EAST Lancashire League champions Rimington progressed to the last 16 of the West Riding Challenge Cup with a good performance against a decent Yorkshire League First Division side.
Thanks to the tremendous endeavours of groundsman Phil Hodgson, without whose efforts this tie would not have taken place, Rimington were able to play some attractive passing football in front of a partisan crowd.
The home side dominated the first half without creating many clear-cut chances, Lloyd headed over and McLean thought he had scored as he squeezed a shot in from an acute angle, only to see his effort hacked away by a defender. Rimington took the lead following a corner, the ball broke to Dyson in the area and he lashed it into the bottom of the net. Hutchinson thought he had extended the lead as he reacted to Fagan’s parried shot, slotting the loose ball home only to be harshly adjudged off-side.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic and the visitors were dangerous on the break as they attacked down the flanks, but they could not find a way past Kershaw.
Robin Hood stole an equaliser on the hour mark, as the centre forward, who was at least two yards off-side, was allowed to continue his run on goal and even though Kershaw made a brilliant one-handed save, the winger was on hand to finish. This injustice seemed to spur the locals on and it wasn’t long before Dinsdale put them back in front as he coolly placed his shot past the keeper’s despairing dive into the bottom corner. He should have doubled his tally soon after but shinned his effort with the goal at his mercy. He got a deserved rest as Sargeson joined the fray, a welcome sight on his return from injury, and he set McLean away to fizz a shot just wide.
The visitors looked set to draw level with 10 mins to go, as Kershaw parried an initial shot and the centre forward seemed to have the simple task of finishing from just two yards out, but incredibly Kershaw got a strong right hand to the shot to force the ball past the post – a match-winning save. Lloyd put the tie beyond doubt from the spot after a defender handled in the box.
Terry Braithwaite was delighted with the result: “Phil did a fantastic job to get this game on and the players didn’t let his efforts go to waste. We reached this stage last season and we are looking to go further this time. I would like to thank all those who came to support us, it made a difference. We have two tough games before the break, at BGSOB this week and then a Craven Cup tie at Barnoldswick on the 17th.”
Final Score: Rimington 2, Robin Hood Ath 1