Coldstream 3, Easthouses Lily 2: Two Michael Allan penalties helped ten-man Coldstream come from behind to secure all three points, despite a lacklustre performance.
The winning goal two minutes into injury time was celebrated with delirium on the Coldstream bench and made it two wins out of two so far.
Although the performance was poor, what Streamers lacked in quality they more than made up for in terms of determination and fighting spirit. Andrew Gibson’s men trailed 1-0 at half time and then had captain John Crawford sent off early in the second half, but they didn’t give up.
After equalising, the Streamers went behind again before displaying great strength of character to score twice in the last six minutes and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Gibson started with an unfamiliar 4-3-3 formation, which his players seemed to take a while to get used to.
With Josh Hebdon and Craig Heugh absent, Stuart Coyle and Martyn Cornish were handed starts, with Allan moving forward into central midfield from his usual centre-back role. Gary Wales also came into the starting line-up in place of Kristian Neil.
Other than the Easthouses goal and a Kieran Ainslie header which hit the woodwork, there was little to get excited about in the first half. The second half, however, was full of talking points.
The first of them came when Crawford was shown a straight red card for violent conduct, the striker deemed to have kicked out at his opponent after the pair landed in a tangled heap following an aerial challenge.
The incident happened right in front of both benches, but the red card caught everyone by surprise, Crawford later insisting that he had done nothing other than try to lift himself off the ground.
Gary Wales missed a good chance to equalise when he fired over the bar, but the equaliser came from the penalty spot when the referee ruled that there had been a push in the box. The goalkeeper got a hand to Allan’s spot kick, but couldn’t keep it out.
Easthouses went 2-1 up with a neat finish, but the second equaliser arrived when a deep cross was headed goalwards by Ainslie and was then flicked over the keeper and into the net by the head of Sean Simpson.
The scorer turned creator in injury time when he was upended by the visiting keeper in the box. Easthouses had a man sent off for dissent in the melee that followed, but Allan kept his cool to slot home the winner from the spot.
Coldstream: M Walters, G Wales (D Cornish 81), M Simpson, M Cornish, K Ainslie, S Simpson (L Lambert 61), M Allan, M Tait, J Crawford, J Simpson (K Neill 23), S Coyle. Subs not used: G McCrudden, J Ainslie.