Thursday, 24 January 2019

Keeper saves day as United suffer shootout heartache

VISITING side ROTHERFIELD UNITED suffered penalty shootout heartache as they crashed out of the Reading Invitation Junior Cup at WOODLEY UNITED ROYALS last Saturday.

The tie went right to the final kick of a penalty shootout after the teams fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw.

United were without a recognised goalkeeper so captain and centre-back Ryan Richardson filled in between the sticks and produced a man-of-the-match performance.

Woodley started quickly and spurned a great chance in the first minute but Rotherfield soon found a foothold and put the home team under concerted pressure.

The breakthrough came midway through the first half when Chris Read was held in the box as a corner was played in and Karrl Clark stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.

Rotherfield were largely untroubled in defence and continued to threaten from set pieces. Simon Frost saw his header come off the crossbar shortly before Darren Scott’s well struck shot was brilliantly turned onto the bar by Woodley’s keeper.

The balance of play shifted after half-time and Woodley’s high tempo pressing and pace up front started to cause problems for a tiring Rotherfield in the second half. Eventually the pressure told and when Guy Bickerton fouled a player in the penalty area the home team were able to level from the spot.

Rotherfield were able to use all five substitutes and the fresh legs almost made the difference in extra time as both teams went for the win and created chances to snatch an extra time goal.

The tie eventually went to spot kicks and, after nine successful conversions, Woodley’s goalkeeper made himself the hero by saving the final Rotherfield penalty.

Meanwhile in the Reading Invitation Diamond Cup, HENLEY TOWN DEVELOPMENT crashed out of the tournament after losing 4-0 at WESTWOOD UNITED DEVELOPMENT.

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