|Up to Boundary Park, Blackpool this morning to watch Division 1 sides North West Kitchens FC and Fleetwood Cricket Club FC battle it out for a place in the last sixteen of this season's Gledhill Cup.|
In last season's Round 3 North West Kitchens FC of Division 2B beat FC Kingsfield in an eleven goal thriller to reach Round 4 with a memorable 6-5 victory. The dream ended in Round 4 as eventual semi finalists and now defunct Red Rose Catering FC knocked them out 6-3. Overall the team had a very good season as they ended up in sixth place just two points behind third placed Fairhaven. However, they were a long way off winning it as the Champions and today's opponents Fleetwood Cricket Club FC ended the campaign twenty-five points ahead of them but league restructuring saw both clubs promoted into Division 1.
Both teams have had decent starts to the new season in the higher league which is a notoriously difficult standard in which to compete. The Kitchens are currently in eighth but have a number of games in hand on many of the teams that surround them. Two wins, a draw and two defeats for the Kitchens and they've reached today's Round 3 Cup tie after beating Premier Division side Hydronics 3-2 in a replay after the first game finished at 4-4. The KItchen's latest league defeat came last week against today's Cup opponents in a 3-2 defeat going down to a last minute winner. The Cricket Club have played seven league league fixtures and are currently in sixth aftter three wins and four defeats. After losing only one leage fixture throughout the whole of last season they've quickly learned that Division 1 won't be same stroll in the park.
After a first round bye they beat Rossall Tavern 5-1 in Round 2 to reach today's third round tie. Yesterday's stormy conditions had blown away leaving another glorious autumnal day for Sunday football at Boundary Park. In charge today was referee Mr James Taylor and at 11am Fleetwood kicked off wearing the red strip.
North West Kitchens FC 2009/10
Fleetwood Cricket Club FC 2009/10
Referee James Taylor with the two captains
Fleetwood kick off
Martin Cardwell (Centre)
Fleetwood keeper Mark Emsley
Fleetwood go close – the keeper is beaten but the forward can only watch the ball go the wrong side of the post.
On 12 minutes Fleetwood deservedly took the lead. Mark Smith, turned his defender and curled a delightful effort over the head of keeper Rimmington and into the net. The ball is top left middle. 0-1
Another good save from a one on one by Rimmington
On sixteen minutes the Kitchen's equalised. A free kick to the far post wasn't gathered by Emsley. Kinley cut inside and smashed it past him from an acute angle. 1-1.
On 18 minutes Fleetwood had regained the lead. Forrest beat the offside trap and made no mistake as he smashed it past the Kitchen's keeper. 1-2.
The 'star jump' proves effective as Fleetwood are denied again
Half time score: North West Kitchens FC 1 – 2 Fleetwood Cricket Club FC
Kitchen's fan Dylan out at Boundary Park
Not much interest in the Paris Casino v Old Town Hall fixture
Kitchens get a good talking to at the interval extremely fortunate to only go in a goal behind
Show 'em how it's done
On 55 minutes the Kitchen's equalised after a brighter start to the half. Kinley out-muscled his marker and brought a good save out of Emsley but strike partner Tony Whittle was on hand to smash home the rebound
Even Emsley's handstand can't keep out Whittle's effort
The Red number four elects for the right foot – wrong….as the ball spooned over the bar.
On the hour mark Fleetwood regained the lead. A throw from the right was missed by Rimmington (Far right). Kev Thompson won the initial header and Dean Richards (Ginger) nodded home. 2-3
Tim Kinley (Left)
North West Kichens FC manager Russell Perrett (Suspended)
Fleetwood sealed it on 71 minutes. The ball was played through and danger man Liam Forrest walked it past the Kitchen's keeper and thumped it in from six yards. 2-4
The long walk back to retrieve the ball.
The keeper's out of his box – you can't pick it up there mate.
Game over and Fleetwood Cricket Club FC go through
Final score: North West Kitchens FC 2 – 4 Fleetwood Cricket Club FC
Up until the last ten minutes this was a decent Cup tie. Although Fleetwood CC were almost always in the ascendency the Kitchens stuck with it and despite having a couple of key players missing could have got something from the game. Their best spell was the fifteen minutes after half time and at 2-2 there was a chance of a smash and grab. In truth only a combination of poor Fleetwood finishing and a fine display of shot stopping and angle narrowing saved the Kitchen's from being down and out at the break.
Good displays for Kitchens by Kinley and Whittle upfront but they didn't get enough of the ball from teammates. Fleetwood deservedly go through to Round 4 where they'll play the Devonshire Arms. Good going forward. Liam Forrest was head and shoulders above the rest this morning. One of the best players I've seen this season on a sunday. A top refereeing performance from poacher turned gamekeeper James Taylor.