Has anyone told this Warrington Rylands team that they can win games in ninety minutes?
The scores were level at full time for the third time in their FA Vase adventure, with penalties needed to separate the combatants.
It was also the third time during the cup run that opponents hailing from the North East were vanquished.
High-quality penalties and goalkeeper heroics once more
Once again, goalkeeper Graeme McCall was the hero, saving spot kicks from Tony Bell and Aaron Hegerty as Rylands won the shoot-out. With Dennis Knight missing the target, only Adam Mitchell found the back of the net for the visitors, while Rylands' trio of penalty takers: Paul Shanley, Joe Coveny, and Elliot Nevitt - were all on the mark.
The preceding ninety minutes had not been without incident as two evenly matched and committed teams had traded blows in a fiercely contested cup tie littered with hefty challenges.
Nevitt a handful
Rylands started the brighter of the two sides in the sun at Gorsey Lane with the strong running Nevitt causing the visitors plenty of problems and forcing their goalkeeper Decklan Greenwood into a couple of fine saves. However, as the half progressed West Auckland Town started to gain the upper hand with McCall being the busier of the two keepers approaching half time.
The second half started with Rylands on the attack with Nevitt going close, running onto a through ball he held off a defender’s challenge to scoop the ball over Greenwood but wide of the far post.
Penalty shouts and Shanley goal
In the 58th minute Rylands had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Ben Wyatt when from a corner Sam Sheen’s shot appeared to strike a defender’s arm. Ten minutes later an Andy Scarisbrick shot looked to have been blocked by a defenders arm, again no penalty.
In between the two penalty shouts Rylands broke the deadlock on the hour mark.
Scarisbrick broke down the right flank, cutting inside as he drew the goalkeeper towards him before slipping the ball to Shanley who tapped it into the empty net - drawing loud cheers from the viewers watching the behind closed doors game via the livestream both at home and in the newly installed beer garden ten yards from the ground.
Having fallen behind, Auckland upped their game by adding more weight to their attack before levelling the scores in the 77th minute with a somewhat fortuitous equaliser. A corner was whipped into a packed penalty area as the ball rebounded off a Rylands defender and ended up in the back of the net.
Both sides went searching for the winning goal but to no avail and onto penalties it was.
Rylands held their nerve and welcome Hebburn Town to Gorsey Lane in the quarter finals on Saturday 8th May due to Hebburn’s involvement in the 2020 FA Vase final at Wembley on Monday May 3rd.
By the way, Hebburn are another team from the North East...penalties anyone?
McCall, Lees, Tinning, Smith, Denman, Sheen, Doyle, Scarisbrick, Nevitt, Ready, Shanley.
Subs used: Freeman, Coveney, Potter.
Subs not used: Kenny, Emery, Jones, Morris