The ‘make or break’ relegation clash between local rivals Boroughbridge and Ripon City ended in a 1-1 draw, doing little to help either team stay in the division.
Daz Ekin’s Boroughbridge were gifted the early breakthrough after just two minutes when Ripon’s ‘keeper carried a Martin Hutchinson corner into his own net.
After a period of panic, Ripon settled into the game and their later domination was rewarded with a brilliant Duncan Terry effort drawing the sides level minutes before half time.
Both teams were forced to end the game one player light as Boroughbridge’s Daniel Smith saw red after 73 minutes before Ripon captain Darren Simpson was shown a second yellow for dissent.
After the match Ekin admitted that, for long periods of the game, their opponents played the better football but believed a draw was the ‘fair result’.
He said: “It was a typical bottom of the league clash with two teams that are struggling for form and points and, to be fair, they had the two best players on the pitch in James Mcdaid and Terry who were quality.
“It was a bit of a dog fight with both defences on top. Ours was a silly goal and then they scored with a great effort but, when we went down to ten men, we would have taken a point.
“Both defences played well on the day and both keepers didn’t have a lot to do. We needed to win the game and the draw did neither of us any good.”
With Boroughbridge second from bottom after 18 games, with just ten points, Ekin admitted that his side were in ‘big trouble’ in their fight for survival.
However, the result leaves Ripon City bottom with the club still yet to break into double figures and manager Steve Donoghue admitted he was ‘disappointed’ with the result.
He said; “We gifted them a goal even though after that we completely dominated the first half and I don’t think our ‘keeper had a save to make.
“But the goal affected them quite badly because we wanted to make a positive start and that’s what we had talked about in the changing room.
“We got a little bit nervous at times with people shooting and passing at the wrong times but, overall, I was very pleased with the performance.”
“I think if we get one win under our belt then we will get there but we just need that first win but I do think that it was two dropped.”
Donoghue also admitted that his players were left ‘devastated’ after the match because ‘playing that well, they knew they should have won’.