Northwich 1 Stevenage 1

Last updated : 04 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Northwich Victoria were sensationally denied a dramatic winner at home to Stevenage Borough.

The game was in injury time when Gregg Blundell's shot hit the angle of post and bar and appeared to have crossed the line.

The striker threw up his hands and set off in celebration, but the referee waved play on and Stuart Fraser gratefully belted the ball clear.

Later still Blundell brought a brilliant save from keeper Mark Westhead, but it was the earlier incident that was the game's great talking point.

Vics boss Jimmy Quinn said: "I am sure it was over the line and Gregg is positive about it." A scrappy game was brought to life in the 35th minute when Justin Richards saw his shot crash against a post with goalkeeper Matthew Parry well beaten.

In later confrontations however it was Parry who had the upper hand.

Boro ended the opening period on top but did not take the lead until two minutes after the resumption.

Simon Wormull's corner swung into the six-yard box and cut out Parry. Northwich's marking was slack and Jason Goodliffe scored with a thumping close-range header.

Five minutes later Richards sprinted clear of the Northwich defence but Parry spread himself well and pulled off a superb save to keep his side in the game.

It was as important as Westhead's finger-tip stop from Richard Norris moments later.

Both incidents seemed to inspire Vics and they reshaped their line-up to accommodate sub strikers Quinn and David McNiven.

Boro came under increasing pressure but the next chance came at the other end and again it was Parry getting in the way of Richards' glory.

Quinn had two efforts before Northwich equalised when he played the role of assistant, his flick-on was rolled across the face of goal by Blundell for McNiven to slide in his first goal since August.

Northwich's late flurry ended in controversy with the home team convinced they were winners and the visitors just happy to collect another point in their fight against relegation.