Grappenhall Sports 3 Poynton 4

SPORTS entertained unbeaten Cheshire League Division Two table toppers Poynton on a pitch that passed a late inspection and almost left it late themselves to earn what would have been a well-deserved draw.

Manager Darren Davies had 18 regulars at his disposal and decided to make some changes with this weekend’s Guardian Cup quarter final in mind.

“A mixture of poor defending and some close refereeing calls that went against us really cost us,” he said.

“It was great to see us come back against a team used to winning and I thought we were going to get a point out of it.

“The lads showed character and we are really looking forward to the cup quarter final, albeit with some disappointment we took nothing from this match."

The pitch provided its own problems in the opening stages, but Poynton were first to overcome it and take a one-goal lead after just 12 minutes.

Sports responded well and gradually their pressure told when a foul on Ben Howard in the box allowed the striker to slot home a penalty to level the scores.

Much to Grappers’ frustration Tom Swann’s looping header was then denied by the woodwork, which particularly stung when the visitors beat Sports’ offside trap to recapture their lead.

Another free header gave Poynton a seemingly unassailable lead after the break, which was all but confirmed when an offside-looking Poynton striker made it 4-1 after 70 minutes.

Sports still had some fight left, but even late goals from substitute Kurt McCarthy and an 89th minute curler from Ben Howard could not overcome the deficit.