West advanced to the Semi Final of the Manchester Premier Cup in a thrilling 4-2 win away to Evo-Stik First Division North side Glossop North End.
Manager Steve Settle made several changes from Saturday’s win against Winsford United as Mark Rogers made his first start since September whilst Jonny Poizer was drafted in place of Saul Henderson at the 11th hour after it was discovered that the striker was cup tied.
The home side asserted their influence on the game in the early stages as they were backed by a vocal home support as the opening stages saw a tightly contested game in the downpour. Glossop took the lead on 14 minutes when Glossop cleared a Ben Steer throw in breaking down the left through Ashley Mulholland who drew out goalkeeper Dean Williams before selflessly squaring it to Mike Norton to tap home.
The goal did nothing to dissuade West and they levelled on 36 minutes when Steer’s throw was flicked on at the far post and it fell to Joe Shaw who reacted quickest to roof it into the net beyond a helpless Matt Cooper.
Two minutes later West went close again as a long ball over the top fell into the path of Nic Evangelinos chipping the keeper with the keeper doing well to clear. However the clearance only reaching Matty Kay whose superb whipped in cross found Evangelinos at the near post who did brilliantly to side step the keeper and forced Cooper into a fine save at the near post.
It was a sign of things to come as West moved the ball quickly across the edge of the penalty to Evangelinos. The West striker opened up his body and curled a superb effort into the top corner from 20 yards out; it was a sensational strike. The lead was short lived as two minutes later a low cross from the right hand side was turned in at the near post by Ashley Mullholland to draw the former NWCFL Champions level.
Four minutes of stoppage time saw West almost retake the lead as Matty Kay did superbly on the right and his hard low effort was met by an equally superb fingertip save from Cooper.
The second half was just two minutes old before the first chance and it fell to the home side as Norton was allowed to be left unmarked at the far post but somehow his shot was turned round the post from Williams. West took full advantage as two minutes later Poizer lobbed Cooper with a sensational strike from 30 yards out. A real goal of the season contender.
Falling behind galvanised Glossop as an effort flashed just wide of the post immediately following the goal. Shortly after the hour mark Glossop fired over twice in quick succession before Paul Socha was called into action to make a superb block on the line with his chest. On 65 minutes a long ball down the left released substitute Mark Reed, Williams did his best to close him down but somehow Reed’s shot rolled agonisingly wide of the post.
Glossop continued to pile on the pressure with West forced to sit deep and soak it up as the home side pushed more men forward. The goal wouldn’t come for the home side but it did for West, in stoppage time, as a ball on the left released Evangelinos, who drew the keeper off his line and calmly fired it past him at the near post to set in the travelling support into raptures. At the final whistle West were applauded off by both sets of supporters.
The reward is an away tie in the Semi Final against National League North side FC United of Manchester in February.