Potterspury – 2
Great Horwood – 1
Great Horwood were knocked out of the North Bucks & District League Interdivisional Trophy Knockout at the quarter-final stage on Saturday at Potterspury, on a day where the weather ruined any chance of any football being played as swirling winds reaped havoc especially for both goalkeepers. The hosts went ahead early on through a free kick routine that their guests later revealed was something they had discussed avoiding before the game, a second after the break seemed to put Pury in the driving seat until a late red card for full back Joe Richardson which the visitor’s took advantage of immediately pulling a goal back from the resulting free kick through Andy Brunning, in the remaining ten minutes Horwood hit the woodwork twice but it was their Northamptonshire rivals that progress through to the semi-finals where they will face Stewkley.
The home side took the lead on three minutes with a free kick curled in by James Golding that was met by the head of Stevie Dean who got his side off to the perfect start, at the other end a throw to Horwood saw the ball launched long into the box aimed at Sid Hawkins but the wind intervened taking it over him, in front of goal Adam Dixon was about to turn and shoot when defender Spike Crook stuck out a boot to divert over the bar for a corner. A corner to the hosts then swung in almost caught Ian McStraw out as it curled around him and towards the empty net, his skipper Sam Archer inside the six-yard box to head away, before a deep cross saw a glancing header from Danny Sheppard inches wide of McStraw’s right hand post.
The visitors were using the long throw routine at every chance, Dale Armitage saw one headed back towards him as he cut in from the touchline to join the action, meeting it on the volley he fired over the top and moments later a clearance from Pury keeper Sam Kelly screwed out to Brunning who tried his luck from distance with the home custodian stranded but Crook was covering and cleared, Dale Armitage and Frankey Tarrant tried to keep the attack alive but a half clearance to Brunning saw his shot cannon off a black & white shirt to safety. On thirty-two minutes Horwood went close when a Sam Archer free kick found the head of Gary Ridgway which had Kelly at full stretch to his right to brilliantly push away one handed as it seemed destined for inside the near post.
A minute later and the game threatened to boil over when a lob over the home backline saw Dixon in on goal, as he rose and flicked the ball towards the target the onrushing Kelly took the full force of his boot across his thigh which sparked a ten man brawl, handshakes all round soon saw the game restarted after bookings for Kelly, Dixon and Richardson. Ridgway curled a free kick from twenty-five yards over the wall but also the crossbar, a good move down the left touchline saw Ridgway play a one-two with Brandon Bowes which released the former inside his marker but his low shot was comfortable for the Pury keeper to smoother, Tarrant saw another effort from distance catch the wind and sail high over the bar, the final action of the half saw a Ridgway cross headed over by Brunning. H/T: 1-0
An early Jay Ditum corner for the hosts after the break again saw the weather intervene forcing McStraw into a last ditch fingertip save pushing onto his upright, the ball bouncing back to Sheppard but he could only fire over the top, a free kick then saw Golding find his skipper Dean Lyden but he could only head wide, Potterspury did then double their lead on sixty-three minutes as their guests struggled to clear their lines Adam Kelly charged down an attempted clearance and retrieved out on the wing, he crossed and inbetween two defenders Ditum headed down and into the far bottom corner.
Horwood tried to get themselves back in the game with a free kick that Ridgway got to first but he could only head straight at Kelly, a corner shortly after saw Ridgway float his cross in and at the back post Hawkins headed back across goal but no yellow shirts were anywhere near to threaten, the clearance out to Tarrant who pushed up from defence bobbled just as he hit it which lifted the ball high over the top. Back came the home side when Ditum did well down the wing to square inside to Kelly, he bent his effort around McStraw and about a yard wide of the post, then with twelve minutes remaining Pury were reduced to ten men, a foul on Dixon out on the right saw the referee flash a second yellow to Richardson and he was off.
The Pury lead was halved straight from the free kick, played into the box where Brunning got his head to it to divert past Kelly and it was game on, a minute later a run from Ben Thickbroom from defence saw him travel forty yards upfield with the ball, a moment of indecision almost lost him possession however he continued on his run before hitting a dipping drive that bounced up off the crossbar and over the top, Ridgway then slipped a pass through the home backline for Brunning to bear down on goal, his first time effort crashing back off the woodwork and down to Dixon but the bounce too high for the striker to connect cleanly and he could only help it wide.
In added time a long ball downfield saw hesitation plus the weather hinder the yellow backline in their attempts to clear allowing Kelly to get a shot in that McStraw had to save at point blank range, straight back at the opposite end a throw to Horwood was launched high into the box where Kelly advanced through the sea of bodies to climb highest and claim with both hands, his clearance was met by the final whistle to signal that Pury progress in this cup, whilst the sides yet still have to meet home & away in their last few remaining league fixtures. F/T: 2-1
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