North Lancashire League: Carnforth Rangers into Lancashire Cup semis
Carnforth Rangers reached the semi-finals of the Lancashire Football Association Amateur Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Preston Wanderers.
Carnforth knew they had a tough task on their hands to compete with a fast, skilful and competitive side who had beaten Morecambe Royals 4-1 in the previous round.
The quarter-final tie on Saturday started at a very fast pace with both sides going all out for an early breakthrough but with both defences playing really well neither keeper was troubled.
The Preston side looked good going forward but met a determined Carnforth team who were not going to be beaten easily.
It took until the 17th minute before Tom Barnfield in Carnforth’s goal had to make his first real save.
His opposite number was also called on once in the opening 25 minutes.
As play went from end to end it always looked as though it would be a low scoring game.
However, the breakthrough came for Carnforth just past the half hour mark.
The Preston side were enjoying a five minute spell of supremacy until Mambwe Chilfuya broke up a Preston attack, looked up and his first-time pass over the defence found Matthew Garwood free.
His pace took him past the last defender and as the keeper came out to narrow the angle Garwood slipped the ball under him and into the net to give Carnforth first blood in this enthralling game.
The Preston side tried to get straight back into the game but the defence of Carnforth was just too good as they held out until half time.
The second half started with a bang when within three minutes the Preston side equalised, a 20 yard speculative shot appeared to be going wide until the strong wind caught the ball and guided it into the net, giving Barnfield no chance.
Carnforth carried on with their game plan of playing football and they were not intimidated by the Preston side.
Both keepers were called on twice to deny the opposition with Carnforth going closest as their superior fitness started to tell.
With just five minutes remaining Garwood could have won the game for Carnforth but his snap shot from 10 yards went flying over the bar.
The game ended 1-1 and with no extra time being played in this competition the game went straight to penalties.
The Preston team went first and scored, Carnforth replied to make it 1-1, the second Preston penalty was scored, Carnforth’s second penalty taken by their best player on the day Chilfuya was a weak effort and went past the upright.
The third Preston penalty flew over the bar before Carnforth equalised to make it 2-2 and the next two penalties made it 3-3.
At this point the three penalties scored for the Preston side went to Barnfield’s left, however the next penalty taker opted to put the ball low and to the keeper’s right hand side.
Barnfield read the situation brilliantly and made an outstanding save to leave the next Carnforth penalty taker the task of winning the game.
Up stepped Garwood to win the tie as he smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give Carnforth a deserved win and a place in the semi-finals.
Premier Division Marsh United dodged a possible banana skin against Division Three leaders Preesall and Pilling in the second round of the Black Dragon Senior Challenge Cup.
Marsh raced into a two-goal lead with goals from Alan Buckley and Steve McMinnon before going down to 10 men.
Preesall hit back with first Jack Ashworth scoring before the pressure mounted and Dave Bone equalised to take the game to extra-time.
Despite chances for both sides the game went to penalties with the more experienced Marsh side coming out on top 4-3.
In the third round Marsh United will be away to Lancaster Rovers.
In a third round clash Premier Division Cartmel and District hosted Division Three side Torrisholme and the gulf in standard told with the higher ranked side scoring 11 goals without reply to set up a tie with AFC Moorland.
In the second round of the Sam Price Memorial Cup Ingleton were 3-1 winners at Morecambe Royals with their goals coming from Aaron Woodhouse, Gary China and Dan Tyrer.
The Royals consolation was scored by Johnny Durnan.
Ingleton will host Bowerham or Caton United in the semi-final.