Lytham Cricket Club was the venue this morning. There had been a lot of rain over the previous twenty-four hours but the Premier/Division 1 Cup tie between The County FC and West Coast Tackle Postal FC went ahead as planned thanks to the quality surface. It was one of those days where it never quite got light resulting in poor quality pictures – apologies.
A single point separated these two sides in the Division 1 league table this morning. Home side, The County were in the tenth whilst opponents West Coast were in eighth having played a game less. The teams had met just once in the league back in early November when the match finished at 1-1. The County last won a game on Halloween when they beat leaders Bloomfield Vets 3-0 at home. Since then, they've had two draws and two defeats. Gledhill Cup interest ended in Round 3 after they were beaten in extra time by Blackpool Catholic Club
West Coast Tackle Postal have played just twice since Halloween so I expect they were more than ready for a run out. Following the 1-1 draw with the County they beat the Golden Eagle. They didn't feature in this season's Gledhill Cup for some unknown reason with opponents Bloomfield Hotel being awarded a home walk-over in the second round.
The weather had been fairly grim all through Saturday and into Sunday morning with heavy rain and strong winds. By kick off time, the skies were still full of rain but the winds were beginning to ease and most importantly, the temperature was nudging ten degrees. The referee in charge of this one was veteran Tony Cunliffe and he had no hesitation in passing one of the best pitches in the Fylde fit to play. County in the white and red kicked off at 11am
West Coast manager Daryl Prance had a squad of eighteen to choose from but the club rule is that if you turn up later than the designated time then you don't start. These four reprebates were late and collectively hang their heads in shame as Prance gave them the hairdryer treatment.
The opening was relatively even but on eleven minutes West Coast keeper Sam did well to turn a shot from distance around his post. A minute later and he wasn't so fortunate. Ex Slovakian pro Daniel Grapko cut inside on the edge of the box and hot a low drive into the far corner. 1-0
On 23 minutes and with the County beginning to dominate a cross into the box was only half cleared to Michael Spencer (far right) who hit an unstoppable first time effort into the top corner. Brilliant strike. 2-0
Ben Seear. On 28 minutes he had an opportunity to bring his side back into the game. A clear push in the back inside the County area on a West Coast player resulted in a penalty but young Seear blasted it wide of the post.
He was made to pay as five minutes later the home side made it three. Michael Spencer swung in a great free kick to the far post where defender Adam Hogg, completely unmolested, volleyed home from six yards. 3-0
Half time score : The County FC 3 – 0 West Coast Tackle Postal FC
The County FC re-fuel during the half time interval
West Coast Wags shelter from the drizzle
Scott Waters (Centre)
Only one really bad tackle in the match – Mr Cunliffe shows O'Mahoney the yellow card.
After the introduction of a couple of substitutes West Coast performed a lot better for the first thirty minutes of the second half. In the above picture their best chance fell to Rick Seear who was denied by the sizeable frame of 'Tank' in the County goal when one on one.
On 75 minutes it was truly game over. The ball fell to the edge of the box where Mahoney was lurking to hit a first time left footed curling effort right into the top corner. Great goal. 4-0
O'Mahoney (16) is buried by his team-mates after scoring his first ever senior goal.
Five minutes later and it was a rout. Scott Waters was sent clear down the right, he cut inside before unselfishly laying it off for Michael Shorrock to fire home. 5-0.
Mr Cunliffe blows the whistle and the County are through
Final score : The County FC 5 – 0 West Coast Tackle Postal FC
A comfortable win in the end for the County FC who progress through to Round 2. After scoring the opener they settled into a good rhythm and played some great passing football at time. They were impressive in all areas of the pitch from start to finish. West Coast may look at the missed penalty but in all honesty they can have no complaints at the end result. They weren't out of it at the break but the early goal that was required to make a fight of it never materialised and when the fourth went in that was the end of the team's Cup interests for the 2010/11 season. Good luck to the County in Round 2.