The first legs of the first round of the SportsReach champions cup happened this weekend, with 4 high scoring matches taking place. It was also good to see the return of Longton and Accrington into the cup.
Wray continue winning streak
Wray 4 – 1 Accrington
George Whitaker 8, 34, Martin Huddleston 35, Will Preece 89 // Michael Mensah 60
Wray continued their good form by getting another big win against a difficult Accrington side. Accrington started the stronger of the two, however, it was Wray to score first, continuing their theme of scoring early in games, George Whitaker netting in the 8th minute, after good work from Stephen Harrison. Soon after, Whitaker scored again, in the 34th minute. Following good work in midfield, the ball was played out wide to the in-form winger and after shifting it to his right, he hit it low and hard across the ‘keeper, with the ball crashing in off the post to make it 2-0. And a minute later, Wray compounded their dominance, Martin Huddleston netting just a minute after Whitaker’s, in the 35th minute. After good pressure from Huddleston, confusion in the Accrington defence saw the striker latch onto a weak back pass before firing low into the bottom corner to give Wray a 3-0 half-time lead. However, Accrington were not going to just lie down for this strong Wray team, coming out strongly after the break. Desperate to find a way back into the tie they pushed forward in numbers and after several half chances, they finally got on the score sheet in the 60th minute through Michael Mensah after a driven effort from the edge of the box took a ricochet on its way past Wray ‘keeper Wayne Hutchinson. That goal sparked even more life into the visitors and they continued to pile forward but with just 10 minutes to go, Wray hit them on the counter attack and got their fourth goal of the game. After clearing yet another Accrington corner, full-back Preece charged forward from the halfway line and after leaving two visiting defenders in his wake, he superbly rounded the ‘keeper before smashing it into an empty net. The game is nicely poised for the second leg.
Loko hold out for tough win
Loko 4 – 3 Fulwood
Adam Edmondson 20, 26, Brad Rodwell 60, Glen Hanmer 61 // Richard Atkinson 11, 34, Richard Atkinson jnr 78
Loko overcame a tough Fulwood team in what was a topsy-turvy game at Carnforth on Saturday. Fulwood started the brighter of the two teams and were able to take the lead in the 11th minute through Richard Atkinson senior. However, Loko soon found their rhythm and were back level 9 minutes later, Adam Edmondson scoring with a smart finish inside the box. 6 minutes later the game had its next goal. Edmondson had his and Loko’s second of the game. Advantage Loko. The game was, however, about to swing back Fulwoods way, Atkinson senior pulling Fulwood level in the 34th minute. Both sides continued to work hard for their third goal, and it was Loko who were to find it in the 60th minute. A free kick chipped into the box confused the Fulwood defence and Brad Rodwell was there to finish cleverly. Advantage Loko. And their advantage was about to get even better as one minute later in the 61st minute, Glen Hanmer scored a fabulous goal on the counter attack, running past several Fulwood players before curling a great goal into the bottom corner. 4 – 2 to Loko. However, the scoring was not done there, as Richard Atkinson junior netted Fulwoods third of the game in the 78th minute. If the first leg is anything to go by, there are still a lot more twists and turns in the second leg of this game.
Longton hit for six
Longton 2 – 6 Great Ecc
Dave Sharp 39, Gregg Metcalf 68 // Jack Sharples 32, 61, 84, Jonny Leech 57, Sam Hogarth 64, Bill Gibbons 86
Longton made their return to the SportsReach football league by facing an inform Great Ecc team, and they started strongly with some good one, two touch passing and incisive running off the ball which they were known for previously. They were first to every second ball and were making Eccy work hard to keep them at bay. Their last ball only letting them down for the dangerous Man mountain Dave Sharp to latch onto. They created the first opening stretching the Eccy defence allowing Dave Sharp to chip a shot that rebounded off the bar and Dan Parkinson cleared. It was Longton who struck first, Dave Sharp scoring the opening goal after goalkeeper Rob Tomkins could only parry a shot into the striker’s path and he headed the ball over the reach of the keeper. Great Ecc were slowly creating their own chances and from a resulting corner, Simon Greenhalgh was pushed from behind and the ref awarded a penalty, Jack Sharples dispatching it in the 32nd minute. Longton had put a huge amount of effort into the first 45mins and this began to show as the 2nd half began as Great Ecc began to turn the screw and have more and more success down both channels as they chased another goal. A great disguised pass from Den Pulford allowed Jonny Leech to break free to slot the ball home and grab a deserved goal, 1-2. Not long after, Jack Sharples found himself in space to coolly shoot past the keeper and grab his second of the game, 1-3. Sam Hogarth let rip and rifled in a cracking drive into the bottom left corner that didn’t allow the keeper any chance of reaching. Longton, however, weren’t going to let Great Ecc have it all their own way with Gregg Metcalf smashing the ball home to make it 2-4. Eccy continued to work hard closing down and putting Longton under more and more pressure. A great interception from Jonny Leech and cross saw Jack Sharples control the ball and effortlessly lob the ball over the despairing keeper to claim his hat-trick, 2-5. Bill Gibbons had been running Longton’s defence ragged all half down the right, and was rewarded for his endeavor with a great run across the 18 yard box that was unseen by the Longton defence. Another great through ball from Tom Shields allowed Bill to shoot past the keeper to finish the game off 2-6.
Lancaster find form with big win at Preston
Preston City Mission 0 – 9 Lancaster
// Martin Lewis 2, 89, Tom Luxton 7, 17, 44, Artur Mello 19, Alastair Eccles 52, Steven Richardson 69, Stephen Sargent 74
Lancaster arrived at Preston City Mission looking to put their poor run of form behind them and get a win against an improving Preston City Mission side. Lancaster opened the scoring in the 2nd minute with a goal from the penalty spot from Martin Lewis and 5 minutes later found themselves two up, Tom Luxton netting in the 7th minute. And it was Tom Luxton who was to net again for Lancaster, grabbing his second and Lancaster’s third of the game in the 17th minute. Artur Mello, making his debut for Lancaster netted his first goal for them in the 19th minute. A dream start for him. Tom Luxton then grabbed his hat trick for Lancaster, netting again in the 44th minute. 5 – 0 at half time. Lancaster started the second half strongly, Alastair Eccles with a good finish in the 52nd minute. Steven Richardson added another for Lancaster in the 69th minute, capitalizing on a loose ball after a good save from the Preston City Mission keeper. In the 74th minute, after being awarded a penalty, a rarity occurred. On his birthday, Lancaster goalkeeper Stephen Sargent stepped up to take it and duly netted Lancasters 8th goal of the game in the 74th minute. Finally, the scoring finished in the 89th minute, Martin Lewis netting again for Lancaster. Full time 9 – 0 to Lancaster – and with all the away goals, you have to wonder if Lancaster have wrapped this tie up.
Moorlands 0 – 3 Quernmore
Match forfeited due to Moorlands being unable to get a team.