Rothbury 2-3 Jesmond
Even the biting chill of an arctic wind couldn’t take the heat out of this Amateur Cup quarter final as Rothbury crashed out after being reduced to nine men.
A bumper crowd of just under 100 braved the freezing conditions and witnessed the Reds hit the self-destruct button in the second half as two players were sent off - with a Jesmond player also being ordered to the dressing rooms as tempers flared late on.
Powerful Hillmen midfielder Kyle Smith wasn’t looking for any excuses after his goal-scoring man-of-the-match performance but felt that the unavailability of a number of key players may have had an effect on the game.
“I don’t think the occasion got to us as such, but however I feel we missed a few players like Tommy Mac (skipper Tom Macpherson) as he is a massive player on our team,” he said.
“The fans were amazing and it really was inspiring to see - they really got behind the lads and we tried our best to put a show on for them,” he continued.
Smith fired Rothbury ahead after the ball had pin-balled around in the box and he displayed great technique to crash it into the back of the net.
“It was my only chance of the game. I saw it rebounding towards me and it took an awkward bounce - it wasn’t exactly a bread and butter finish, but I got over the ball well and struck in down the centre of the goal. It felt amazing, especially in front of such a big crowd. We will learn from our mistakes and we go again next week,” said Smith.
Jesmond fought back to level and Alex Cole then shot them ahead. The visitors added a killer third with Rothbury chasing the game when Andy Mogwo tucked away from the penalty spot.
Veteran striker Jack Angus marked his return to a Rothbury strip as a late substitute and pulled one back to give the Coquetdalers hope of a dramatic fight-back with a classic poacher’s finish as the clock ticked down.
“The goal was just instinct, but I’m looking forward to hopefully playing a bigger role in the team in the future,” he said.
“We were best in the first half by a long way, but just seemed to fold in the second half, really poor,” he admitted.
Sidelined captain and joint player manager Tom Macpherson could only watch on in frustration due to an injury as the side capitulated after the break and said: “To be honest we didn’t really turn up and too many players had an off day. Hopefully we canbounce back next week.”