15 Mar 2020 in Match Reports
Wythenshawe 1-2 Sandbach
Wythenshawe succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Sandbach United in the first leg of the Playermatch.com cup semi final as drama occurred right at the end.
Pushing for that equaliser in added time, Town thought they had won a penalty as the ball was saved on the line by Christopher Rowntree’s arm.
But the referee signalled for a corner which sent the ground into ruptures with the Wythenshawe faithful believing they had been robbed.
However it wasn’t the only time in the match where Wythenshawe felt they had been on the wrong side of luck, as Sandbach were awarded a penalty on the brink of half time.
Valdemar Schousboe had the ball just inside the 18-yard box in which Brad Byrne went in for a sliding challenge.
However to some, Byrne won the ball and then caught the man but to others – especially the referee – it was the other way round.
Once the decision was made the Wythenshawe players sprinted to the referee in protest, but it was too late and Sandbach had the perfect opportunity to regain their lead after 45 minutes.
In which they did – Daniel Bartle calmly slotted low to Callum Jakovlevs’ right to give Sandbach a 2-1 lead at half-time.
But this shows the theme of the 90 minutes, it was a match that Town were constantly chasing.
The game was very even in the opening stages but then Sandbach opened the scoring at 26 minutes.
Ethan Beckford’s shot was saved by Jakovlevs but it then fell straight to Schousboe and from six yards out he opened his body to half-volley the ball into the net.
However three minutes later and Town had a penalty.
Rowntree tripped Connor Brotherton giving the referee only one decision to be made as Byrne then showed great composure to slot low to the keeper’s left.
But only fifteen minutes later and Sandbach regained their lead from the spot.
Ten minutes into the second half, Town almost levelled once again with madness in the six-yard box.
Bodies were scrambling, Sandbach keeper Danny Hamlett was flat on the floor, multiple shots were being blocked on the line before Liam Myers had the final attempt.
It was then cleared off the line onto the post which sent the Town players into protest once again believing it had crossed the line.
If only goal-line technology existed at this level, only then could it be proven whether or not it crossed the line – but it was great defending from Sandbach, nonetheless.
Town kept pushing for the equaliser but it wouldn’t come as Sandbach held onto their lead.
But to use the cliché, this is only ‘half-time’ of the tie as Wythenshawe are still in full confidence that they can overturn the 2-1 deficit they currently have.
Wythenshawe had key players cup tied and will have to try and do it again without them, but this squad is strong and will still be favourites heading to Sandbach for the second leg.
Still plenty more football to be played.
By Edward Hardy