|At Collins Park, Blackpool watching the Lancashire Sunday Trophy match between Quilligans FC who were up against last season's winners and Rochdale champions Copperpot FC in Round 4. Both sides were aiming for a place in the last sixteen in this notoriously tough competition. This was one of only two games across the Fylde Coast to survive the week's wet weather.|
It's a rare occasion that Quilligans FC are the underdogs in any fixture but many would say that this morning was one of those occasions. Rochdale side Copperpot FC have dominated the Rochdale Sunday league for nine seasons. The 2008/09 campaign was a season to remember for Copperpot and their departing management team of Barry & Anthony Luker. A play-off victory over arch rivals Littleborough saw them retain the Premier League title for the 8th time in the last nine years whilst the same opponents were beaten 4-2 in extra time as Copperpot won the Lancashire FA Sunday Trophy at Leyland. In addition to this they retained The Chris Shyne Trophy for the 4th year in a row with a 6-0 victory over Midland Pheonix. At the end of October Sam Butterworth's team are currently top of the Rochdale Premier league after having won five and lost one of their opening six fixtures.
Of course, Quilligans FC are no strangers to success either. Mark Spedding's team have won the BFSFA title six times in the last nine seasons whilst finishing runners up in the other three. Their ongoing run in the Gledhill Cup is second to none in its 40 odd year history after having won it five years in succession. Early round wins against Boars Head FC and King Edward VII FC has meant that they're still going strong in this season's competition and next week they travel away to Division 1 side Fairhaven FC hoping for a place in the quarter-finals. The Premier Division league table sees them in third place after having won three, drawn one and lost one of their opening five matches. Although there are only ten sides in the top Division this season five sides have had decent but indifferent starts with all of the contenders having dropped points in recent weeks. When they all purely concentrate on football related matters it remains an interesting Division for the neutral.
Many referees leave their phone off the hook when this type of fixture comes up for allocation but today's referee Barry Cropp relishes such occasions. Known as a referee who officiates without fear or favour exactly in the same way as he'd officiate in a match at a far higher level both sets of players should have been well used to his style by now. Last week this game was postponed due to the constant heavy rain that persisted right up until kick off. Along with the rest of Commonedge, the pitches at Blackpool Road, St Annes, Seafield Road, Rossall and Boundary can withstand any rain just so long as there's a decent break in the rain. More overnight rain resulted in a 9am pitch inspection. In truth, after a quick walk up and down the pitch it was well playable and it didn't take long for Mr Cropp to give the nod. Due to the vast majority of matches being postponed the crowd was boosted by players and officials from other clubs either cheering Quills on to possible victory or jeering them on to a hopeful defeat. Either way it made for a good atmosphere for what looked to be an intriging fixture between two talented sides. At 11:06 am the tie was underway in bright sunshine with Quilligans FC in the blue kicking towards the clubhouse.
Fyldesport.com and the Rochdale Sunday football league have forged a number of close links over the last couple of season's and it's good to see that their league now has a website as good as any (except ours that will pass the 8 million page view landmark today). Click here to access the excellent Rochdale site. There's also a good report and some great photo's on the Quilligan's site and you can access it by clicking here.
Quilligans FC 2009/10
Copperpot FC 2009/10
Referee Mr Barry Cropp with respective captains Robbie Boal (Left) and David Luker.
The fallen are remembered in a well observed minute's silence
Quilligans FC kick off
Quilligans FC had a strong bench today. It had to be with that lot on it.
A good diving save by the Copperpot keeper.
Is that Don Estelle in the background?
Copperpot keeper Tony Tompos
Quilligans FC supporters behind the goal.
Nick Greenall (Right)
Quilligans FC manager Mark Spedding
Andy Speight elects to punch as Copperpot threaten
After a relatively even start Quilligans took the lead. Danny Rowe (Pictured) charged down an attempted clearance 35 yards out and took the ball on at pace.
