REPORT | Widnes 2-2 Colwyn Bay
By Callum Chadwick
Lomax rescues a point with dramatic equaliser
Substitute George Lomax scored a dramatic late equaliser as Widnes fought back from a late deficit to rescue a point at home to Colwyn Bay.
Widnes had taken the lead early in the second half when on-loan debutant Niall Watson struck his first senior goal, but Astley Mulholland and Craig Pritchard goals had turned the contest on its head with all three points seemingly heading back to North Wales.
Kev Towey and Steve Akrigg’s side refused to cave in, and after a late corner was helped on by both Akrigg and Phil Mooney, Lomax was on hand to head home and secure a hard-fought point.
Accrington Stanley youngster Watson was given the nod to start on the left of a three-man Widnes frontline and there was also a return to the side for Danny Ventre in midfield, with Rob Bourne making way.
Elsewhere, regular fullbacks Jay Roberts and Bram Johnstone returned to the side as Akrigg and Dale Korie-Butler dropped to the bench while Chris Lomax retained his place to make his 100th Widnes appearance.
The two sides played out an attritional first half with neither team particularly taking control of the contest. Half-chances were shared as Owen Wheeler made a comfortable save from Tom McCready while Ventre hit one over for Widnes.
Colwyn Bay were afforded a decent opening to take the lead when Johnstone could only half-clear but Joe Herbert blocked Danny Andrews’ effort.
Widnes had the best chance of the half when Ben Hodkinson cleverly threaded a pass through to Chris Lomax but goalkeeper Andrew Coughlan got down well to push the shot away to safety.
Coughlan was again called into action on the stroke of half-time, reacting quickly to claw Chris Lomax’s effort away from goal after good work by Roberts.
Widnes were lacking that clinical final pass in the first half, but they continued to push for an opener into the second period but Sam Sheen was unable to connect with a dangerous Roberts delivery that flashed across the face of goal.
The visiting Seagulls always carried a threat but they routinely lacked composure in front of goal, with Ashley Woods skewing an Alex Downes cross off target.
Widnes broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half. Akrigg, introduced as a half time substitution, floated a ball towards the penalty-spot where Watson was clinical, bringing the ball down brilliantly to find the far corner with a crisp finish.
Watson’s first senior goal arrived less than 24 hours after his loan move was completed, with the youngster announcing his presence with a dream debut.
In truth, Widnes faded with their one-goal lead as the visitors grew into the contest. The Seagulls enjoyed a positive spell but struggled to test Widnes’ Wheeler.
The Whites had found themselves under the cosh, and they were duly punished when Bay equalised 17 minutes from time. Will Bell flicked a Seagulls corner back into the danger area, where Mulholland was on-hand to emphatically equalise.
Colwyn Bay had their tails up, and they took the lead with eight minutes remaining. Pritchard, introduced moments earlier as a substitute for Mulholland, found himself with a pocket of space in the area to bend a delicious effort into the top corner with Wheeler well-beaten.
It was a goal that was worthy of winning any game, and Widnes were perhaps fortunate to still be in the contest when Andrews spurned a glorious chance to add a third after Lassana Mendes won possession back in midfield.
The game appeared to be getting away from Widnes, but the Whites pushed in search of an equaliser. Korie-Butler came off the bench and showed his quality to turn away from a retreating Seagulls backline and feed an overlapping Sean Myler who had a stinging effort pushed over by Coughlan.
From the resulting corner, Widnes were level.
With only two minutes of normal time remaining, Johnstone’s deep corner was helped back towards goal by Akrigg with Mooney providing another crucial touch to allow George Lomax to arrive on the scene and head home the all-important leveller for Widnes – his third goal of the season.
Widnes face a second successive ‘home’ fixture next time out, hosting Droylsden at The Offside Trust Stadium.