Three games took place this weekend in the SportsReach football league, with only Quernmore vs. Fulwood falling victim to the poor weather. Wray traveled to Saltayre, looking to continue their unbeaten league run against a difficult Moorlands side on a difficult pitch. Lancaster, looking to recover from last weekends heavy defeat to Quernmore, traveled to Great Ecc, looking to keep pace with Wray in the title race. Finally, Loko traveled down to Preston City Mission, hoping to avoid defeat – and in turn giving Preston City Mission their first win of the season.
Lancaster bounce back against Great Ecc
Great Ecc 3 – 3 Lancaster
Gibbons 10, 70, Windsor 50 // Martin 3, 7, Luxton 76
Great Ecc got off to possibly the worst start against Lancaster on Saturday, inside a shambolic first 7 minutes, Great Ecc found themselves 2-0 down. After 3 minutes, Lancaster Striker Daniel Martin broke free down the right after a through ball was not dealt with. He cut in and from the edge of the area let rip with a strike into the far top corner, 0-1. Four mins later a simple long ball was again not dealt with down the right again, and Martin scored his 2nd as the Gt. Ecc defence hesitated. 0-2. To say Great Ecc were shell shocked, was an understatement, as Lancaster’s took full advantage of the home side’s sloppy start. Great Ecc needed to show some grit and determination and they soon pulled one back on 10 mins after Jonny Leech crossed from the left for Bill Gibbons to bundle over the line after the keeper fumbled the cross. 1-2. Great Ecc put Lancaster under intense pressure and thought they had equalized only for the ball to be cleared off the line. Lancaster’s goal was living a charmed life, but somehow Lancaster stood firm. Great Ecc lived dangerously at times when a poor back pass was intercepted to leave a one on one situation. Fortunately Great Ecc’s keeper Jamie Greenall came to the rescue with a fine save. Too often Great Ecc tried to go down the field centrally but Lancaster’s centre backs of Dan Sudell and Martin Lewis dealt with every threat. Halt time 1-2.
The 2nd half had barely played 3 mins when Lancaster’s Damian Melody went down, potentially injuring his cruciate ligament after an innocent coming together of players. Play was stopped for a good 10 minutes, whilst the player was treated. Fortunately, Lancaster manager Dan Sudell reports it is not as serious as first thought and Melody hopes to be back playing in a few weeks. Great Ecc had to make two changes as well, loosing midfielder Sam Hogarth and defender Ol Parkinson, meaning Eccy had to reshuffle their pack, moving Andrew Windsor from center back to center midfield. On 50 minutes, from a set piece, he rose the highest to guide the ball home with a deft header and equalize for the home team. 2-2! Great Ecc were continuing to push and attacked down the channels as Richard Booth went close with a one on one only for Lancaster’s keeper to save. Lancaster had their own 2nd one on one opportunity only for the same outcome. Bill Gibbons powerful running was causing Lancaster all sorts of problems, and it was he who skipped past two defenders to coolly slot the ball past the keeper to give Great Ecc the lead in the 70th min. 3-2. From here Great Ecc should have tightened up and protected their lead, but they could only hold onto their lead for 6 minutes. From a set piece, Tom Luxton took advantage of Great Ecc’s poor defending to hook the ball home after Great Ecc failed to clear twice. 3-3. Gt. Ecc tried in vain to find a 4th but to no avail. Lancaster fought hard and defended well. A much better for Lancaster than last weeks result against Quernmore, whilst had Great Ecc potentially given Wray a breakthrough in the title race?…
Wray take advantage of Great Ecc slip up
Moorlands 0 – 2 Wray
// Whitaker 10, Fawcett 82
Goals from George Whitaker and Jake Fawcett earned Wray their ninth league win of the season on Saturday afternoon, taking advantage of Great Ecc’s draw against Lancaster. Being played on an extremely boggy pitch, the game started slowly, with both sides trying to get into their stride on difficult playing conditions. It was Wray who looked the most dangerous in the first-half however and they made the breakthrough when Phil Talbot’s exquisite through ball was latched onto by Whitaker who showed great composure one-on-one to finish past the onrushing Moorlands ‘keeper. Boosted by that goal Wray went in search of a second before half-time but despite Talbot going close with a diving header the visitors had to settle for just one at the break.
After failing to create many chances of their own in the first 45, Moorlands came out after the break with more attacking intent. The Wray defence stood firm however and it was the away side which came close to finding the game’s next goal with Mark Carlos Ellershaw, Ben Wallbank and Matthew Dawson all going close with headers from superb James Lawson deliveries. Lawson continued to drive Wray forward throughout the entire game with a virtuoso performance in the centre of midfield and it was the youngsters fantastic pass that unlocked the Moorlands defence for Wray’s second goal. Lawson drove at the home back four and after supplying a defence splitting pass to Whitaker, the wingers near post cross wasn’t cleared and Fawcett tapped in to secure yet another victory for Wray.
Brilliant Loko notch nine!
Preston City Mission 1 – 9 Loko
36 // Edmondson 19, 31, 38, Beaumont 39, Edmondson 55, Atkinson 76, Bond 82, Cowell 86, Rodwell 88
Loko got a fantastic victory against an ever improving Preston City Mission side, notching nine goals to Preston City Missions one. It took twenty minutes for the games first goal to arrive, Rob Edmondson netting in the 19th minute. There was then a flury of 4 goals in 10 minutes, Edmondson netting again in the 31st minute, before Preston City Mission pulled one back in the 36th minute. However, Loko continued their scoring form and Edmondson completed his hattrick in the 38th minute. Graeme Beaumont netted a fourth for Loko 1 minute later, in the 39th minute. Half time it was 4 -1.
In the second half, Loko scored 5 goals to further increase their advantage over Preston City Mission and ensure the result. Adan Edmondson netted the first goal of the second half in the 55th minute. It was then another twenty minutes before the next goal of the game was scored, Tom Atkinson scoring in the 76th minute. Into the last 10 minutes of the game and there was a flood of goals for Loko. Firstly in the 82nd minute, Dan Bond scored, Peter Cowell then added an eight in the 86th minute before Brad Rodwell finished of the scoring in the 88th minute to mean the game finished 9-1.
On Monday 5th February, the draw for the semi-finals of the Champions Cup and the League Cup was made.
In the Champions Cup, the draw was:
Accrington vs. Quernmore
Fulwood vs. Wray
In the League Cup, the draw was:
Great Ecc vs. Loko
Moorlands vs. Lancaster
The first leg of these ties will be played on Saturday 10th February, whilst the return leg will be played on the 24th February. The finals will both be held at Squires Gate F.C. again this year, on the 13th and 15th March.