The Lockmen coceded a last minute winner to Gornal when with better luck and finishing, it could so easily have been one point rather than none.
Gornal started the brighter of the two teams, hitting the bar twice in the opening six minutes whilst Carl Guinn for The Lockmen had gone close with a low effort on five minutes. Chris Adamson made a fine save when Geoff Hill was played through, denying him by standing tall on 11 minutes. Adamson repeated the dose on 20 minutes before Tom Beech lobbed over on 24 minutes as the home side threatened. Adamson then denied home skipper Antony Cox with another fine block. The Reds threatened late in the half as Asha Williams, on his debut, saw one effort deflected just wide and another fly just over whilst Richard Heeks glanced his header across goal from a Shaun Thomas corner.
Adamsom did well to tip a fierce drive over on 52 minutes and Hill fired into the side-netting on the hour before Willenhall finally found full throttle. On 62 minutes Cory Ensor drove a fierce free-kick at the keeper from thirty yards, Guinn saw his effort touched onto the cross-bar though The Peacocks would have been saved by a debatable off-side decision. Another Willenhall debutant, Dan Turton, fired a great shot from distance which had home keeper Josh bennett scrambling, before a couple of corners almost brought a leveller. Another reds free-kick on 82 minutes was scrambled clear before Luke Green hit a screamer from outside the box after a determined run from half-way, Bennett brilliantly tipping over. From the corner the returning Andre Calder saw his knock down to Ryan Dillon find the young winger in space, however, he could only toepoke at Bennett when a better contact would have brought a goal. With two minutes left, the returning Adam Holliday thought he had won the game with a brilliant left foot strike seeing the ball somehow headed off the line on 88 minutes. However, with time running out Gornal were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and when the ball was played in a goalmouth scramble ended with the ball somehow trickling into the corner of the goal.
The Lockmen produced the type of fighting performance that one of Willenhall’s legends from Wembley ’81 Bobby Peck, who passed away at the end of last week, would have been so proud of.