This 1st Round League Challenge Cup tie between two of the Leagues new clubs was a pulsating affair that had everything including, sadly a few incidents, that may be best forgotten but nonetheless the crowd of 283 certainly got their money’s worth in the end.
1874 were without Thomas, Bailey and Jones but welcomed Duckworth back into the fold together with Tom Peers who was voted 1874’s Player of the Month for September and received his award from supporter Craig Thompson on behalf of sponsors The Ashley Family.
As has happened on previous home games 1874 appeared to be slow out of the blocks and struggled at times to hold on to possession, whilst the visitors were quickly into their stride and the home defence had to be alert on several occasions to keep their goal intact.
Few clear chances were created as the game developed into a stop start fashion but Brandon did find time to hit the cross bar with a fine effort. The game was becoming irritating as there were many needless stoppages but suddenly it “sprang into life” when a contentious penalty was awarded to Hanley in the 39th minute when their player fell to the ground. From the spot kick the visitors took the lead through Theo Stair and carried this one goal advantage to the interval.
Indeed they were to hold on to this lead for a long time after the break thanks in the main to the excellent work by their centre back – Josh Thorpe – and also the safe hands of keeper Tom Cawley.
For 1874, skipper Adam Foy never stopped urging his players on and trying to lead by example but few real chances were created.
Then in the 64th minute the game changed dramatically as two Hanley players were each shown a red card. Firstly Joel Stair was shown a second yellow card for a bad foul after which too many players “got involved” in differences of opinions resulting in the Hanley skipper Parkes being dismissed for striking an 1874 player.
So with more than 25 minutes remaining and eleven against nine surely it was only going to be a matter of time before 1874 took control of the game? Alas, no the visitors defended steadfastly lead brilliantly by Thorpe and also frontman Theo Stair who continued to be a problem for the 1874 defence.
As the home spectators grew more anxious and were beginning to think that their team would never equalize the reliable Brandon was on hand in the 89th minute to bundle the ball home at the far post after Bowyer had helped a cross on from the left. The sighs around the ground were deafening!
So extra time was needed and within three minutes 1874 were in front when Brandon scored his second of the game and seven minutes later it was 3-1 after Foy scored a well-taken goal. Brandon had an excellent opportunity to complete his hat-trick but got all tangled up to waste the opportunity and this could well have been costly because remarkably in the 110th minute Thorpe made it 3-2 as he scored the best goal of the game following an excellent exchange of passes before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 25 yards into the top corner.
But the final whistle came and 1874 had managed to win and proceed to a second round tie at the end of the month against Premier side Squires Gate in Blackpool
|Sat 5 Oct 2013
|NWCFL League Cup