MATCH REPORT | West 2-3 Droylsden
Tuesday 9th October 2018, Manchester Premier Cup first round
West 2 (Henderson 26, 90+2)
Droylsden 3 (Marsh 30, 46, Zibaka 56)
West were left to rue their luck as they exited the Manchester Premier Cup to a ruthless Droylsden.
Steve Settle’s side were denied by the woodwork on three separate occasions on a frantic evening, and though Saul Henderson gave West the lead just before the half-hour, Droylsden took control after half-time. Henderson’s second of the night in stoppage time set up a dramatic finale, but West were destined to fall at the first hurdle.
The home side set about their NPL Division One West guests from the off and the tone for the evening was set after seven minutes, when Ben Woods fired against the inside of the post from the edge of the box. The majority of the opening exchanges took place in the Droylsden half, but the Bloods should have opened the scoring themselves halfway through the first period when Ollie Ford shot too close to Marcus Burgess when well-placed.
The visitors were made to pay for that missed opportunity moments later – the lively Abel Tsegaye sped past his marker on the right wing and delivered a perfect cross into the path of Henderson, who poked his eighth goal of the season past goalkeeper Chris Thompson.
Dreams of another extended Manchester Premier Cup run began to permeate the Brookburn Road air, but four minutes later the Bloods were level. Faustin Makela was afforded too much space on the left wing, and his cross found the equally unattended Phil Marsh who nodded the ball low past Burgess.
Matty Kay, making his first playing appearance since rejoining West as assistant manager, had a volley cleared off the line by a combination of Droylsden defenders as the first half drew to a close. The sides went in level, but within eleven minutes of the restart the complexion of the game had changed completely.
The Bloods’ second goal, less than a minute into the second period, was wholly avoidable from a West point of view – Burgess saved a first attempt, and after the West defence had repeatedly failed to clear, the ball fell to Marsh who finished with aplomb. And the visitors’ third summed up the match – Woods cracked the woodwork again from outside the area, and the rebound fell perfectly for a Droylsden counter-attack, finished neatly by substitute Brandon Zibaka.
The prospect of 2-2 becoming 1-3 within a matter of seconds looked to have floored West – the evening’s only period of downtime followed in the 20 minutes after Zibaka’s goal, with a flurry of substitutions and a Josh Tinker yellow card the only incidents of note. But the home side rallied for the final few minutes – Henderson had a shot deflected onto the post and then an effort smothered by Thompson, and a second goal arrived in stoppage time when Henderson bundled in Scott Mason’s corner.
Suddenly, the prospect of a penalty shoot-out materialised, and there was still time for the home side to spurn a couple of golden opportunities to level – Junior Dos Santos failed to connect with a cross from the right, and Scott Mason volleyed well over from inside the area as the referee prepared to blow for full time. But this was to be another cruel hard-luck story, albeit one which should give West confidence ahead of the weekend’s resumption of league duties.
West: Burgess, Tinker, Pearson, Thompson, S. Mason, Eckersley, Tsegaye (Pickering 68), Langford (Potts 62), Henderson, Kay (Dos Santos 64), Woods. Not used: Woodward.