He cut across the box, beat a defender and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper. Great finish. 1-0
Peter Taberner (Right)
Referee Mr Cropp
Midway through the half Copperpot FC fell apart at the back. On 23 minutes Lee Broadbent swung in a cross from the right and Steve Palmer was left completely unmarked to send a looping header into the top corner that the keeper could only stand and admire. 2-0.
More pressure but this time a good save from Rowe's effort.
On 26 minutes this video shows Quilligans FC going into a 3-0 lead. Nick Greenall's corner is initially headed on by Lee Broadbent and at the far post Kevan Ford is first to react as he scrambles the ball over the line. 3-0
Two minutes later and the home fans are in dreamland as Danny Rowe's expertly delivered free kick was met by the head of Phil Thompson (Pictured) who made it 4-0 with only 28 minutes gone.
Lee Broadbent puts in a tackle from behind
………….and receives a yellow card from the official
The keeper beats Rowe to the high ball
Half time score : Quilligans FC 4 – 0 Copperpot FC
Son James (anymore cheek and you'll get another fat lip) out watching the match
Half time and the Collins Park tea bar is on for record takings.
Charlie Giles still hungry after a McDonalds Egg 'n' Bacon McMuffin
The second half is underway
Andrew Speight (Quilligans FC keeper)
Dan Sutton (Left)
Lee Broadbent enjoying being back out in the open air.
At half time there was shouting in the Copperpot FC dressing room and laughter emanating from the home dressing room. Copperpot came out strong in the second half clearly disappointed with their first half showing. Quills' attacking flair had been diminished and after a good spell of pressure the visitors pulled a goal back through Davey Luker on 58 minutes as shown above. 4-1
Barry Luker now running the line for Copperpot FC
Danny Rowe (Left)
On 63 minutes it was 4-2 and 'game on' as Lance Ogunyode (9) cleaned up a goalmouth scramble. Collins Park is certainly a lucky ground for Lance (Goalscoring wise) as that's at least three in three visits and not many can boast that statistic. 4-2
As you can see he's also got an excellent leap but couldn't grow tall enough to trouble Speight on this occasion.
A close call for Copperpot as the bouncing ball looked goal bound before being hacked off the line.
With the home side a little nervous and with Copperpot on the front foot Quilligans FC ended the contest on 80 minutes. More good chasing down from Rowe forced the keeper into a poor clearance but Broadbent showed great skill in hitting a first time effort back over the keeper's head from 40 yards. 5-2.
Quilligans FC substitute Micky Evans unlucky to be on the bench after a couple of recent hat-tricks
With time running out Quills were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. The usually accurate Danny Rowe got the power right but instead of hitting the back of the net his effort only found the back garden of Harry Feeney across the road.
A good touch from Luker senior
Game over and Quilligans FC are through to Round 5
Final score : Quilligans FC 5 – 2 Copperpot FC
In summary this match was over after 30 minutes as Quilligans FC raced into a 4-0 lead. The visitors were left shell shocked as a mixture of poor marking and quality finishing left them with a mountain to climb. Before the game Copperpot were grumbling about being without a couple of key players but as I've said on countless previous occasions if you don't get your best side to travel in this difficult competition you won't get too far and so it proved this morning as the holders relinquished their grip on the famous trophy. To give them credit Copperpot gave it everything they had after the break and deservedly brought it back to 4-2 but conceding the fifth on 80 minutes was the defining moment. A disappointing day for Copperpot but the usual good performance by Lance who ran his socks off.
A great first half performance from Quilligans FC saw them race into an unassailable 4-0 lead. They had a very strong side out today with a very strong bench in support. Rowe and Broadbent were a real handful in the first half and with Palmer in midfield they looked very solid defensively. All four were well taken goals. Losing Chris Morris with what looked to be a bad injury at half time combined with an element of complacency appeared to throw them off their game for the first twenty minutes of the second half and at 4-2 they were on the ropes a little until Broadbent's excellent skill and vision saw them through. They have the players and the ability to go all the way. A lot of good sides have fallen by the wayside but there's no mugs still left in. Good luck to them in Round 5. Another good refereeing performance by Barry Cropp.