin.

Despite the home side’s efforts, the extra man proved too much as Ferguson scored a second as the first half came to a close.

But the half-time team talk worked wonders for the home side, who gathered their heads and slowly broke their opponents defence down.

The glimmer of hope for the reds came six minutes from time after a Cullercoats red card and penalty was awarded to Newbiggin following a hand ball in the box. Attacking midfielder John Bone made no mistake with the spot kick, smashing the ball home to give his side a second wind.

With no time to spare, the home side piled on the pressure and Gary Bailes found a way through for a late equaliser, just one minute from time.

A combination of jubilation and relief washed over the red army as they all piled in for a celebration, while the vocal crowd cheered them on from the sidelines.

The ball was barely back in play before the referee called time.