WATLINGTON lost their first cup game of the season after surrendering the lead in a match they
WATLINGTON lost their first cup game of the season after surrendering the lead in a match they dominated for long periods.
Division 3 side Benson Lions avenged their narrow league defeat from the week before with a 3-2 win in extra time in the North Berks Cup that ended Town’s longest winning streak for several seasons.
Town started brightly and took the lead in the first half when Dom Selwood’s long throw was flicked on by Edgar Garces. Conor B’layachi beat the keeper to the loose ball and got a touch to the ball on the half volley to send it into the empty net at the near post from a difficult angle.
A dominant Town performance saw the hosts awarded a penalty but Ben Little’s attempt to find the top corner of the goal sailed over the bar.
Benson rode their luck early in the second half before equalising through a good strike from just inside the penalty area. Soon after, and with only their second clear chance of the game, the visitors stunned Watlington by taking the lead, as the home side’s performance dropped in the second half. Benson nearly added to their lead when a corner was flicked on but cleared off the line by the near post.
With 10 minutes of normal time remaining Town appeared to have salvaged the situation when Conor B’layachi was brought down inside the area and the forward dispatched the resultant penalty, sending the game into extra time.
With both sides tiring, chances were at a premium, and it was a long-distance strike from the Lions that won the tie with minutes remaining, as the ball crept under Chuck Selwood.