Raiders see off Fortune in extra-time

Cup holders North London Raiders A eased the pressure on manager Dan Shafron, but only after a scare as they were taken to extra-time by first division strugglers Temple Fortune A.




The final result of this second round tie does not tell the whole story.

Fortune, made up of a mixture of 1st XI and 2nd XI players, put up a very gutsy performance against the Peter Morrison Trophy holders and took them to extra-time.

Raiders only settled this tie in the second half of extra-time which certainly gave them a flattering victory.

Goalless at half time, Fortune came more into it in the second period but fell behind to a rather freakish deflected lob which caught goalkeeper Lee Fegan out after 55 minutes.

However, Raiders could not score a second. On 73 minutes, Fortune won a free-kick some 25 yards out and Declan Spiro fired home a low shot to the 'keeper's right which levelled the score at 1-1.

There was some late drama on 86 minutes when Adam Speck had been adjudged to have fouled an opponent near the Fortune byeline – it looked a soft penalty award – but Lee Fegan superbly saved the spot-kick by David Dinkin.

Led superbly by the commanding Josh Klepper, Fortune defended superbly to deservedly force extra-time. A Raiders player was allowed to run and run and his shot clipped the inside of the post to restore the lead on 96 minutes.

Only as Fortune began to tire did the Premier side add to their score, three goals coming in quick succession in the second half of extra time. One of these came after Fegan had made two excellent saves, the ball unluckily rebounding to a Raiders player who could not miss. Another goal was a horrible deflection right at the end, spinning high into the net.

So Temple Fortune can take a lot out of the performance from what was basically a scratch team that had never played together.

NLR's goals came via defender Zac Neiman (2) plus one apiece from the returning David Dinkin, Josh Goldstein and Josh Green.

Relieved NLR boss Dan Shafron told JC Sport: "We made hard work of something that should have been straightforward considering the amount of chances we created and missed. Credit to Fortune who defended us very well but eventually we managed to find the back of the net. We now have three consecutive tough games and extra effort and commitment from the boys is a must."

Fortune boss Simon Linden told JC Sport: "It was an excellent performance, for 90 minutes we drew, unfortunately we didn’t have any legs left in us and conceded three late goals in the second half of extra-time.

"I’m proud of my team, it was a mix of both fortune sides playing as we had so many unavailable. Credit to everyone for taking the holders into extra-time and almost pulling of a major cup shock."

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