West’s 2016 Lancashire Trophy run ended at the quarter final stage following a penalty shoot out defeat away to Radcliffe Borough.
West made several changes to the side that lost in the final kick of the game against Congleton Town on Saturday as they were able to welcome back Anthony Potts, Joe Shaw and Rick Gleave into the starting line up with Carlos Mendes Gomes taking his place on the bench. However there were no places for Nic Evangelinos or Ben Woods who’d succumbed to injuries in Saturday’s game. Mark Rogers was also unavailable for selection.
Manager Steve Settle opted for an attacking line up as Saul Henderson and Jonny Poizer forming a striking partnership up top with Matty Kay, restored to an attacking role after being asked to sit in deep on Saturday, just behind them. Martyn Andrews was restored to the midfield as Jordan Poole partnered ‘Pottsy’ at the back.
The game started at a ferocious pace with both sides and it was West who created the first chance as Henderson did well down the left crossing to Shaw who laid it off to Gleave whose first time effort was struck just wide of the post.
The opening quarter of an hour saw both sides cancel one another out until Gleave laid off a drilled pass to Andrews with a back heel and he saw his effort deflected just wide of the top corner. From the resulting corner Kay found Poole at the edge of the area and his first time effort was deflected just wide of the post with the goalkeeper only able to watch. Another cross, this time from Andrews, found the head of Poizer but he couldn’t quite divert his header of on target.
Radcliffe were limited to long range efforts as twice West goalkeeper Dean Williams was able to watch long range efforts roll wide of the post as a first half of few chances was more than made up for in intensity.
Whatever was said to the home side at half time had the desired effect as they immediately stepped up a gear heading over from a corner after an initial flick on before seeing another effort fired just wide of the post. They were rewarded on 50 minutes when a low cross along the six yard box found Jack Hindle unmarked at the back post and he drilled it into the bottom right corner.
West almost responded immediately as Henderson found Poizer with a cross on the penalty spot; Poizer did well to chest it down but his shot was fired into the ground and could only bounce wide of the post. Settle introduced Carlos Mendes Gomes in place of Poizer to inject some pace into the game and immediately did so beating his marker to a through ball and winning West a corner. However the referee gave a goal kick and compounded his mistake by showing substitute Settle a red card in response to his protest.
In his absence Head Coach Steve Brockley made two further changes as he brought on Ben Steer and Rob Black in place of Saul Henderson and Rick Gleave. Steer immediately found Pottsy with a long throw but the West captain could only deflect the ball wide of the post.
The game’s turning point came in the last 10 minutes as Mendes Gomes was again released down the left with a superb through ball only for him to be brought down inside the area with a terrible two footed lunge from the Radcliffe right back leaving the teenage winger in a heap on the floor. Despite such an obvious foul the referee chose to give only a corner as West were left to persevere with 10 players with Mendes Gomes taking several minutes to return to the game.
West weren’t to be denied and with 5 minutes remaining Shaw won possession back in the Radcliffe half with a superb tackle and immediately played in Steer. The young West striker drove forward, jinxed past his man before firing a hard effort into the bottom right hand corner; a superb strike and no less than West’s play merited.
Four minutes of stoppage time ensued and Radcliffe almost retook the lead as Glenn Relezika flashed an effort barely wide of the post but it would take penalties to separate the two sides.
The game headed into a penalty shootout and it was the impressive Martyn Andrews who was tasked with the fist kick for West. However his low penalty wasn’t struck hard enough allowing the Radcliffe goalkeeper Tadhg Ryan into a comfortable save low to his left. The first Radcliffe penalty was struck hard by Raul Correia down the middle but Dean Williams was able to superbly block the shot with a strong right hand diving to his left.
The second West penalty was coolly dispatched by Matty Kay sending the Ryan the wrong way as he placed his penalty into the bottom right hand corner. Williams could do nothing about the second Radcliffe penalty as he was sent the wrong way and the shot confidently drilled inside the right hand post by Callum Grogan.
Joe Shaw was West’s third penalty and his penalty was low to the keeper’s right and the Radcliffe stopper did superbly to push it onto the post. Radcliffe made it 2-1 as the third penalty was fired into the bottom right hand corner by Conor Ready, again sending Williams the wrong way.
Jordan Poole was West’s fourth penalty taker and became the third West player to miss as his penalty down the middle was saved by the legs of Ryan to put Radcliffe on the verge of victory. Victory was secured for the Evo-Stik side as Elliot Rokka gave Williams the eyes and rolled his penalty into the bottom right hand corner to hand Radcliffe a place in the Semi Finals of the Lancashire Trophy.