Houston Cup Second Round
Blackpool Wren Rov Res 2 Hurst Green Reserves 2
(Hurst Green won 5-3 on pen)
A thrilling cup tie saw Hurst Green defeat higher league opposition, in the shape of table-topping Blackpool Wren Rovers, with an incredible climax to the game.
In the first half Hurst Green, superbly marshalled by Tom Bamber, defended resolutely against a hurricane wind.
After 35 minutes, talisman Al Coar shrugged off two central defenders before being brought down by the goalkeeper, winning and converting the resulting penalty.
More controversy was to follow with the Wren’s equaliser in the 46th minute. The referee blew for a foul against McKewan on the Hurst Green by line. The Wren forward stepped up to take the free kick 10 yards in thus allowing a shot at goal which took an unfortunate deflection to deceive Joyce in the Green goal.
On 88 minutes, the referee’s decision was questioned again after awarding Wren’s a corner, despite the linesman’s direction to a goal kick. The corner was met majestically by the centre half to give Wren’s an undeserved lead, which looked likely to be decisive as the final seconds ticked away.
However, the game turned again, when a robust Wren challenge was deemed unfair by the referee, who indicated a free kick. Tempers flared and Tipton was given his marching orders for the Green.
Zac Foley, scorer of many a long range goal this season, was not affected by the delay and sent a missile into the top corner from 35 yards, with 95 minutes on the clock.
With the game locked at 2-2 after normal time, a penalty shoot out was the result.
It was Green who held their nerve, all five takers on target, with 17-year-old Ryan Cattermole calmly converting the winning penalty.
This was a tremendous victory for the Green and meant the team have now gone 26 weeks undefeated.
Hurst Green: Joyce, Barton, Bamber, Young, Bywater, McEwan, Welch, Cattermole, Hayes, Foley, Coar
Subs Tipton, Morgan
Goal scorers - Coar, Foley (Foley, Welch, Coar, Young, Cattermole pens)