JOHNSTON missed the chance to close the gap on the top two as Joe George squandered a late penalty in their 3-3 draw with Herbrandston on Saturday.
The home side took an early lead but were stunned as Herbie came back to lead 2-1 at the break. Johnston equalised in the second half only for Herbie to ahead once more.
Ryan Doyle equalised for the Tigers again but Joe George’s late penalty was saved and both sides were forced to settle for a point.
The Tigers started the game well with Pembrokeshire League top scorer Adam Hawkins going close with a shot which flew just over the bar.
With twenty minutes gone Johnston went ahead in fine fashion as Joe John won the ball in midfield before running on to supply a cross to the back post for Adam Hawkins who volleyed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
However, just moments later, Herbie were back level as a corner from the left hand side went all the way to the back post where it found Chris Phillips who could only head the ball against the bar and into his own net.
Joe George was also a threat for the home side but he saw his effort squirm under the Herbie keeper but wide for a corner.
On the half hour mark tempers flared as a late tackle on Adam Hawkins went unpunished. Hawkins responded with a strong tackle of his own leading to a melee with a number of players.
After the referee had calmed things down Hawkins was shown a yellow for his part while Scott Murray and Herbie’s Adrian Rees were also booked for their part in the aftermath.
Eight minutes before half time Herbie took the lead when the ball was played in to the box but when Johnston attempted to clear the ball it was kicked straight against Alex Ouzman and the ball flew into the net.
Johnston brought on two new faces for the start of the second half but it was two familiar faces who got their side back level.
Ten minutes in Adam Hawkins ran to the by-line before crossing into the box for Joe John at the back post who poked the ball into the net.
Herbie responded in excellent fashion and went ahead just a minute later as Alex Ouzman’s low shot hit the post but the rebound was tapped in by Shane Walsh.
With twenty minutes of the second half gone Johnston equalised once more through substitute Ryan Doyle.
They were given a penalty moments later but Joe George’s kick was saved by the legs of Herbie keeper Gareth Marshallsay.
The Tigers were well on top in the final stages and came close to a goal when Ben Phillips’ header crashed back off the bar.
Steven Mills also had a late chance for the home side but his effort went over the bar.
Herbie also had a late chance to win it when Shane Walsh broke free into the area but his shot was saved by Johnston keeper Josh Pearce.
The referee brought an entertaining game to an end with both sides settling for a point.
The result keeps Johnston third but they are now four points off the top two.
Herbrandston will welcome the point as they look to take themselves away from the league’s bottom two.
On Saturday, Johnston are in action away to St Clears while Herbie are away to bottom side Carew.