Greenalls 0 Garswood FC 2
THE referee took centre stage in Saturday’s Cheshire League JB Parker Challenge Cup semi final, brandishing three yellow and three red cards which drastically changed the course of the game.
Craig Hoyland crafted Greenalls’ best chance of the first half when winning a free kick with some tricky footwork, though his strike bounced off the wall and narrowly wide for a corner.
It was in the second half where things really started to heat up, Robbie Hanley’s shot crashing back off the bar before tempers flared for a second time.
Garswood striker Rob Smith reacted badly to what was a well-timed, but firm, challenge by Greenalls’ captain Mark Hughes and after a brief scuffle both players undeservedly saw red.
Greenalls’ loss of their captain and Garswood’s introduction of Droylsden forward Lloyd Dean turned the game in the visitors’ favour.
It was Dean’s run that won the free kick which was curled low into the bottom corner by Danny Clarke to break the deadlock, although Greenalls were left furious by a studs-up challenge that was ignored in the build-up to the goal.
With Greenalls pushing forward for an equaliser they were vulnerable to counter attack and Dean rounded Clare to confirm his side’s place in the final.
During the celebrations Garswood centre back Luke Faulkner was shown a red card for the manner of his celebration in front of his own supporters.
Greenalls: Craig Clare, Paul Dobson, Gareth Johns, Alex Hardman, Jack Hynes, Danny Topping, Lee Hughes, Mark Hughes, Robbie Hanley, Craig Hoyland, Lee Vaughan. Subs: Chris Rogers, Ellis Houghton, Joe Woods, Neil Sutch.