|A tough choice of venue today but with four Premier Division sides under varying degrees of pressure in the second round of this season's Gledhill Cup, Boundary Park had to be this week's preferred location. Would there be any early round shocks?|
Back from holiday in time for one of the most anticipated Sunday's of the BFSFA season. Today witnessed the second round of the 41st Gledhill Cup along with the introduction of all of our sides from the Premier Division and Division 1. Due to the non appearance of 'Book 2 Go Holiday's FC' and the early season difficulties at the Old England FC we had sixty-two sides battling for a place in the last thirty-two of this famous old competition. November weather across the coast this morning with a strong wind and overcast skies.
At Boundary Park four Premier Division sides were up aginst sides from Divisions below them. First up were Layton Institute FC who were taking on Ward Heating FC of Division 2A who were promoted up from 3B last season. They also lifted the Division 3B Cup after a famous win over Wrea Green. Both teams had thus far enjoyed good starts to the season.
Layton had accumulated maximum points from two difficult looking fixtures against Red Rose Catering and Highfield Social. After a very good start last season Layton faded badly in the latter stages but with the introduction of some talented players from the now defunct Highcross they could be a force to be reckoned with this campaign.
Opponents Ward Heating appear to have settled quickly in the higher Division. This morning they were in second place in the 2A table a point behind early season pacesetters Blackpool Catholic Club. After an opening day 6-2 thrashing of the Squirrel they followed it up with a 5-5 draw against Marshall Court Sandpiper and a 1-1 draw against Old England. Although they're a dogged Cup team with some good players they'd have to have been at their best today to put out Layton.
Ward Heating were short on players due to holiday commitments and late cry-offs so the old guard including 53 year old Andy Marlow were brought in. Layton were sluggish, unconvincing and made hard work of it but in the end they went through to Round 3 following a 2-0 win.
One of Layton's imports from Highcross, prolific striker Stuart Holloway.
Layton manager Stuart Todd (Left)
Mr Lee Willetts in charge.
Ward Heating manager Mick Hutchinson dragged into action this morning due to the player shortfall.
Martin Marlow had to take up the gloves as lee Bonney was celebrating his 40th birthday. Ward a shambles this morning.
Layton's Mark Fallows.
Over on Pitch 3 Division 1 outfit Philharmonic FC were up against it from the start against Premier Division side Red Rose Catering. Bottom of the table after three defeats they were rank outsiders against one of the best Cup sides in the Alliance. It was little surprise that last season's finalists progressed after a 5-0 away win.
An early Philly injury.
Referee Tony Zak this morning's official.
Red Rose celebrate an early goal.
The Philharmonic wall.
Red Rose manager Andy Manning (Right). Mike Hartley (centre left) looks like he had a heavy night.
Philly keeper Greg Bird making his Alliance debut this morning.
On Pitch 4 Premier Division side Wrea Green FC in the white were away against CTK of Division 1. A late kick off as the listed official failed to appear but Gary Taylor stepped in at the last minute. A good close game this one as Wrea Green edged it largely thanks to long range effort that took a wicked bounce on the turf before cruelly eluding keeper Brown. 2-1 was the final score.
The referee insists on a net repair.
CTK's Dean Roney, never shy to offer helpful advice to teammates, opposition players or referees.
Wrea Green manager Dennis Halliday calling through a late bet on today's live football.
Gary Taylor has little sympathy for brother Wayne. 'Up ya get'.
CTK keeper Brown.
James Taylor (Right) with brother Wayne
Not the season to try and give up smoking.
Yellow card for CTK. Is that Ref Gary Taylor admonishing little brother?
Brown lies helpless as the cruel bounce deceives him for what proved to be the winner.
The dog tries to savage CTK player Dean Roney (Bad move). A muzzle would be handy…
A booking for Wrea Green.
Last but not least we had the Gledhill game of the day as Division 1 side Blackpool Rangers took on early Premier Division pacesetters Highbury FC. Both were unbeaten at start of play. Highbury went 2-0 up in this one but Ellis Casson pulled a goal back just before the break. Highbury looked as though they would see the game out but a Dax Hoogerweff effort from thirty yards was misjudged by the Highbury keeper who let it past him thinking it was going safely wide. Wrong ! 2-2 and extra time.
A great move down the right resulted in an excellent cross that 'Top Lad' could only chest past his own keeper. 3-2 and Rangers go though to Round 3 after a commendable fight back.
That's a hell of a haircut.
Highbury keeper Wilson.
Rangers' keeper Nick Brown
Frank Cygal back in shape.
Rangers' Neil Kirton (Left)
Good to see Greg Spencer back in action on a Sunday.
Injured Marc Beattie (Left) – Referee Max Cobb allowing an Arsenal fan to run the line? Surely not!
Rangers make it 2-2.
Manager John Miles, only a few months short of his 40th birthday, making a rare second half appearance as substitute.
Red mist, red card for Highbury.
Rangers withstand late Highbury pressure.
The whistle goes and Rangers are through.