Lord Raglan FCPoynton Reserves
2 - 3Full Time
A stunning extra time goal from midfielder Jason Leach gave Poynton Reserves a deserved victory over an impressive Blackburn Premier League side Lord Raglan in the First Round of the Northern Cup.
The game played at the impressive Pleasington Playing Fields complex was a trip into the unknown for Poynton, very little information available on their opposition.
Manager Jon Hudson made three changes to the side that beat Orford last time out, Jon Cairns was not fit so Jason Leach came in to the starting eleven, captain Matt Tattler was recalled for Niall Goldrick and youngster Danny Watterson was handed his debut at right-back.
It was a good, positive start to the game with both sides playing football. The home side however took the first opportunity, Graham gave the ball away cheaply and Lord Raglan broke quickly, sweeping the ball forward for Trott to finish smartly in the box.
Poynton reacted well, a great ball from Evans was superbly controlled by Graham who fed Heaton on the edge of the box but his shot was blocked. Tattler then went close, good pressure to nick the ball from the Raglan full back before firing wide.
The home then took control, the impressive captain Hamill involved in all their good moves, but Rashleigh and Jones at the heart of the Poynton defence were once again magnificent together and thwarted most attacks.
Evans swung over a dangerous free kick which found an unmarked Leavy but he couldn’t direct his header on target.
The game started to get scrappy and niggly, not helped by some odd refereeing decisions. A major flashpoint on 33 minutes, Raglan midfielder Chris Baker was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after a horrendous late tackle on Tattler.
Leavy had a great chance with the last action of the half after great play by Evans but fired wired to give the home side the lead.
HT: Lord Raglan 1 Poynton Reserves 0
Hudson made two changes at half-time, Goldrick replaced Graham and Pullen replaced Watterson as the visitors looked for a positive response.
Raglan started well, Hamill hitting the post but from the breakaway Goldrick fired over a great cross which the keeper made a mess off and the ball just bounced clear from Leavy who was ready to pounce.
Poynton ensured the game was played at a high tempo and the home side started to struggle with the pace of the game, reverting to long balls and deeper defending. When they did manage to create an opening Clancy was on hand to make a number of smart saves.
Despite dominating possession Poynton couldn’t force any clear openings and the home sides physical approach was stopping the game from flowing. Goal scorer Trott was shown a yellow card for another late tackle on Heath.
With 75 minutes on the clock Poynton finally had the opportunity to level the game, Tattler burst into the box and the Raglan defender in an attempt to tackle fell onto the ball and handled giving the referee no option but to award the spot kick.
With regular taker Cairns on the side, the captain stepped up and fired the ball straight down the middle to level the game and with Poynton in control there looked only one team likely to win the game.
Evans, impressive in the midfield anchor role, played a magnificent ball to Leavy who had found space in the box, the young strikers first touch was world class, creating the space to fire the ball past the keeper into the back of the net. Poynton led with 12 minutes left.
MacDougall replaced Tattler and Merrygold came on for the impressive Leavy as Poynton looked to close the game out but Raglan somehow found the strength and the spirit to create opportunities.
With the clock on 85 minutes Trott found space and the ball fell to Alan Govan on the edge of the box who hit a beauty on the half volley but Clancy made a stunning save.
At the other end Evans hit a 40 yarder that forced Koslowsi in Raglan goals to make a smart save.
With seconds left Raglan had one last chance and a great delivery found Baker in the area and he powered home is header past the helpless Clancy to equalise and force the game into an extra 30 minutes.
FT: Lord Raglan 2 Poynton Reserves 2
Poynton didn’t let the disappointment get to them and started extra time on the front foot, Merrygold with a great run and cross finding Leach but his shot hit the bar.
Brilliant link up play between Goldrick and Heaton set up Leach, 40 yards out, on the volley the midfielder hit a stunning volley past the keeper to give Poynton the lead once again.
Raglan tried to react but Poynton defended brilliantly and tired legs from the home side allowed the visitors to control the game.
Merrygold was unlucky not to put the game safe, a great run by the youngster but after rounding the keeper the angle was too tight and his shot hit the side netting.
Late pressure was defended and Poynton hung on for a very good victory and progression to the next round.