Brian Bradley Memorial Cup Round Two
Tuesday 3rd March
Sticksbridge Park Steels Reserves vs WTFC
Wombwell Town were knocked out of the Brian & Judith Bradley Memorial Cup in controversial fashion as they played well against their Premier Division opponents.
The first 45 saw the home side taking their one effort on target and putting a number of shots wide, while the Wellers getting to grips with the tougher opposition and lack of game time in recent weeks.
A corner after nine minutes though saw the visitors have their first attempt on target in the game.
Will Harling's ball into the box was headed back across to the penalty spot by Luke Norbury and after a deflection it fell to defender Joe Egan who headed straight into the keeper's arms.
Stocksbridge Park Steels Reserves took the lead on 20 minutes when Matt Harrison pounced and slotted home past Sam Leigh in the box from Jake Padgett's defensive header.
The second half saw a much sharper Wombwell Town in action as they pressed for an equaliser and had several chances to score throughout, but it was the home side who had the first effort just a minute after the restart when Leigh collected the ball comfortably from the shot.
Joe Oliver tried his luck from 48 minutes when his left wing effort went high and wide of the goal.
Two minutes later and Luke Exley stretched the goalkeeper as he put a free-kick from 30 yards just over the crossbar.
A Brad Kerr efffort from long range also went over the bar, before a double substitution saw the return of Craig Hart and debutante Nathan Miller replace Padgett and Oliver and take their positions down the left.
The equaliser eventually came on 71 minutes when George Westwood thumped home his sixth goal of the season from inside the penalty area.
A free-kick by Exley on the right was saved low by the keeper on his line, but with the ball free it fell to Westwood who smacked the ball in off the crossbar to give the keeper no chance.
Parities restored it took just two minutes for Stocksbridge PS Res to re-take the lead in controversial fashion.
A run by Brandon Whitfield saw the ball on the right wing with the forward in the box staying in front of Leigh having made his run deep into the box.
The follow-up cross came in and top-scorer Whitfield, practically on the goal line, tapped home the ball from all of a yard and the goal was given, despite everyone (apart from the referee and his assistant) seeing it was clearly offside.
The given goal seemed to sap the energy out of the aggrieved Wellers who had one more chance to take the game to penalties in the final seven minutes with substitute Miller shooting wide from inside the box.
It was a hard way to go out of the cup competition, but Wombwell won't feel too downhearted as they now concentrate mainly on the league, and winning back-to-back league titles.
Match Result: Stocksbridge PS Res 2, Wombwell Town 1.
WTFC Line-Up: Leigh, Tedoradze, Padgett (Hart 59), Exley, Westwood, Egan, Byrnes, Harling, Norbury, Kerr, Oliver (Miller 59).
Subs Not Used: Wareing, Wood, Rose.
Wellers Man of the Match: Joe Egan.