Last year’s finalists, Wythenshawe Town crash out of the County Cup in the first round and harshest way possible after losing on penalties to Manchester Central.
When the two sides took to the glorious Ericstan Park pitch on the sunny Saturday afternoon, it was the visitors who started the brightest and dominated possession in the opening minutes, with a couple of clear chances that could easily have seen them go two goals up within five minutes.
The game soon balanced out and on thirteen minutes, Ashley Leather made a run for Wythenshawe, crossing the ball to meet Dan King’s head but there was nothing other than Central shirts in the box, removing any threat of a home goal. Wythenshawe had another chance on twenty-five minutes after some fantastic play down the left-hand side from Omar Thompson who delivered a perfect ball into the box, Ashley Leather got his head onto it but was unable to penetrate the goal.
The hosts got the first goal of the game when on thirty minutes, they were awarded a free kick. Josh Grant delivered a great ball allowing Captain Tom Greenfield to power a header into the bottom corner, past keeper Kelsey Robinson.
Wythenshawe stepped up the pressure after conceding the goal but the game was paused while Sam Barnett was helped off the pitch due to a bad head injury. Wythenshawe had their best chance of the half not long after when Omar Thompson played another great ball in from the left, substitute Jamie Taylor ran onto it and his shot should have gone in but instead clipped the far post to deny the hosts.
On forty-three minutes Wythenshawe Town brought the game level after Ashley Leather was fouled in the box – the home side were awarded a penalty, which Ashley went on to take and convert.
Half time: Wythenshawe Town 1 – 1 Manchester Central
After a heated half time with players venting their frustrations, the second half started slowly until sixty-two minutes when Wythenshawe goalkeeper Kelsey Robinson was forced to make a spectacular save. Central’s Cory Knight had a shot which took a deflection, requiring Robinson to react quickly and tip the ball around the post for a corner. Ten minutes later and Kelsey Robinson made another great save for the home side, denying Central’s Tom Greenfield’s vicious volley.
On seventy-seven minutes, Wythenshawe’s Jamie Taylor bought down Central’s number six in a dangerous area and a free kick was awarded to the hosts, but the shot was blocked and nothing came of it.
As the time ticked away and both teams looked to bag the winning goal, back to back saves by Wythenshawe Town’s Kelsey Robinson led to him playing a long ball down the pitch; Joe Yarwood was first onto it and took a shot across goal but it went just wide of the post.
Neither team could secure the goal in playing time, to see them through to the next round and the game went to penalties where Wythenshawe Town were defeated 6 – 5.
Full time: Wythenshawe Town 1 – 1 Manchester Central ( 5 – 6 on penalties).