Away Day Robins
Winterton Rangers F.A. Cup
Yours truly made his first away trip of the season at last weeks F.A. Cup tie at Winterton. We all met up at the Showground at 4-30 and fortunately everyone had turned up by about 4-40. We were unable to hire a coach for the game so this meant that we had to go in a convoy of cars and we wouldn’t have many spare seats for supporters. Graham Bertie and myself nipped down to your super-duper Co-op to stock up on beverages (mainly alcoholic-for medicinal purposes) and we went with Chairman Bill.
It was a fabulous summer’s evening, warm sunshine and not a breath of wind as we arrived in deepest Lincolnshire at about 7-00. As is usually the case, we received a warm welcome from our hosts and went into the very luxurious club house for a couple of pints. Winterton is actually a town of 5,000 people but it has the feel of a village and is one of the nicest places we’ve ever played at, no slums, no litter, no graffiti and no hooligans.
When the game began, Harwood started like a house on fire-all burnt out-and Rangers roasted us for 15-20 minutes without creating and clear cut chances before Harwood, with Sharples pulling the strings in midfield, gradually took control, with the next 20 minutes being one-way traffic in the other direction. There was one incident which had everyone on the visitor’s side going barmy. As we attacked, Matt Derbyshire looked to be through on goal but a desperate lunge by the last defender looked to have saved the day for the hosts by knocking the ball out for a corner, but the Ref. immediately pointed to the spot-YEEES! The Winterton players weren’t overjoyed with the decision and surrounded the official and persuaded him to speak with his assistant.
“Oh no” was the cry from the away supporters, “He’s going to give a free kick for offside or a foul.” But no, the assistant appeared to over rule the Referee and gave a corner!!
If the Ref. thinks that it’s a penalty and the Liner thinks that it’s a corner, then it should be a penalty, absolutely no doubt about it. I won’t say any more as I don’t want to get in trouble.
The second half was even-Stevens with the deadlock unbroken so 30 minutes of extra-time was played-just what I needed as I was up for work at 4-30! Three incidents assured that a penalty shoot-out would take place.
1) Neil Baron had a header cleared off the goal-line by a defender.
2) The best piece of individual skill seen at any Harwood game this season, saw a Winterton player take the ball from the edge of his own penalty area, avoid numerous tackles, reach the edge of the Robins bow and unleash a fantastic ‘jet-propelled’ shot which cannoned off the inside of the post and away to safety-PHEW!
3) A Winterton forward challenged for a 50-50 ball with keeper Sloane and found himself with the goal at his mercy. All he needed to do was side foot it into the net, but about 3 yards from the goal-line he managed to whack the ball against a defender who had done brilliantly to get back (sorry, I don’t know who it was, we were at the other end of the ground)
Down to penalties, and everyone agreed who we wanted to take the first one -Mr. Cool, Dave Sharples, who’s played the whole of the 120 minutes. No problem as the ball goes in the right hand corner as the keeper goes to the left. Rangers scored their first but after we scored again, they blasted over the top. Two more successes for each side followed meaning that if we scored we were through. Steve Pickup confidently strode forward and hit a cracker right into the bottom left hand corner. The Winterton keeper made a great effort to save and got a good hand to the ball but could only divert it into the side netting. Bill ran onto the pitch and kissed Steve, the bank manager ran onto the pitch and kissed Bill, and a dodgy looking guy ran onto the pitch and kissed the bank manager.
Everyone was ecstatic-BRING ON CROOK TOWN!
Join us soon for a great day out, and don’t forget……..
Rally round the robins!