Sportspy Reports – February 21st 2010

An early morning snowfall across the Fylde placed this morning's fixture programme in doubt.  The pitches were fine underneath but early on the line markings were covered by the white stuff.  However, a decent thaw and a degree of commitment from the players and officials of many clubs resulted in a number of games going ahead.  At Commonedge Road Premier Division side Fylde Coast Gates FC were taking on Division 1 title favourites FC Eden in the last eight of the Gledhill Cup.  A semi-final place would be the reward for the victors.

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Pitch 2 at Commonedge survived the early morning snowfall and along with a number of other games at the venue the Gledhill Quarter final tie between Fylde Coast gates FC and FC Eden went ahead after the snow had been cleared from the lines.  Underneath the pitch was firm but playable.  Fylde Coast Gates FC were second bottom of the Premier Division this morning with only one win to their name but I often hear how well they're playing, at least for good spells of matches.  After being promoted from Division 1 last season they've struggled to find their feet in the top flight but morale remains high.  To reach today's quarter final they'd seen off FC Newton, Golden Eagle and FC Matrix after a first Round bye.

Opponents FC Eden have adapted well after being promoted as Division 2A Champions and Division 2 Cup winners.  As we approach March they're locked in a four way battle for the Division 1 title with FC Loco, Old Town Hall and outsiders Bloomfield Vets.  They've managed to retain many of their big squad whilst adding a couple of good players.  They were second in the table this morning a point behind the Loco with a game in hand.  They've had a difficult set of draws in the competition and it continued today.  In previous rounds they had beaten Old Town Hall (1), Shovels (1) and Bloomfield Vets (1) so little surprise they drew a Premier Division side in the last eight. 

This morning's referee was Barry Cropp and he had absolutely no hesitation in ruling the pitch fit to play.  Just after 11am Fylde Coast Gates kicked off in their pink and black strip.

Fylde Coast Gates FC 2009/10

FC Eden 2009/10

Referee Barry Cropp with lots of snow in his hair

Is that the elusive Paul Stevens?

Eye on the ball

Clever defending?

Free kick

Kieran Donnelly on the ball

Mike Braebaum (Right)

Gates started much the brighter and had their opponents on the back foot for the opening ten minutes but it was Ryan Bingham who had the first real chance but he blazed over when sent clean through from a Byrom flick on.  Three minutes later Gates had an excellent chance to take the lead but a combination of poor finishing from Oswell (9) and great keeping denied him from only two yards out.

Bloomfield Vets FC supporter

Henry Wright

I don't think we'll be seeing this one as Mr Cropp's latest Facebook profile picture

A good headed clearance from Robbie Slater

Ryan Bingham

Gates keeper

Oswell pinned down by the forearm

Quill's fan well postitioned between this tie and the Vets v Old Town Hall match.  His cigar helping to thaw the pitches and keep me warm

On 31 minutes Gates took a deserved lead when Zack McGuirk's free kick went flying into the far corner.  It looks as though it's gone wide but believe me – it nestled in the corner.

Gates celebrate the opener

FC Eden in the snow

A close escape for Eden as the ball squirmed away from the keeper's grasp and rolled across the area but it was hoofed clear.

Half time :  Fylde Coast Gates FC 1 – 0 FC Eden

'Let's keep it going'

FC Eden fan Caitlin out exercising dog Benny

FC Eden get the second half underway

Lee Conway coming away with the ball

The Gates liner – he had a busy game

Good handling from the Gates keeper

Craig Byrom

Braebaum's header from a Donnelly corner is only half cleared and Craig Byrom (17) is first to react to score the equaliser for FC Eden on 65 minutes. 1-1

C&G Electrical FC player/manager Shane McKenna and family out walking the dog after C&G's match at Stanley park was snowed off

Fylde Coast Gates are under the cosh.  In the second half FC Eden were far more competitive and dominated both possession and chances

Fylde coast Gates FC Director of Football – Brian Carr

Another expert Donnelly corner and FC Eden go extremely close to taking the lead

Quilligans FC out watching as their tie was called off out in Thornton

A few more chances for Gates as extra time loomed

As the clock ticked over into the 90th minute referee Barry Cropp awarded a free kick in the Eden area as Mike Braebaum's pass back to the keeper was picked up.  In this video Zack McGuirk takes full advantage as his strike finds the far corner and send his side into the semi-finals of this season's Gledhill Cup. 

Late pressure from Eden

But time runs out and the whistle goes

Braebaum frustrated with Mr Cropp's decision. 'You gave me no choice'

Final score :  Fylde Coast Gates FC 2 – 1 FC Eden

In summary this was a very watchable Gledhill Cup quarter-final that held interest from start to finish.  Gates started very well and edged the first half as they went in 1-0 up at the break.  After the interval it was all FC Eden as they marauded toward the Gates goal and they were finally rewarded with Byrom's equaliser.  After that there looked to be only one winner but as we headed toward extra time a memorable Gledhill Cup incident occured that allowed Fylde Coast Gates to score a fortunate winner and go through to the semi-final.  Both keepers did well in the snow and both sides had some great chances but in the end it's Gates that go through.  Good luck to them in the semi-final and FC Eden can count themselves relatively unfortunate not to have gone into extra time at the very least.

Sportspy 2009/10

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