Western Tigers came from three goals down to draw three-three at Essex road ground with Nile stars, in a thrilling friendly encounter two weeks ago.
In a rain soaked pitch, the Tigers took to the field looking to rectify recent poor results in what is fast turning to be their worst year since 2007. But that hope was quickly dashed as Tigers defence completely collapsed allowing Nile Stars’s main striker to give the visitors a deserved lead. Minutes later the same player was given another opportunity to score and blasted his shot inside the crossbar with the keeper well beaten.
Two minutes later, the visitor struck again, but the goal was disallowed.
From then on it was one way traffic and the Tigers were pinned back and completely seemed out of ideas. Deng Amol and a few Tigers players were simply lucky to be on the field following a series of rushed and dangerous tackles. The Tigers best chance fell to David Mayor who turned his marker in and out before unleashing a shot which the keeper punched for the corner.
Then midway into the first half, a disaster struck. One Nile Stars player just walked through the Tigers backline and coolly placed the ball past the helpless goal keeper. Then in the dying stages of the first half, a poor clearance from veteran right full back allowed a Nile Stars midfielder to unleash a low unstoppable shot in to the back of the net, and the visitors were only two goals away from equalling their last tally when they thrashed Tigers 5.2 at the same ground four months ago.
The second half started in the same way, with the visitors easily exposing the fragile Tigers central defence. With barely thirty minutes to go, the Tigers made numerous changes with Gum coming on for Deng Butic and he quickly changed the match.
On the 65th minute, he combined well with Makoi to open the scoring. Ten minutes later he timed a well placed pass from David and fired it past the helpless keeper. Then with six minutes to go, the Tigers were awarded a controversial penalty when Gum easily went to ground inside the penalty box, and the referee point to the spot and Gum scored from the resulting penalty to score his first competitive hat-trick for the Western Tigers.
The score was 3-3 when the visitors had the chance to score the winning goal, but failed to take the chance.