Lancashire Fa Youth Cup Quarter Final
Ramsbottom United 3 Hurst Green Youth 1
Courageous Hurst Green Youth were knocked out of the prestigious LFA Youth Cup by the undefeated Ramsbottom United, the game being played on an astroturf pitch in the centre of Salford.
In what was the proverbial game of two halves, the Green started slowly and were under constant pressure for most of the first half. Fortunately, centre half duo Max Hutchinson and George Riding were in fine form, as was keeper Ben Armer who pulled off a world class save to keep the score line blank.
At the other end of the pitch lone striker Harri Yerkess put in a magnificent shift in occupying the Ramsbottom defence and was unlucky when he almost converted a Tom Reede cross. The closest the Green came to opening the scoring was a Ben Aspery thunderbolt, which flashed over the bar from 20 yards.
Unfortunately after 30 minutes disaster struck as the ball ended up in the back of the Green net following a scramble, with the referee surprisingly allowing play to continue with the injured Tom Cattermole lying motionless on the ground.
For the remainder of the half, fortune favoured the Green as their goal led a charmed life with the woodwork being struck on at least two occasions.
At half time Manager Alex Young decided to change formation and opted to play just three defenders, with Reede partnering Yerkess up front and Tyler Baron reverting to his usual left wing role. These changes inspired the Green and they started the second half looking much more confident, with Baron showing blistering pace linking up superbly with left back Rob Atkinson. However, just as the Green were looking likely to grab an equaliser, Ramsbottom broke away and a fine cross from the left wing was headed home from 10 yards out.
With half an hour left, Ollie Shipston and Cory Longton were introduced and with his first touch Shipston found himself 12 yards out in front of goal. Unfortunately for Shipston the keeper pulled off an excellent save and the chance had gone.
To rub salt into the Green’s wound, a third goal duly followed on 65 minutes following a lapse of concentration in the defence. However, undeterred the Green lads fought back and reduced the arrears as Shipston confidently slotted the ball home following neat work by Tom Jacques.
For the last 15 minutes the Green were dominant with all the lads showing terrific fitness, Longton in particular orchestrating proceedings from central midfield, assisted by Aspery and the tireless Will Reed. Unfortunately for the Green lads all their tremendous effort was to be in vain and although the lads from the Ribble Valley now bow out of the competition, they can be extremely proud of all their endeavours.