Super Simnock takes Raiders through

By Danny Caro, February 3, 2013

FC TEAM 2 NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A 2 AET (Raiders won 3-1 on penalties)

David Simnock was the spot-kick hero for Raiders after saving in the shoot-out to knock out Premier Division rivals FC Team A in a thriller.

In a game played on an atrocious pitch, David Dinkin put Raiders ahead from the spot following a foul on Adam Posner.

Richard Salmon equalised for the hosts following good work down the wing by Declan Selbo.

L'Orange went into half time 2-1 up after a brilliant 25-yard free-kick from Dinkin that arrowed into the net.

FC Team managed to take the game into extra time when with five minutes to go the umpteenth long throw in was only partially cleared and Marc Harris was on hand to smash the ball home.

Extra time was a tired looking affair and little happened until the final moment when a Salmon effort was saved brilliantly by a combination of Simnock and Josh Morris.

Into penalties and long-serving Raiders no. 1 Simnock saved three of the four FC team penalties to put his side into round four.

Delighted Raiders boss Rob Richman told JC Sport: "Firstly, I would like to compliment Johnny Pearl for arranging a back-up pitch at very short notice. Unfortunately, though, the pitch we played on was more suitable for grazing cows than for playing a game of football. With the grass clearly not cut since last September, it was very difficult to play any football whatsoever.

"The game itself matched the ugliness of the pitch and it was hard for either side to fashion out any real chances. We were disappointed to concede so late to allow FC Team to take the game to extra time, but we always felt we had enough to win the game, even if it had to be through the lottery of penalties.

"Simnock, as ever with penalties, was exceptional and he fully deserves to be the hero for the day."

FC Team boss Mitch Young told JC Sport: "I am very disappointed to go out the cup. I felt we were the better team created the better chances and showed tremendous spirit and desire.

"As always against Raiders, it was a tremendous battle with two committed sides but I felt we edged it today. However, with one minute to go in extra-time Richard Salmon was hacked down by a Raiders defender from behind. It was clear to eveyrone it was a penalty, the referee had the whistle in his mouth and bottled it - weak refereing. In my opinion this referee should not be in charge of a big Morrison game. We pay the referee good money to come and do his job and make a decision. We respect the referees but when a decision is to be made in the last minute of extra-time you expect a referee to be strong enough to make a decision. I am fuming - He was five yards away.

"Good luck to Raiders in the next round and we will try and get some revenge next week."

Last updated: 10:55am, February 4 2013