Walshaw Sports FC beat Slyne-with-Hest on penalties after Action-Packed Lancashire Shield quarter final clash!
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Walshaw Sports FC v Slyne-with-Hest
Walshaw Sports made it through to the semi finals of the Lancashire FA Shield on Saturday after seeing off Slyne-with-Hest in an eventful and action-packed game at Elton High School.
Fixture lists were decimated all over the country due to plummeting temperatures and rock solid surfaces, but, thankfully, this game, which was played on the school's 3G pitch, was able to go ahead. And what a game it was!
There were three red cards, eight yellow cards, two penalties (one of which saw the goalkeeper sent off and replaced by an outfield player, who was handed the gloves and saved the subsequent spot kick), as well as four goals and a penalty shootout!
Video Match Report
Walshaw Sports FC started the brighter of the two sides and had the first real chance of the game when a cross from the right was stood up for their centre forward, but he could only head harmlessly over the crossbar from seven yards out.
The home side didn't need to wait long to open the scoring though when, in the 10th minute, their right winger wriggled free just inside the area and cut the ball back to the waiting forward, who neatly slotted it home from seven yards out.
Slyne's first major chance came in the 15th minute from a quickly taken throw in when the Walshaw keeper saved well with his feet from close range, and he was called into action again moments later when the Slyne forward tried to take the ball around him, but he reacted well and and managed to get his body over it.
Walshaw Sports thought that they had taken the lead in the 18th minute when a freekick from around 40 yards out was whipped in from the left hand side and the ball was headed into the net, only for the referee to blow his whistle for a push and goal was disallowed.
A minute later and Walshaw had another chance to score from a freekick in an identical position. This time Slyne dealt with the initial cross but the headed clearance fell to the home team's left winger, whose shot was parried away by the keeper and cleared up field.
Walshaw once again went close in the 28th minute when yet another freekick was crossed in from the left, this time hitting a defender and falling to the feet of the centre back who had found himself in space inside the six yard box. His effort from just a couple of yards out though was expertly saved by the Slyne keeper, who got down well to deny him with his feet.
Despite the early pressure by Walshaw, Slyne had a big chance of their own in the 31st minute when an outswinging corner from the right was powerfully headed just wide of the left hand post.
In the 41st minute, Walshaw had another great opportunity when their impressive number nine showed some lovely footwork to turn his man just inside the Slyne half. He played a superb slide rule pass to his teammate who was one on one with the onrushing keeper, but he put his shot wide of the far post.
A minute later and Slyne had a great chance to level things up when the ball was launched forward by the goalkeeper and flicked on to the number 9, who seemed to be in on goal. However, the Walshaw left back came across and just did enough to put the forward off and the keeper was able to gather the ball comfortably in the end.
Slyne had another opportunity moments later when their midfielder, initially attacking down the left hand side, cut inside and used his strength to keep hold of the ball and fired a shot from just outside the area straight at the keeper.
A key moment in the game happened just before half time though, when a ball was played over the top for the Walshaw number 9 to chase down. He became involved in a tussle with the Slyne centre back, with both players dragging each other to the ground. Some pushing and shoving ensued, and the Walshaw man was deemed to have raised his hands and was shown a red card, while the Slyne defender was let off with a yellow card, much to the anger of the home side's bench.
Despite being a man down, Walshaw Sports had the first big chance of the second half when a stunning shot from 35 yards out was powered goalward, only for the Slyne keeper to get down superbly to his left push it out for a corner.
In the 53rd minute, Slyne got themselves back in the game when a pass from the back was played over the top of the Walshaw defence and Dan Dixon found himself in yards of space, he finished past the keeper from around 10 yards out to make it 1-1.
One of the Walshaw bench was then shown a red card for insulting the referee, and not long after the home side had another attempt at goal from 25 yards out, but the shot flew harmlessly over the crossbar.
In the 64th minute Slyne were denied a penalty when their number eight chased down a long clearance over the top and after trying to cut inside from the left, he went to ground, only for the referee to wave away the protests.
Walshaw went close to retaking the lead moments later when their dangerous right winger struck the ball first time on the volley from distance, but his shot was off target and went over the bar.
The Walshaw man was involved again in the 65th minute when he ran at the Slyne defence down the right hand side and was brought down inside the box. The referee had no hesitation and pointed to the penalty spot, leaving Slyne frustrated after having an appeal of their own turned down not long before.
After winning the penalty, the same man stepped up to take it and he fired his spot kick straight down the middle to put 10 man Walshaw back in front.
And, with just 15 minutes remaining, the home side had the chance to put the game to bed when they broke quickly down the left and with the Slyne defence out of position, the Walshaw number 10 was played in one on one, but as he rounded the keeper he was hauled down and the referee pointed to the spot once again. And to add insult to injury, the Slyne goalkeeper was red carded for his troubles, which resulted in outfield player Conor Crossley replacing him.
Stand-in goalkeeper Crossley was in the thick of it immediately, getting down well to his left to deny the Walshaw number seven a second goal from the penalty spot..
And the Slyne stopper was at it again a minute later when a cross from the right was delivered beautifully into the box, the Walshaw forward found himself free and headed his effort powerfully on target, only for the goalkeeper to make a brilliant acrobatic save to tip it over the bar for a corner.
#It wasn't all one way traffic though and with 12 minutes left of a pulsating second half, Slyne came agonisingly close to equalising again when they found themselves in on goal inside the area, only for the keeper to block the initial shot with his legs, and he followed that up with an excellently timed tackle to keep Walshaw ahead.
The away side were starting to apply the pressure at this point and with just seven and a half minutes remaining, a long throw in from the left was launched into the box where an unmarked Slyne player was able to get on the end of it, but his effort went well over the bar from close range.
Slyne weren't to be denied their equaliser though. In the 86th minute, a corner was crossed in from the right and Liam Cutts headed home from 10 yards out to make it 2-2.
Walshaw weren't done yet though and they almost retook the lead a minute later when the ball was expertly played into the box and after a perfect touch by the striker a goal seemed inevitable. However, Crossley was quickly off his line and unbelievably blocked the shot from close range.
Then, with only two minutes remaining, Slyne could and really should have won it themselves when an almost-perfect cross was swung in and from only six yards out the header was somehow put over.
There was then some injury time drama when the Walshaw Sports number seven was shown a yellow card for shouting at the assistant and was sent to the sin bin, with only a minute or so remaining.
In the end though it didn't matter because despite one last Slyne half chance from a corner, where the ball was headed off target, that was that and the game finished 2-2, taking this enthralling cup tie to penalties.
In the end, Walshaw Sports ran out 4-3 winners in the shootout to settle one of the best games you will see this year!