Wed 01
First team
Handsworth 0 Garforth 0 (lost 4-3 on pens)

Handsworth 0 Garforth 0 (lost 4-3 on pens)

By Andrew Marsh
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The Miners suffered penalty heartbreak once again as they were knocked out of the League Cup despite being the better side.

Sam Leach returned to the starting eleven ahead of Daniel Omosebi who took a place on the bench. Jamie Barkway was back in defence after missing the defeat to Hallam, utility man Nick Thompson donned the number ten jersey in place of the unavailable Sam Barker and Luis Silva in turn replaced Thompson to make his first start since the cup defeat to Albion Sports in October.

After completing our first ever league double over The Ambers this season, we looked to overcome our hosts for a third time to secure a place in the League Cup semi-final. The first chance of the evening fell to Handsworth's Sam Smith who shot just beyond the far post after winning the ball 25 yards out.

Garforth enjoyed the better of the chances first half, but as has become familiar in recent weeks the final ball or finish was lacking. Nick Thompson curled just beyond the far post when set up by Luis Silva, then Rinor Ejupi dragged a low effort wide when played in by Charlie Marshall.

Down the other end Alfie Smith headed just over the bar from Jonathan Williams' corner.

A cracking run in from the left by Silva sadly wasn't finished off with a goal when his shot was saved by Ambers 'keeper Klearchos Filandas at the near post; the rebound finding Sam Leach who's deflected effort went wide. Moments later Filandas kept out Charlie Marshall's 20 yard effort before being hacked away for a corner. Dexter Ball tried his luck shortly before half time with a shot from just outside of the box which was spilled by the Ambers' stopper, but a James Burgess attempting to capitalise was ruled offside.

Whilst The Miners continued to create chances second half, Handsworth came more into the game and it was Wells who was to be the busiest of the two keepers. A Burgess overhead kick deep in the box was denied by a defender, then Leon Howarth came close for the hosts when his deflected low strike struck the near post after he forayed in from the left.

An excellent one-two between Ejupi and Burgess couldn't provide an opener either when Burgess could only shoot straight at Filandas. Further chances were wasted when Ejupi and Marshall fired over the bar from promising moves forward in quick succession.

Wells was forced to tip onto the bar a header from an Ambers corner on 77 mins as the game remained goalless. In terms of chances that was pretty much that and penalties beckoned.

Our opponents went first and Smith duly converted. Captain Dan Coupland sent Filandas the wrong way to level the scores. Spot-kicks from Howarth and Marshall were both despatched to leave the scoring at 2-2. Richard Tootle fired over the bar to give Town hope, but sadly we couldn't take advantage as substitute Matt Antcliff saw his effort saved. Anthony Mackie calmly made it 3-2 before Burgess lashed into the middle of the goal for 3-3. Grady just about beat Wells to leave Ejupi to keep us in the competition. Sadly the midfielder, who'd had another good game in his adopted position, fired over the bar leaving Handsworth to celebrate victory and Town to concentrate on the league as our frustrations in front of goal continue.

Paul Marshall's side are back in action this Saturday when we make the short journey to Eccleshill United, seeking a first league win in four games (kick-off 3pm).

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Match date

Wed 01, Mar 2023