Jason Blackburn’s last-gasp equaliser sent Hebburn Town top of the Northern League Division Two table after a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
The Hornets went into the game knowing they just had to gain a point to top the standings, but won’t come any closer to defeat than in this game.
The referee blew for full-time as soon as the game restarted after Blackburn’s equaliser in the 95th minute.
Ryton had resolutely defended their one goal lead scored by Rhys Harbottle in the 61st minute with the away side’s only shot of the game – and what a goal! From fully 30 yards he smashed a swerving shot off the angle of crossbar and post into the top left hand corner to leave Steve Hubery helpless in the Hebburn goal.
Hebburn had dominated from the off but didn’t capitalised on their considerable possession and missed a number of chances to win the game.
Despite going top it will be seen as a vital two points dropped against the 16th-placed side to add to points lost in earlier fixtures against teams in the lower reaches of the league.
In the first half, the closest Hebburn went to scoring was when Paul Chow’s header came back off the crossbar before Harbottle’s stunner.
With time running out, a good run by Scott Wallace ended with a cross to the far post where Chow hammered the ball home, but it was ruled out by an offside decision.
With the crowd leaving and the referee checking his watch, Peter Jones made one final and his pinpoint cross across the six yard box evaded the keeper to be scrambled home by super-sub Blackburn.