NWCFA Mabon Scaffolding Junior Challenge Cup round two
Bow 7 (O’Carroll 6, Robb 12, Parry 31, M Jones 43, Carey 50, Hall 70, Hill 88)
Penrhyn Bay 2 (Farrell pen 73, J Kearney 76)
DAVE JONES reports from Rhyl Leisure Centre’s outdoor pitch
Nine goals and a thrilling contest which was a bit closer than the scoreline suggests.
Anyone who was at the Rhyl Leisure Centre pitch to witness Saturday afternoon’s Junior Cup last 16 tie can only have been entertained.
In the first instance, it was a blessing to see some football given the huge amount of rain which had fallen the day before and into Saturday.
To then witness two sides play some sharp and slick football as well as produce a 100 percent commitment cup tie was an added bonus.
Bow, who usually play home games at Bastion Gardens, Prestatyn, swarmed into attack and took the lead on six minutes.
Will Bradfield saved brilliantly down low to deny Joe Carey before pushing a Robbie Parry effort onto the bar. The ball then arrived to Loui O’Carroll near the back post and his angled chip found the net via the goal frame.
It was 2-0 after 12 minutes. The outstanding Kyle Robb’s first shot was saved, but he put away the rebound.
A much-improved Penrhyn Bay never held back and almost cut the deficit when Tom Cotterell let fly with a fierce 25-yarder which Richard Hillier-Evans kept out and made it look very comfortable doing so, but the ball was really travelling.
Bow went three-up after 31 minutes. Robb slid an exquisite pass into the path of Parry who slipped the ball past the advancing Bradfield.
Soon after came one of the best saves this writer has seen in local football for a long time.
Bay’s Jack Kearney unleashed an absolute missile from about 15 yards, but not only did a diving Hillier-Evans get a hand to the ball with an outstretched left arm – he prevented a goal too.
You will often see a goalkeeper manage a touch on such a strike, given it was of a nice height, but such was the power in the hit, it was amazing to keep the ball out as well.
It reminded one of Liverpool hero Jerzy Dudek’s remarkable ‘strong hand’ save from Andriy Shevchenko’s close-range belt for AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul.
Bow rubbed salt into Penrhyn’s wound just before the break when Carey crossed into the box and Mike Jones drilled home number four.
Half-time: Bow 4 Penrhyn Bay 0
The second half was a much closer battle, with play becoming a little more scrappy, but it was still a very entertaining encounter.
Initially, it was service as usual when Carey netted from an angle following good inter-passing in and around the box.
Robb then fired against the post before the visitors threatened with a shot on the turn from skipper Stan Farrell, which Hillier-Evans did well to parry away.
Andy Butterworth cleared a certain goal off the line to prevent it becoming 6-0 before in the 70th minute, Bow brought up the half-dozen, substitute Greg Hall applying the finish after Bradfield had produced a marvellous save from Parry to concede a corner.
Bay deserved something for their unstinting efforts and in the 73rd and 76th minutes they bagged a quick consolation double.
First, Farrell was brought down from behind in the box by last-man defender Cale Kemp, who received just a yellow. Farrell struck the penalty straight down the middle to make it 6-1.
Soon after Farrell’s neat pass enabled Jack Kearney to notch a second for the travelling side.
Bow steadied the ship and had the last word when sub Richard Hill made it 7-2 from close range.
This match was a credit to Tier 5 and Bow will take some stopping in this competition.
It was also easy to see why Penrhyn Bay’s results are so much better this season.
A mention, too, for referee Graham Hannah, who had an excellent game as the single official.
Stephen Middleman (c)
Stan Farrell (c)