A RELIEVED James Howard praised his side’s attitude after Jake Faichney’s goal booked their semi-final place in the Scarborough League’s Trophy Trader competition, on Saturday.
Runaway leading-scorer Ben Watson had put the villagers ahead inside nine minutes, with his 29th goal of the season, before three strikes in four minutes, midway through the first half, left the scores level.
Ayton’s second string, who were strengthened by a number of first team players, following their 9-5 Division Three defeat at Caedmon School last November, netted twice in two minutes to turn the game on its head.
However, the visitors equalised three minutes later when ex-Ayton striker Lee Brennan nodded home his fifth goal in four games.
That’s how it remained until the final minute. With extra-time looming, former Whitby Town forward Faichney popped up with the decisive goal, to fire Sleights into the final four.
Howard told the Whitby Gazette he was pleased “to progress against what were only Ayton Reserves in name.
“We started slow and [it] was evident we have had five or six weeks off,” added the Sleights player-manager.
“However, coming back from 2-1 down showed resilience and character, mixed with a sheer will to win.
“To win in the last two minutes is always pleasing.
“We look forward to Flixton in the semi-final.”
Ayton Reserves 2 Sleights 3