Aaron Blair’s 100th goal for Ongar Town wasn’t enough as the hosts were denied an invincible season after they faced defeat for the first time this season, with a 2-1 loss at home to Galleywood.
Ongar Town had sealed promotion already, but were one game from going unbeaten, knowing a win or draw against Galleywood would be enough, while the visitors required a win to finish second and beat Manford Way promotion after they had beaten Herongate Athletic 2-0 earlier in the day.
It was a fast start from the hosts who looked to take the fight to Galleywood, who needed a win more than Ongar, but the visitors defended well to prevent any decent chances for the hosts while the first shot at goal for Galleywood came a few minutes later, but the effort from outside the box was fired over.
The visitors thought they had taken the lead in the 10th-minute of the game, as their number 9 was played through and fired beyond the keeper, but the goal was ruled out for offside. The hosts found themselves coming forward as they had a foothold in the game, but could find the back of the net. They came closest as they fired a free-kick towards goal, but it was fired over from distance.
Ongar Town had a huge chance to take the lead as the ball was squared to Joe Lilly, but the midfielders effort was saved on the line by the Galleywood keeper before Aaron Blair fired just over the bar. As the first half grew older, neither side created chance as they battled well in the midfield, looking to break the deadlock. The visitors had a chance after a barren spell, but the 12’s header was over the bar.
Galleywood were dealt a tougher task in the 36th-minute as they were reduced to 10-men. Lilly looked to run through on goal, but was brought down by the last-man, with the 3 shown a straight red card. Despite holding the man-advantage, Ongar could only manage one chance before the half-time break as Blair fired towards goal, but his shot was well held by the keeper.
The visitors made the perfect start to the second half as they look the lead, 3-minutes into the half. The 14 floated a ball towards goal, with it beating the keeper from distance. Ongar Town looked to respond as they looked to remain unbeaten. Josh Boxall made a good run towards goal, but saw the ball kicked out for a corner. The resulting set-piece fell to Blair in the box, but his shot was well blocked. The hosts had a huge penalty shout ignored by the referee as Blair was shoved in the back, but the pressure eventually paid off as the hosts found themselves level in the 60th-minute.
Aaron Blair made in 100-goals in three seasons at Ongar Town as he collected the ball in the box, turned and fired a rocket of a shot beyond the keeper. The goal boosted the morale of the home side as they continued to come forward. Mitchell McCabe fired a shot towards goal, but his effort was over from the edge of the box, before a corner was swung in, but McCabe’s header rattled the crossbar.
Galleywood thought they had retaken the lead as the number 2 bundled the ball over the line, but the goal was ruled out for offside and the scores remained level. As the game reached the last 15-minutes, Ongar Town continued to come forward, looking for the win. Harry Rawlins weaved between defenders, but his shot on goal was fired over. Galleywood struggled on hold onto the ball and Ongar Town attacked in waves, but they could quite find a goal.
They thought they had taken the lead with 6-minutes to play as Blair fired the ball beyond the keeper, but it was ruled out for a handball from the striker. Galleywood knew they need a win as the clock ticked down, and had their chance in the 88th-minute as they were awarded a penalty. The visiting player went down under shoulder-to-shoulder contact, which the referee deemed enough for a foul. The 14 stepped up and slotted by the keeper to give the visitors the lead, with barely anytime left to play.
Ongar had a chance right at the end of the game as a free-kick was fired towards goal, but it was straight into the side-netting.