|Today witnessed the third round of the 2008/09 Gledhill Cup. I was hoping to concentrate on the tie between Northern Care Reserves FC and Rossall Tavern FC at the ground of AFC Blackpool but yesterday afternoon's horrendous weather for the first team martch resulted in the pitch being ruled unfit for this morning's Cup clash. Instead, it was a late switch to Commonedge Road to look in on the three other Cup games that were being played at the venue.|
The final twenty-five minutes of yesterday's North West Counties game between AFC Blackpool and Robin Park (Wigan) were played in atrocious conditions as the rain lashed across the park in the gale. It was made all the more miserable by the fact that the visitors held on for a 1-0 away win.
The pitch, although in excellent condition, was rested for this morning's Gledhill Cup tie between Northern Care Reserves and Rossall Tavern so it was across to Commonedge to watch the Cup ties between Bloomfield Vets and Farmers and The Shovels and Layton Institute.
Yesterday's southerly gale had completely changed to a cold North Easterly breeze which is rare for the Edge. Credit where its due almost all of the pitches at Commonedge were in great condition this morning's games apart from the molehills and at kick off time we had clear blue skies.
First up was the Vets v Farmers match with both teams in front of the Fyldesport camera for the first time this season. The Vets are still unbeaten in Division 1 and after hree wins and a draw they're sitting pretty in fourth place. After a first round bye they had a tough trip to in-form Great Eccleston FC but progressed after an impressive 5-2 away win. Opponents Farmers Arms FC are a new team and despite pre-season predictions they've had a torrid start. In recent weeks they've picked up a bit but the 3A table still shows them in twelfth after gaining only five points from the first 15.
After a first round bye they overcame rivals C&G Electrical in Round 2 with two goals in extra time. Over on Pitch 1 this morning we had referee Barry Cropp in charge. It was a nice change to see this pitch free of lumbering rugby players who've used it most summer nights for training.
We're underway with the Farmers Arms FC playing in the red.
Farmers' player manager Gordon Mason has invested in one of those skin tight 'rugby style' shirts so the opposition can't get a grip of it. (That's his story anyway).
Headed back into the danger area.
Well taken by Vets' keeper Trevor Gray.
Steve Hughes should have put the Vets ahead with this opportunity but he just couldn't get enough power on it.
Mr Cropp has a quiet word in Neil Mitchell's ear.
“What did I do?”
Farmers FC keeper.
Michael Isherwood (Right)
A big blue sky at the 'Edge this morning. Winter's on its way.
Ex Seasider Andy Gouck.
Veteran Ben McKay (Right)
Mattie Wannell back in action after resting for about 12 months.
The Farmers head clear Mitchell's corner.
Steve Hughes is in trouble with the official.
It's not the best picture but on the stroke of half time the Farmers got their reward for some resolute defending as Andrew Scott's free kick was deflected into the Vets' net for a surprise lead.
The Vets players can do little more than inspect their own boots as manager Duncan Gouck gives them the hair dryer treatment.
The Vets eventually went on to win this one 3-2 but nevertheless this was a spirited team performance from the Division 3A underdogs. They were also badly let down by four or five players who couldn't be bothered to turn up to play Division 1 opposition on a glorious day at Commonedge in the third round of the Gledhill Cup as they were obviously doing something a lot more interesting and important. (Let us know what it was).
At the break it was across to Pitch 7 where the Shovels FC were hosting Premier Division side Layton Institute FC. After 45 minutes it was 0-0 but as soon as I arrived the Shovels took the lead about six minutes into the second period. Defensive dawdling by Brett Baker allowed him to be robbed on the byline and the resultant cross was gleefully accepted by the Shovels forward who made no mistake. 1-0.
You've got to tuck your T Shirt in on a day like this Miss. Mysterious tattoo.
The Shovels FC take the lead.
Tony Swallow back in action after injury for the first time since his Gledhill Cup final appearance for Quilligans in May.
Referee Wolfenden stops the clock.
Steve's K's in charge whilst manager Braveheart was larging it up in Turkey on one of his rare holidays. “Have you texted him the score? “No, I daren't”.
Time out as a superbly executed FC Excelsior free kick finds the top corner.
…..and straight back to the Gledhill game as Holloway equalises for Layton midway through the half after hesitation from the Shovels' defenders 1-1.
This match would go into extra time after finishing 1-1 after 90 minutes. I'd be back for much of extra time but in the meantime it was off to Collins Park where Spindles had the chance of causing a major shock. They'd gone in to the break 1-0 up but Quills had scored twice in the second period to put them in the driving seat. Could Spindles (Red) get back in the game?
Rowe goes close.
Spindles FC keeper.
Mr Rose in a lenient mood this morning as Jordan Spedding is fortunate to get away without a booking for a petulant kick at a Spindles' defender.
Well up Mo.
Game over as the respective managers shake hands.
Spindles FC made many friends at Collins Park and impressed the neutrals especially in the first half. They can be proud of their efforts this morning. Quills were dominant in the last twenty and went very close on three or four occasions. They'll meet Blackpool Rangers in the next round.
Back to Pitch 7 for the rest of extra time in the Shovels v Layton game. The sun was getting warmer.
Layton get the 2nd half of extra time underway and steal a few yards from the kick off.
The Shovels go close again.
A header just goes over the angle.
Despite dominating the second period of extra time the Shovels just couldn't grab the all-important winner. Their forward play was fast and incisive this morning and at times Layton struggled to cope with it. Back to Boundary Park then for the replay probably next Sunday.