West crashed out of the FA Vase after a 3-2 extra time defeat away to Penistone Church. West were forced into several changes but were able to welcome back Dean Williams and Anthony Potts into the starting line up whilst there was room for Rob Black and debutant Rick Ainsclough on the bench. The game started slowly but West made the games first change as a cross from the right by Ben Steer almost found the head of an unmarked Ben Woods arriving late at the far post on 6 minutes. Three minutes later Penistone created their first chance and should have been ahead but defender Bret Lovell put his free header wide of the post. The direct ball was Penistone’s route to goal, aided by the wind, as they repeated the feat on 16 minutes heading another free kick wide of the post On 19 minutes Steer, who posed West’s best attacking threat to goal, went down the right found Ash Woods with his low pass but the West forward curled it just past the post. A minute later it was Williams who was the first keeper called into action as he saved an effort from the edge of the area. On 27 minutes West almost lead as a Penistone clearance fell to Matty Kay 30 yards out, Kay spotted goalkeeper Adam Rhodes off his line and attempted to lob him but the wind drifted it wide of the goal with the keeper well beaten. Six minutes later Steer went close again as a Joe Shaw free kick was deflected by the wall into the wingers path but again his header blew wide of the goal with the keeper beaten. Penistone’s best chance of the half came on the stroke of half time as a low cross from the wing just evaded the boot of the Penistone forward on the line meaning the sides would go into the half 0-0. The second half was 17 minutes old before the first real action as Penistone broke the offside trap but with Dale Kelly bearing down on goal Williams made a sensational save turning a rocket of a shot round the post with a strong hand from point blank range. The relief was short lived however as from the resultant corner Lovell rose highest and powered past a helpless Williams to give the home side the lead. The goal sparked West into life and on 74 minutes they were level following their best move of the game resulting in Lee Gavin’s shot being too strong for the Penistone keeper to handle and Matty Kay reacted quickest firing under the keepers legs for his seventh goal of the season. Two minutes later West were almost ahead as Joe Shaw clipped the top of the crossbar with a free kick from 25 yards out. They were ahead a minute later when a superb pass down the right released Ash Woods, he did well, cutting his pass inside to Rob Black who fired his first time effort off the underside of the crossbar to give West the lead. On 79 minutes it was almost three as substitute Jonny Poizer, on in place of Ben Woods, first touch was to force a strong save from Rhodes in the Penistone goal with a hard free kick from 25 yards out. From the resultant corner Potts header was cleared off the line. The game became increasingly end-to-end as both teams tired and searched for a goal to swing the game in their favour. The goal fell to the home side in the 92nd minute as a seemingly harmless cross from the West left hand side was punched away by Williams but only into the path of Danny Joyne and his deflected effort found its way into the bottom left hand corner forcing the game into extra-time. 30 additional minutes followed with West effectively playing with 10 as a Matty Kay back injury restricted the player to a walking pace as he valiantly played on. Despite this it was West who looked the more likely in the extra space as Pensitone resorted to kicking the ball long into touch in a bid to catch their breath. On 93 minutes a superb West move saw a cross flicked on by Kay into the path of Jonny Poizer at the far post but Rhodes produced a superb save to deny him. Six minutes later West went close again as Poizer fired just wide as Joe Shaw was appeared to be wrestled to the ground at the very edge of the penalty area. On 109 minutes another cross, this time from the left, found Black at the far post but he headed just wide of the post. The winning goal came five minutes from the end, and it fell to the home side, as a long punt up the middle was failed to be cleared by Potts, the ball was played out wide to Duncan Richards and his low cross was poked home on the line by Danny Joynes to prompt a pitch invasion from the home support. With both sets of players dead on their feet the goal proved to be the final action of the game as West failed to reach the first round proper of the FA Vase for the first time in four years.
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West Didsbury & Chorlton