MATCH REPORT | Oswestry Town 2 (5) – (4) 2 West
|FC Oswestry Town||2-2||West Didsbury & Chorlton||HT: 1-1|
|David Howarth (16)
Louis Moss (52)
|Anthony Potts (5)
Daniel McLaughlin (67)
|(FC Oswestry Town won 5-4 on pens|
There’s a point at most funerals when the mourning turns to humour, when the tears cease and the reminiscing of better times begins. From experience, it is usually somewhere between the buffet being opened and the third pint being ordered: for the West fans who travelled to Oswestry to watch their team fall out of the Macron Cup on penalties, the transformation happened somewhere between Marford and the A55.
While the fans sung their way back to Chorlton, earlier their energies had been spent dissecting what might have been. The truth is though, for large sections of the game there was very little for the more analytically minded to concentrate on. West opened the scoring with the first chance of any note, thanks to a Mason free kick being nodded on to an unmarked Anthony Potts at the back post, who made no mistake when presented with the opportunity. The hosts then found themselves level soon after, with David Howarth making the most of a long ball to the edge of the box, worming his way towards the byline before dinking over the unfortunate Burgess from what looked like an impossible angle – drawing applause from the away support.
Those two incidents aside, the opening forty minutes completely lacked in ebb and flow – even the most generous highlights package would struggle to make it past the two minute mark, even including several replays of each goal. The home side broke ranks with 5 minutes left of the half, forcing Potts into a sharp tackle at the back post to stop a one on one, before urging goalkeeper Burgess into a save in the dying moments that fell to a blue shirt at the far post who could only tap wide.
Oswestry took heart from their two chances before the break once the second period began. A cross come shot cannoned off the inside of the far post before skirting across the face of the goal and out of danger on 47 minutes, but there would be no such luck 5 minutes later. Having found space deep into the box, a cut back found Louis Moss who slipped it home to put Town ahead and the visitors needing two goals to avoid a shootout. It may have taken the next 25 minutes for them to register a shot on target, but once West did they found the back of the net. Once again, a Mason free kick into the box found a head to flick it on, and Daniel McLoughlin deftly nodded over the onrushing keeper from 6 yards to send the away following wild.
The subs of Henderson and Tsegay shortly before the goal signalled a change in shape, but the return to parity on the scoresheet was the exception that proved the lack of cutting edge the side was showing: with their only two real efforts of note on target, West had scored twice. In the second minute of injury time, they had two more. Having increased their tempo for the the final 10 minutes of normal time, the pressure had begun to show on Oswestry who had taken upon running down the clock, clearly content with penalties. With seconds remaining, Tsegay cut in from the left at the edge of the box and unleashed a shot that rattled the crossbar. Home goalkeeper Samuel Agius picked himself up with enough time to steady himself and see a Martyn Andrews effort from somewhat further out flying past his outstretched palms – only to hit the bar once more and go out of play for a goalkick.
With the full time whistle came penalties, and the rush of away support from one end of the ground to the other, where the kicks were to be taken. While 9 found their intended destination, Agius saved West’s second effort and send his side into the next round – and the supporters back into the leisure centre which forms Oswestry’s clubhouse to start their own Macron Cup wake.
|Starting XI||Starting XI|
|Samuel Agius||1||Marcus Burgess|
|Christopher Craven||2||Joshua Tinker|
|Matthew T Jones||3||Kyle Pearson|
|Joshua Sumner||4||Martyn Andrews|
|Sean Jones||5||Anthony Potts|
|James OReilly||6||Matthew Eckersley|
|Lewis Jarman||7||Scott Mason|
|Michael OReilly||8||Jack Langford|
|Louis Moss||9||Daniel McLaughlin|
|David Howarth||10||Matthew Kay|
|Liam Parry||11||Benjamin Woods|
|Samuel Spridgeon||S1||Saul Henderson|
|Louie Mackin||S2||Abel Tsegay|
|Owen Lloyd||S3||James Woodward|
|Jack Gwilliams||S4||Ryan Eiselt|