MELFORD SIMPSON snatched a late point for Shoreham Football Club on Tuesday evening in a dramatic finish at Middle Road when Mussels drew 1-1 with Hassocks.
Simpson struck in the 89th minute when he chested down a long free kick forward and then toe-poked home from close range.
That was not the end of the drama, though, as both teams could have grabbed all three points in an end-to-end finish.
Hassocks’ Josh Hawkes had an effort ruled out for offside, before Dan Stokes had a one-on-one saved by Mussels keeper Nic Taylor in the second minute of stoppage time and, from the resulting corner, Dan Jacques headed just off target.
Four minutes into injury-time, Shoreham’s lively right-winger Terrell Miller had a cross-shot headed off the line, before Simpson broke through one-on-one but his low shot trickled just past the far post.
Clear chances were few and far between in the first half, with Mussels’ Okwute Izuchukwu firing into the side netting from 18 yards on 29 minutes, before Hassocks took the lead on 39 minutes when Jacques glanced home an inswinging free kick.
Shoreham began to threaten an equaliser more as the second half went on. Simpson headed straight at Hassocks keeper Reece Wickwar on 55 minutes, before Izuchukwu missed his kick after neat play from Miller and Kai Bichard.
Wickwar then kept out a powerful Simpson header on 63 minutes, before Cliff Newby-Harris fired off target from close range on 76 minutes.
Stokes curled an effort just wide at the other end, while Simpson fired low into the side netting on 83 minutes.
It looked as though Shoreham were going to suffer a second successive defeat to start the new season, after a 2-1 loss to Lancing on Saturday, until the dramatic finale when Simpson grabbed a point for the home side.
Shoreham player-manager Kane Louis said: “There were lots of positives for us, with some good individual performances, and we should have won the game.
“I wanted a reaction from Saturday and I got one.”
SHOREHAM: Taylor; Gregory, Petrie, Larin, Stevens; Miller, Izuchukwu, Bell; House, Simpson, Bichard. Subs: Newby-Harris (House 67), Louis (Bell 75), Goldson (Gregory 84), Edwards, Trigwell.
Click on the video above to watch Shoreham’s late equaliser.
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