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CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE KNOCKOUT CUP: Melksham sent crashing by underdogs
1:00pm Monday 14th January 2013 in Sport
FIRST Division Biddestone White Horse FC caused the upset of the day in the presstoprint-sponsored Eric Hughes Memorial Knockout Cup quarter finals when they defeated a full-strength AFC Melksham side 2-1 in a close encounter at Yatton Road.
Melksham's Mike Rogers shuffled his pack after last week's Wiltshire Sunday Cup win and 90 minutes later he was accepting the blame for what was his side's poorest performance of the season.
Despite taking a lead on 10 minutes when Josh Robinson hit a cracking cross from the left to Luke Ballinger, who crashed in a shot on goal that Ashley Fletcher cannoned in from two yards, it was Biddestone who looked slicker and better for large chunks of the game as both keepers produced some outstanding saves that made for an enthralling contest.
Biddestone drew level on 30 minutes, Melksham only half-cleared a corner and the ball fell kindly to Tom Lye who, with a lovely left foot curling shot from 12 yards out, set up the hosts for what was to be a famous victory.
The second half saw Melksham introduce Tom Robinson and Jordan Kirk but shortly after the restart they were forced into another substitution with Matt Sharp coming on for the injured Mike Hill.
Melksham pushed on looking for a second without success, and it was Biddestone who were causing the problems on the break.
With 10 minutes remaining the visitors had Aaron Wiltshire sent off for a handball on the line when he kept out Connor McCarron’s goal-bound shot and the resulting penalty was tucked away by Dan King to seal a shock but deserved win for the underdogs.
Bradford Renegades 8 Castle FC 5
A WEEK after Bradford Renegades defeated Castle FC 4-2 in a thrilling league encounter, the two sides locked horns looking for a place semi-final line-up.
Once again it was the Renegades who came out on top thanks to an 8-5 win that denied their first division stable mates a third appearance in the last four.
Castle got off to a flyer taking an early lead through Jack Fisher, but their lead was cancelled out by Sam Jordan who headed in Josh Maguire’s cross to square things up.
Castle regained the lead through Joe Unsworth only for Renegades to strike back with Josh Maguire knocking in after Jordan miss hit his original effort.
Renegades took the lead for the first time, with Jordan picking up a Mark Robinson knock down before rounding the keeper for 3-2.
The hosts soon added a fourth when Jordan completed his perfect hat-trick by smashing home with his right foot after good work from Jordan Pinder.
Castle stayed in the game and a mistake from Renegades keeper gifted them their third when he let Gary Campbell’s hopeful free kick in.
Renegades struck early in the second period as they seized the advantage back from the Castle, as he did in the first half, Jordan heading home Robinson cross for 5-3.
Castle then scored a superb free kick to make it 5-4, Fisher bagging a beauty to keep his team in the tie.
Mark Robinson restored a two-goal cushion with sublime 30 yard strike in to the top corner.
Castle once again hit back as Renegades' keeper Keiran Powell once again misjudged a free kick which saw Unsworth cut the gap to the odd goal.
Oli Robinson's great solo run came close to restoring the advantage and Sam Jordan twice spurned good opportunities until eventually he volleyed home from a corner to make it 7-5 and his sixth of the game completed the win as he took his tally to 65 goals for the season.
Steeple Ashton Rangers 2 Bug & Spider FC 4
AFTER a weekend of inclement weather, which caused the postponement of games in both league and cup, Steeple Ashton Rangers welcomed cup holders Bug & Spider FC to St Mary’s for a their quarter-final tie.
It was the home team’s biggest game of the season to date and for a short while the hosts had dreams of causing an upset as they took a 1-0 lead.
But Marcus Lovesey’s side fought back to book their place in the last four courtesy of a 4-2 win.
The hosts started the brightest in the first 20 minutes, keeping measured possession and trying to probe holes in the Bug & Spider defence, who had arguably underestimated their opponents in the early stages of the game.
On 22 minutes, the deadlock was broken as good play down the left wing between Mike Ritson and Sean Brereton found Phil Lewis unmarked in the area, and he smashed his shot high into the net to the delight of the home fans.
Bug & Spider soon began to settle into the game, and on 30 minutes they found a way back into the match; a cross from the left flank was only palmed out as far as Liam Brown, who calmly took a touch and powered the rebound home for the equaliser.
Ashton had further chances in the half, as good build-up play resulted in a shot from Brereton from the edge of the box, which beat the keeper but rebounded off the foot of the post.
Straight after that attack Bug & Spider worked the ball through the middle of the park and sloppy Ashton defending meant that Brown was able to jink his way past two players in the box before finishing well to give his team the lead.
Bug & Spider could have added to their first-half tally were it not for an excellent double save from Ashton keeper Nathan Taylor and goal line clearance from defender Adam Potter.
Both teams came out fired up for the second half, and it was just a matter of minutes after the restart that tempers spilled over.
Ashton’s player-manager Nathan Holloway was cautioned for an ill-timed tackle near the halfway line, and this seemed to be the catalyst for the incidents that many will remember from the game.
The turning point in the game was Adam Potter’s reckless two-footed tackle on the edge of the Ashton penalty area, which resulted in a melee of pushing and shoving between the teams.
Even less clever was Bug & Spider’s Steve Alison, who retaliated by running 20 yards before sliding in studs showing on Potter, with more intent on connecting with player instead of a ball that had already been cleared.
Match referee Adam Pothecary, who should be praised for handling the situation well, dismissed both Potter and Allison and the remainder of the match would be contested 10-a-side.
The dismissals of Potter and Alison killed the momentum of the game, and the 20 minutes that followed offered very little in positive attacking play, with both sides not wanting to concede at a vital point in the tie.
In the end it was Bug & Spider who put the tie beyond doubt after scoring twice in a matter of minutes.
Mark Dolman rounded an on-rushing Taylor before rolling the ball into an empty net and then ran past the tackles of two tiring Ashton defenders before calmly slotting into the bottom corner for his second and the Bug’s fourth.
Ashton’s late efforts were able to gain a minor piece of consolation from the game, following a driving run by Sean Brereton which was cut short by a needless foul inside the Bug & Spider box.
Phil Lewis stepped up from twelve yards to complete his brace, and his well-struck penalty past Jamie Bartlett was the last kick of the tie.
MATCH OFF: White Horse FC v Biddestone Social