NORTHERN CUP 3RD ROUND
Saturday 19th January 2019, 1:30pm kick off – Poynton Sports Club
POYNTON RES 3
MARKET DRAYTON TIGERS 1
Poynton Reserves produced one of their best performances of the season to send Staffordshire side Market Drayton Tigers crashing out of the Northern Cup.
With Marek Heath suspended and Joe Pullen unavailable it was a different looking back four – Danny Watterson and Alfie Jones given the responsibility. Hough and Heaton came in to the side with Leavy and Merrygold missing out. Arj Takiar and Matt Tattler both returned after injury and were named on a strong Poynton bench.
The visitors, last seasons beaten finalists arrived in good form in the Staffordshire County Senior League and started the game well, dominating the possession with Poynton struggling to get a foot in the game.
The first chance came to the home side, Hough winning the ball and finding Stokoe on the right hand side, he sent over a dangerous, looping cross which sailed over the keeper and in to the back of the net.
The goal shook the Tigers, Poynton started to play good football with the midfield five winning all the key battles – Stokoe and Heaton working really hard in the wide positions and the trio of Hough, Evans and MacDougall not giving anything away.
It was Hough who doubled Poynton’s lead on 27 minutes with a moment of pure brilliance, he controlled a clearance on his chest before hitting a half-volley from 25 yards which flew past the keeper into the top corner to make it 2-0.
Poynton continued to dominate, Clancy not having to deal with a shot on target in the first half. Market Drayton did look dangerous from corners but the defensive duo of Rashleigh and Gregory handled everything thrown at them.
HT: Poynton Res 2 Market Drayton Tigers 0
The home side expected the kitchen sink to be thrown at them as the second half started but they continued to be the better team.
Heaton, just back after an injury lay off was replaced by Tattler and he burst down the left hand side and nearly created a chance but ran out of pitch.
Alfie Jones was once again outstanding, playing at left back he constantly looked for an attacking run and on the other side youngster Dan Watterson was having an excellent game at right back.
Finally Market Drayton created a chance, brilliant play the number 10, controlling the ball under pressure and curling a clever finish past Clancy to get them back into the game.
Poynton suffered another blow when Rashleigh limped off with an injury replaced by Takiar. The away side sensed an opportunity to go for broke, the Poynton back line now consisting of three teenagers and 20 year old Takair.
Graham replaced MacDougall and Cairns dropped deeper to give a more solid shape and Poynton looked in total control, out playing and out fighting their opposition.
Merrygold and Goldrick replaced Stokoe and the excellent Cairns who had worked so hard for the team and put in an excellent performance.
The attitude of the young Poynton side epitomised by Goldrick who tracked back 50 yards to make a block tackle and Merrygold who never stopped working hard. Takiar also impressed at centre back, winning all his battles and showing a composure on the ball.
It was the other two substitutes who finished the game with a bang, Tattler firing the ball across for Marcus Graham to fire the ball past the keeper, all 10 outfield players celebrated, again showing the unit within the squad.
The full-time whistle followed and Poynton fully deserved their victory and now look forward to the Quarter Finals of the Northern Cup.
FT: Poynton Res 3 Market Drayton Tigers 1
Poynton Reserves: Clancy, Watterson, A Jones, Evans, Rashleigh (A Takiar), Gregory, Hough, MacDougall (Graham), Cairns (Goldrick), Heaton (Tattler), Stokoe (Merrygold)
MAN OF THE MATCH
On a day when every player performed midfield Hough claimed the man of the match award with a brilliant performance. His pass set up Stokoe for the opening goal and then he took centre stage with a world class strike. All game he won his battles and used the ball well and was key to the victory.