Red Row book semi berth

Red Row Welfare...3 Shilbottle CW...1

Bilclough Cup, Quarter-Final

RED Row welcomed back 27-goal striker Darren Smith and handed a debut to Ronnie Warwick, who had just been transferred from Shilbottle earlier in the week and both had the chance to make an impact early on.

Smith was played in by younger brother Paul but Josh Rutherford was quick off his line in the visitors’ goal to save at his feet, before a stinging 25-yarder from Warwick went just the wrong side of the post in what was a very encouraging start from Red Row.

Shilbottle came back into the game and had a couple of shots blocked bravely by Mark Smith and Mick Straker respectively before Red Row broke the deadlock.

Kevin Bell curled a ball in from deep for Matty Graham to ghost in at the back post and side-foot a volley home.

Bell almost doubled Red Row’s lead before half-time, forcing a good save from Rutherford to keep the score down to 1-0 at the interval.

The second half came to life on the hour-mark when Shilbottle’s James Jackson was fouled on the edge of the box with the referee originally awarding a penalty before changing his mind, but it didn’t matter as Scott McMullen expertly curled it into the top corner to equalise.

This wobbled Red Row and Shilbottle then looked the more likely to score with Alex Makin heading inches wide for the visitors.

Red Row found their feet again as extra-time loomed and Warwick played a perfectly-weighted ball over the top into the path of Graham, who fired into the bottom corner to double his and Red Row’s tally.

Shilbottle almost grabbed a late equaliser but Marc Mavin, making his first appearance this year after injury tipped it around the post and, in the dying seconds, Ronnie Warwick found some space to fire a bullet into the top corner from the edge of the box to put the game to bed and book Red Row’s place in the semi-finals.

Red Row: M Mavin, K Taylor, M Smith, M Straker, J Giles, M Graham, P Smith, R Warwick, S Palmer, K Bell, D Smith, S Anderson, D Whenray. HFC Pizzas man-of-the-match: Matty Graham. Match sponsor: Performance Personal Training. Match hospitality: Red Row Brick Club.