RIMINGTON progressed into the last 4 of the West Riding FA Challenge Cup for the first time after what manager Terry Braithwaite described as “the finest win in the club’s 40-year history.”
Knocking out the side standing top of the West Yorkshire Premier, and favourites to win the cup, was enough, but to do it after playing with 10 men for almost half an hour is the stuff dreams are made of.
Beeston started the better, as Rimington struggled to keep their attacks at bay, Turnbull and Moon both seeing strikes from outside the area go wide, and O’Neill did well to head away a cross as the winger was about to score.
Slowly the home side got to grips with the game and used Sargeson to good effect down the right, and he created opportunities for McLean and Lloyd before Rimington broke the deadlock when Lloyd took advantage of a slip to race away and finish.
Back came Beeston, playing some quick passing football down the flanks, but Hartley and Dyson stood tall to preserve the lead to the break.
It took the visitors just seven minutes after the restart to draw level, as a well worked move into the box resulted in a simple finish. Soon after, Lloyd was scythed down from behind, but having retaliated gave the referee no option but to give him a red card, and it seemed the visitors would go on to win the game.
The sending-off galvanised the locals, as Heslop and Dinsdale came on for Hutchinson and Walsh, and Heslop’s first touch was a left foot volley which just cleared the bar. Beeston continued to press forward, but Sargeson released McLean, the skipper just beating the keeper to the ball before crossing for Dinsdale to finish at the near post to make it 2-1.
Beeston threw everything at the locals in search of the equaliser, but they found Kershaw in dominant form, although when a cross looped off Hartley and over Kershaw, Fagan not only won the initial header but then bravely blocked the subsequent shot when a goal looked inevitable.
McLean then sent his players and supporters into raptures when he raced onto a through ball and slid in to hit home past the keeper in the last minute.
Braithwaite enthused: “This win typified everything about this team, they are unbelievable and can look forward to playing on the County Ground at Leeds in April now. I must thank Phil Hodgson and Martin Lawson for getting the game on, also Dave Buckle for the refreshments, and everyone who turned up to support us.”
This week sees a derby at top of the table Langho, kick-off 2-15 p.m.