Ten men in final at Staithes’ expense

STAITHES Athletic missed a glorious opportunity as Lingdale Utd deservedly progressed to the final, despite having to play the final hour with only 10 men.

It was the home side who started the brighter, controlling possession in midfield and Staithes took a deserved lead when Gary Smithies fired an unstoppable 25-yard left footer driver in off the underside of the bar.

The visitors always looked threatening with the lively front four but Staithes were defending well despite the absence of first choice centre backs Reed and Libbey.

The game-changing moment arrived on the half hour. Smithies burst through the defence and rounded keeper Weatherald who brought the player down for a clear penalty.

The referee had no option but to send him off, but Smithies blazed the penalty over the bar to give Lingdale renewed hope.

Moments later, Foster shot wide from eight yards out with the goal at his mercy as Staithes looked for the second goal.

However, the sending off seemed to inspire Lingdale’s 10 men who started to get on top with Steven Welford outstanding in midfield. It was the visitors who levelled it after a mix-up in home defence allowed Bob Ovington to volley the ball into the net and make it 1-1 at half-time.

With the game evenly poised at half-time, the next goal was always going to be important and it was Ovington who got it with a goal worthy of winning any game.

He curled a fantastic shot from the corner of the box into the top right hand corner to give the visitors a deserved lead.

As the game went on, it was the visitors who looked as if they had the extra man as they were first to every ball and won every tackle, playing with a fantastic spirit that Staithes could not match.

Both sides missed chances and as the half went on, inevitably, Lingdale tired in the final 10 minutes as Armstrong and Midgley missed excellent chances to take the match into extra time.

But the final whistle sounded and Lingdale progressed to the final.

Staithes Athletic 1 Lingdale Utd 2