Manchester League representatives East Manchester FC ran out clear 4-0 winners over Wythenshawe Town in the Saturday Challenge Cup Final at Ewen Fields.
It was Wythenshawe who started the better team, and they had the game’s opening opportunity when they won a free kick just outside the East Manchester penalty area, but Ash McGrath effort was straight at goalkeeper Tom French who made a routine save. Wythenshawe continued to apply the early pressure and striker Niall Rhodes had a great opportunity to open the scoring when he managed to latch onto Jake Gregory’s through ball and hold of his marker in the East Manchester area, but his effort across goal went just inches wide of Tom French’s far post.
On twenty-three minutes Wythenshawe had another opportunity to take the lead when Ash McGrath played a ball over the top of the East Manchester defence, Niall Rhodes managed to knock the ball over the top of oncoming goalkeeper Tom French, but Carl Borrell managed to get back and clear away the danger before the ball could reach the goal.
Just after the half hour mark East Manchester took the lead against the run of play, after good build up, the ball was crossed from the right wing with some pace and evaded the East Manchester attacker in front of goal, but came off Wythenshawe fullback Jake Gregory’s legs and ended up in the back of the net.
After the goal, East Manchester grew into the game and managed to have periods of possession and looked a threat coming forward, but it was Wythenshawe who had the best opportunities just before halftime, the first coming when substitute Remi Williams managed to keep the ball from going out for a goal kick and his low cross was met by Ash McGrath in the East Manchester penalty area but his shot went just wide of the upright. Just after and deep into first half injury time, Williams found himself unmarked at the back post and he met Ash Leatherhead’s cross but headed over the bar.
Halftime: East Manchester 1-0 Wythenshawe Town
The second half started the same way the first half did with Wythenshawe on top, and they had a glorious chance to go level after a good flick on from Remi Williams, substitute Josh Dunn outpaced centre half Carl Borrell but saw his effort from just inside the penalty area hit the post and bounce clear.
On fifty-three minutes Wythenshawe were made to pay for missed chances, when East Manchester centre midfielder Connor Brotherton picked the ball up, he ran at the Wythenshawe back four and found Sam Jones unmarked in the area and his effort across goal beat Ben Daniels and doubled East Manchester’s lead.
Just three minutes later and East Manchester had their third of the evening, when goal scorer Sam Jones won his side a penalty, after being bought down by Wythenshawe full back Prince Banya, captain Joe Nield stepped up and calmly slotted beyond Daniels in the Wythenshawe goal.
From here Wythenshawe were looking for a way back into the game and had another opportunity, after Haman Elfitouri won the ball in the middle of the pitch he put Josh Dunn clean through on goal, but Dunn saw his effort well saved by Tom French in the East Manchester goal.
Straight after Wythenshawe’s chance, East Manchester went down the other end of the pitch and got their fourth and final goal of the evening, when Joe Nield’s corner found substitute Danny Williams six yards out he managed to prod home between the legs of Ben Daniels and ensure that the cup was going to East Manchester.
Fulltime: East Manchester 4-0 Wythenshawe Town