ARMADALE fell just short of an upset win in Saturday afternoon’s controversial five-goal NPLWA round 18 thriller against Inglewood United.
Inglewood started the stronger of the two teams on their home ground, taking control of the match in the 13th minute with a goal from Kenny Keogh.
That goal was all that separated the two teams at the main break, but where the first half was a tight affair, the second saw a more attacking style of play from both teams.
Inglewood looked to have the match when Brian Woodall scored in the 73rd minute, but Armadale dug deep for a huge surge.
Josh Kuser broke the duck for Armadale with a goal in the 78th minute before Chris Jackson found the back of the net with a controversial equaliser just two minutes later.
With the ball to be thrown back in after play had stopped to allow an injured Keogh to be tended to, Jackson intercepted the ensuing pass to Inglewood goalkeeper Alex Dunn and scored into the unguarded net.
The match was decided with an act of sportsmanship in the 83rd minute when Armadale goalkeeper Sam Hutchings put the ball into his own net.
Armadale coach John O’Reilly said while it was a difficult decision to give the goal back to Inglewood in a tight game, it was the right thing to do.
“In that instance, if that had happened to us I would have been fuming,” he said.
“When you’re losing 2-1 and the ladder is as close as it is, you don’t want to give anything away, but my conscience got the better of me.
“I spoke to my captain and he agreed.
“It was a bizarre moment, which happens in football from time to time.
“I think we did the right thing at the end of the day, but it also took momentum away from us as we were pushing for that equaliser and to give the opposition a reason to want to beat us may have gone against us.”
Inglewood manager Andy Keogh said he was satisfied with the sportsmanship.
“Their captain and manager deciding to give us an own goal speaks volumes for the fact their striker shouldn’t have done what he did-It’s not what anybody wants to see in the game,” he said.