Following an exceptional performance at Harlow Hill the week previous in the League Challenge Cup, Wigton found themselves back in cup action as they travelled to local rivals Westbrook YMCA Res.
Despite a number of absentees including most notably Grimesy between the sticks and Jack in central defence, Wigton were still able to field a strong team. Thomo made his return in central midfield having been injured during the first game of the season and performed well given that he hadn’t played for 6 weeks.
The hosts started the brighter of the two teams as their long ball tactics proved difficult for Wigton to deal with. The ball being hoisted up into the sun which led to the Wigton defence all too often being unable to pick up the flight of the ball as it bounced far too regularly in the Wigton half for the gaffa’s liking.
Despite Westbrook’s early pressure it was Wigton who took the lead when Mike beat the keepr with a well placed free kick from 25 yards that bounced just before the Westbrook keeper’s despairing dive.
Wigton then created a number of opportunites to double their lead as their pace once again proved hard for the opposition to defend against. Chris Lone with the pick of the chances when breaking through one on one with the keeper but was only able to steer his miss hit lob wide of the target.
Westbrook however drew level shortly before half time when Wigton failed to clear their lines and despite a bit of a goal mouth scramble Westbrook were able to force the ball home at the fourth time of asking.
After the restart Wigton should have taken the lead when Chris Lone disposed the Westbrook centre halve before turning on goal but was one again disappointed to see a good opportunity go wide.
Despite the game see sawing one way then the other it was Westbrook who took the lead when one of their centre halve was fortunate to see his hopeful punt into the box from 35 yards go over Ollie’s head before looping into the top corner.
Wigton looked to immediately bounce back but the wind was knocked from the sails when Westbrook scored an identical goal to their second minutes later, another hopeful punt into the box once again looped over Ollie before going in off the far post.
Wigton however didn’t roll over and were soon back in the game when Stephen Trueman was able to head home after a good cross from Scott on the opposite wing.
With their tails now up Wigton pressed for an equaliser and were cruelly denied getting themselves back on level terms when the ref failed to spot the ball clear the line when it rebounded off the cross bar 1966 World Cup style…If only there’d been a Russian linesman and Wigton would have been level.
No sooner had the ball been cleared off the Westbrook line Wigton found themselves 2 goals adrift again as Westbrook broke before former Half Moon striker Shane Grace was able to curl an effort past Ollie’s outstretched hand and into the far corner.
Fresh legs were then introduced by the Gaffa as Ryan replaced Thomo in midfield and Trigger stepped into the back line for Eddie and within minutes Wigton were back in the game. God work by Mike Shaw allowed him sufficient time to hit a cross to the far post where Scott bravely met the ball with a good header as he registered his fourth in as many games.
With 15 minutes to go and the game still very much alive disaster struck as Captain Shatwell was scythed down with a horror tackle. To everyone’s amazement, the Westbrook players alike, the challenge went unpunished whilst Scott talked himself into the book for his remonstrations.
With Shatwell forced to leave the pitch with a badly injured ankle the Gaffa was called into action for the second time in as many weeks. Wigton continued to push for an equaliser but the game was put beyond them with 5 minutes remaining. Ollie losing out in a foot race against the Westbrook forward as he charged from his area, the Westbrook forward getting the most fortuitous of bounces as the ball fell at his feet before slotting into an unguarded net.
Next Saturday sees Wigton continue their cup involvement as they face Colton Juniors in the second round of the Leeds & District Cup.