McCann strikes late as Rothbury make their point
ROTHBURY 1FOREST HALL 1Reds striker Gareth McCann had an instant impact as he came off the bench and netted with his first touch.
It was the second time in four days that the dangerous hit-man had grabbed an equaliser in the final ten minutes after heading in at Prudhoe in mid-week.
Armstrong Park breathed a huge sigh of relief when his shot crashed in as the promoted Coquetdalers laboured to their second draw in their opening two games at the higher level.
The game provided a huge talking point after just five minutes. Rothbury's Joel Laviers threw the ball down in frustration when a throw-in was given the other way and it led to him being sin-binned for 10 minutes for dissent as the new rules were enforced.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Rothbury could, and maybe should, have led when Chris Coe, who was the Reds biggest threat throughout, fizzed over a low centre and unlucky Greg Woodburn scooped his shot over the bar from a great position with his weaker left foot.
Laviers returned to the action soon after but Rothbury were frustrated .
There was some improvement after the break and when Kyle Smith and James Jackson combined on the edge of the box, Smith's spinning shot was saved just under the bar by the stretching keeper.
The Forest Hall number one was in action again soon after, beating away Jackson's header at the near post. He then had his fingers stung by Tony Brown's 20-yard drive as Rothbury enjoyed their best spell.
However, in the 66th minute, the Reds didn't fully clear a corner and after a couple of blocks on the edge of the box a player was needlessly sent tumbling for a penalty, which Innocent Charinda easily tucked it away.
Coe continued to cause problems and he had a low shot saved before he then crossed for Chris Fawcett to head over.
The late equaliser came when Brown lined a free kick up from 25 yards, fired it around the wall, and when the diving keeper parried, substitute McCann, who had only been on the pitch a few minutes, pounced to tuck away the loose ball from close range.