Derby City Football League
Wirksworth Albion 4
AFC Crusaders 4
Few chances were created by either team in the opening stages, the best of these falling to the home side with Joe Kay heading over after good play involving Gary Webster and Callum Worth, then Adrian Kershaw and Mark Brough both forcing saves from Crusaders keeper Dave Shaw within minutes of each other.
It was the visitors who took the lead with 30 minutes gone when Troy Hollers’s speculative effort looped in under the Albion crossbar.
Wirksworth responded immediately when Webster’s corner was headed back into the danger zone by Craig Gascoyne where Joe Kay was on hand to fire the ball home from close range.
With their next attack, Albion took the lead when Webster’s delivery in from the left was headed on by Kay into the path of Scott Ryder, who volleyed the ball into the top corner.
Wirksworth were unlucky not to increase their lead minutes before half-time when Webster’s free-kick produced a full length fingertip save from the keeper.
The second half saw Mark Brough denied in the opening minutes after a super pass from Billy Lobley created the opening for him.
With 16 minutes gone, the visitors pulled level when a ball was deflected off an Albion player into his own net. The home side regained the lead midway through the half when Ian Spencer whipped the ball in from the right, finding Webster at the back post.
He in turn pulled the ball back into the path of Scott Ryder, who placed his shot past the keeper into the bottom corner.
Spencer was again involved in Albion’s fourth goal, his long throw causing problems for the Crusaders’ defence, the ball only being knocked out into the path of Scott Ryder who stroked the ball home from just inside the penalty area to seal his hat-trick.
With ten minutes to play, the visitors reduced the deficit when Steve Hill played Matt Allison through on goal and he netted from close range.
Wirksworth continued to create chances with both Kay and Gascoyne being denied by the woodwork.
With minutes remaining, Crusaders equalised when substitute Tom Lambkin’s run evaded the Albion defence, and was capped with a fine finish into the far corner.