FOLLOWING their tremendous start to the season, when they looked championship contenders with just one defeat from their opening nine Perry Street League Premier Division games, Perry Street’s fortunes took a turn for the worse and, up to last Saturday, had picked up just one point from a possible 18 since the Christmas break, writes Ian Hallett.

Last weekend, their slide down the table was halted when a last minute penalty brought them a point from a 2-2 draw at home to Shepton Beauchamp.

The visitors had the better of the opening half and went ahead after three minutes as Street keeper Mike Barry failed to hold on to a shot and Aaron Sweet was first to react and smashed the ball into the net from close-range. A minute later, the gloveman was quick off his line to deny Dan Smith the chance of extending the lead.

Barry went on to atone for his earlier mistake by pulling off another superb save from a strike by Kris Hastings and then, in the final minute of the half, he did well to get a had to a Smith effort to prevent it crossing the line.

Shepton started the second half as they had the first and extended their advantage in the 52nd minute with a second goal from Sweet. But the home side never gave up and worked hard to get back into the game, which they did ten minutes from time when a poor clearance by Justin Sweet was headed back into the area and Billy Sheahan slotted it past Mike Cossins to reduce the arrears.

A minute later, Barry kept his side in the game with a great save from a ferocious 20-yard drive from Hastings.

With 20 seconds left on the clock, Dougie Whitfield made a reckless challenge on Liam Riste inside the area and the striker made no mistake as he picked himself up to put the resulting spot kick into the corner of the net.