Sports Club went into the game hoping for a fresh start to 2014 with players returning and a new manager in place.
The game started at a high tempo despite the boggy pitch with both teams having early opportunities to open the scoring. Wallace saw his chance from six yards go just wide after some good interplay between Douthwaite and Robinson.
Crown reacted quickly and an accurate through ball split Bogle and Gregory which saw the Crown winger round Janney before shooting at an open goal but Wood reacted fastest to head well clear from the line.
Janney was in action again soon after to make a good save from the visitors’ striker.
Sports Club maintained the early pressure with Ash Robinson missing from close range after excellent wing play from Webb but he was on target soon afterwards, opening the scoring on 20 minutes with a neat finish in the box.
The lead was short lived. After increased Crown pressure, a good cross was met by the striker to head into the roof of the net from six yards.
Tensions increased when Webb appearing to be stamped on after a 50/50 tackle but the referee and linesman failed to see the incident however shortly after Webb was cautioned for his first challenge of the game.
The equaliser motivated the visitors to push on and they took the lead just before half time when the defence failed to clear the ball from the area and it was passed in the net through a crowd of players.
The second half started poorly for the home team from the kick off with a number of backwards passes leading to Gregory playing a short back pass to the keeper who couldn’t beat the striker to the ball leaving an easy tap in to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
Despite the error, Sports Club showed an excellent attitude and team spirit to get back on top on the game. The defence of Barber, Gregory, Wood and Bogle held out well and dealt with a couple of promising Crown break always easily.
Dixon and Webb were both lively on the wings trying to find a way back into the game but the home team couldn’t create a clear-cut scoring opportunity.
Just after the hour, Sports Club made use of their full bench, making a triple substitution which saw the introduction of McEwan, Eyres and Christow.
The fresh legs added new energy and the increased the Sports Club pressure which paid off after a positive run from Eyres saw him go past two players before passing to Robinson who finished well from inside the box.
An equaliser followed two minutes later when some good wing work from Christlow resulted in a powerful header from Bemrose to make the game all square.
Sports Club weren’t finished and some excellent play from McEwan, Douthwaite and Dixon saw a long ball put Eyres clean through from the halfway line and he finished well to get his first goal since returning to the club.
The lead didn’t last long with Crown’s next attack falling to their winger on the edge of the area who bent the ball into the top corner to make the game 4-4.
Sports Club had a couple of chances to get all three points but a penalty shout when Eyres was brought down in the box was dismissed by the referee and a quality Douthwaite corner was fumbled at the near the post by the opposing keeping but was kept out with a second save.
Man of the match: Lyle Bogle