The Robins went into the game as holders of the Trophy after last years penalty shoot-out victory but Stanley put out a very strong team showing just how seriously they were taking the match. Indeed the home side almost scored in the first minute as Harwood struggled to halt the red tide heading its way towards the Town End.
The Harwood players did a sterling job of defending their goal but Stanley made the breakthrough towards the end of the half. In a rare Harwood attack just before the break, a James Dean free-kick from inside the ‘D’, found its way through the defensive wall but unfortunately it hit the keeper and bounced to safety.
The second half continued as the first had ended and despite John Hughes making several changes, The Robins found it difficult to get a foothold on the game and although we put together some fine passing moves, Dibble in the Stanley goal was rarely troubled. Three second half goals followed with Harwood’s best chances both falling to Mark Beard in the last five minutes. Unfortunately he hit both shots wide of the right hand post. The 4-0 score line was harsh on the boys who played well throughout but there’s obviously a huge gulf in class between the teams. Nevertheless, all the players who took part can hold their heads high and if we can perform like that in most our games this season, we’ll win more games than we lose.

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©2009 J Fenton