Cattermole holds nerve to settle tie

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A thrilling Houston Cup tie saw Hurst Green defeat higher league opposition, in the shape of table-topping Blackpool Wren Rovers.

In the first half, Green, superbly marshalled by Tom Bamber, defended resolutely against a hurricane wind.

After 35 mins , talisman Al Coar shrugged off two central defenders before being brought down by the goalkeeper, winning and converting the inevitable penalty.

The referee was lenient with the goalkeerper, only awarding a yellow card.

More controversy was to follow with Wren’s equaliser in the 46th minute.

The referee blew for a dubious-looking foul against McEwan on the Hurst Green bye-line, but the official let the Wren forward take the free kick 10 yards in, allowing a shot at goal which took an unfortunate deflection to deceive Joyce in the Green goal.

However, Green began to dominate ,with at least four good chances squandered.

Two minutes from time, the referee again frustrated Green by awarding Wrens a corner, even though the linesman adjacent to the ball had awarded a goal kick.

The corner was met majestically by the centre half to give Wrens an undeserved lead, which looked likely to be decisive as the final seconds ticked away.

However, as dusk fell and the torrential rain cranked up another level, the game turned again.

A robust Wren challenge was deemed unfair by the referee, who indicated a free kick.

Tempers flared and Tipton was given his marching orders for the Green.

Zac Foley, scorer of many a long range goal this season, was not affected by the delay and sent a missile into the top corner from 35 yards, with 95 minutes on the clock.

So, 2-2 after normal time, and the game went to a nerve jangling penalty shoot out.

It was Green who held their nerve, all five takers on target, with 17-year-old Ryan Cattermole calmly converting the winning penalty.

This was a tremendous victory for the Green against higher league opposition and meant that the team have now gone 26 weeks without defeat!

Hurst Green: Joyce, Barton, Bamber, Young, Bywater, McEwan, Welch, Cattermole, Hayes, Foley, Coar. Subs Tipton, Morgan.