ACCOUNTANTS LEAGUE CUP QUARTER-FINAL
South Manchester Sports 1st 2 PWC 2 (PWC won on 5-4 penalties)
South Manchester Sports ended their cup campaign in disappointing fashion by going out on penalties in the quarter-final of the Accountants League Cup.
The game was played in atrocious conditions with torrential rain throughout. It was noted that PWC seemed to have brought in a number of new faces as the team did not resemble that beaten by South Mcr in the league earlier in the season.
The early stages were extremely cagey with both teams struggling to come to terms with the conditions. Chances were few and far between but South caused their own problems by overplaying in defensive areas, although PWC failed to capitalise.
As the game wore on the teams settled down and South started to press. However, having won a series of corners South messed up a short corner and PWC should have scored on the break but keeper Conor Rabbett kept the scores level with a brave save.
South did not have a shot until the 30th minute but it did produce the first goal when top-scorer Adam Lavin received the ball 20 yards out and hammered it past the PWC keeper.
Half time saw South leading but the scores were soon level when after a corner there was a scramble in the box and the ball was poked home to draw the scores level.
South then upped a gear and chances came and went when from a corner Mike Stratton headed in to give South the lead on 60 minutes.
Soon after Harvey Kaye had a chance to make the game safe but when clean through he put the ball over the bar.
It was to prove a crucial miss as moments later PWC broke and finished clinically to level the scores.
With only moments remaining Lavin shot towards the bottom corner but the PWC keeper made a good save with Toby Levy just missing the rebound.
So the dreaded penalty shoot-out took place and whilst South had got through by this method last time, unfortunately Lavin missed the 5th kick and PWC scored to knock out South.
Reflecting on a tough defeat, South Manchester manager Darryl Lee said: "We had chances to put the tie safe and they hung on for the last 15 minutes just about keeping us out.
"We deserved to win but that is the agony and ecstasy of cup football and penalty shoot-outs.
"We now have a maximum of four games left this season and two wins will make us champions. Hopefully we can take the pain of our cup defeats to inspire us to the league title.
"We have two games in seven days and a lot will be clear by Sunday evening after we lock horns with title rivals Mace on Sunday morning."
April 25 - Lawds at the Armitage (6.30pm KO)
April 29 - Mace University Ground (11am KO)