Park beaten on pens by Grasshoppers

Fishburn and Wiggington Grasshoppers do battle. Picture: Brian Murfield
Fishburn and Wiggington Grasshoppers do battle. Picture: Brian Murfield
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Fishburn Park lost out on penalties against Wiggington Grasshoppers in the NRCFA County Cup.

James Organ-Simpson, Dan Brown and Joe Crowther all went close to opening the scoring, but the opportunites came and went.

Park paid the price for wasting their early chances when the away team took the lead on 27 minutes as a throw-in into the box wasn’t dealt with and an away striker placed his strike into the bottom right hand corner.

Park then responded as Brown was sent through and the away keeper fouled him just inside the box and the ref pointed to the spot.

Brown stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and level up the scores heading into the break.

The second half was hard going with neither team forcing many chances.

Park lost Jordan Smurthwaite, who was impressing, on the hour with an ankle injury after a late challenge and he was replaced by the experienced Ben Libbey.

In search of a late winner, Alex McGovern, back from injury, and pacy winger Mikey Kilpatrick came on.

Despite a string of corners and a few shots from distance, Park couldn’t find a winner which resulted in the game going straight to penalties.

McGovern, Callum Halley and Kilpatrick all scored and keeper Kieran Noble saved one of the away sides’ penalties.

Luke Storr’s spot-kick was saved before another away pen was blazed over, giving Park the chance to win it with the last pen with Brown, who had scored one in normal time, stepping up.

Brown’s effort was saved well by the keeper, who turned the ball onto the post.

Libbey was then denied by the keeper in sudden death and Wiggington converted the decisive penalty.

Assistant boss Steve Mothersdale said: “It’s a bitter pill to swallow as we did enough in normal time to win it and this is the second time this season we’ve gone out on pens.

“We had enough chances to win it in normal time we just need to start killing teams off.”

Man of the match for the home side was Jordan Smurthwaite, who had a great game until he was forced off.