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Penalty agony for Furness Rovers

Furness Rovers U12s 3
Bolton Indians SC U12s 3

(Bolton win 4-2 on penalties)

FURNESS Rovers suffered penalty shootout agony as they bowed out of the Lancashire Cup in the semi-finals.

After a hard-fought, nail-biting encounter, the home side twice came from behind to earn the shootout, but could not clear the final hurdle.

Bolton started brilliantly, their number eight scoring from outside the box with a shot that flew into the top corner in the first minute.

Almost instantly, Rovers – playing in unfamiliar yellow shirts due to a kit clash – levelled through Jack Chetham, who hit a daisy-cutter from 20 yards after the Indians keeper miscued a clearance straight to his feet.

With the game only two minutes old, Bolton began a period of sustained pressure, Furness keeper Will Hendley making the first of a number of quality saves and defender Oliver Pucknell heroic at the back.

After soaking up the pressure, Rovers striker David Cook found himself in space after a through ball from Jack Stoker. With Bolton’s keeper off his line, he slotted home to put them 2-1 up. Rovers now came into the game more, with Tyler Wood, Sam Hunt and Stoker dominant in midfield.

Cook, Fagan, Chetham and Nathan McHugh were putting pressure on the visitors and great cross by Ryan Fagan needed just a touch to be put into the net as the first half ended with the hosts leading.

The second half began with a cagey midfield battle, Stoker for Rovers trying to pick passes to set up attacking plays, but without many chances for either team.

Bolton started to get on top again, with their physical midfield picking up lots of ball and forcing Rovers no time to play and to defend for long periods, something they have not been used to this season.

The hosts held out well, with full-backs Corey Stevens and Owen Griffiths coping with taller and stronger opponents.

A dangerous break from Rovers saw Hunt play in Fagan and he carried the ball into the box and slid it past the keeper, only to hit the inside of the far post and roll agonisingly back across the face of the goal before being cleared by the retreating Bolton defence.

Bolton found the equaliser as a ball in from the right was slotted home and went ahead as, after a slight scramble, they forced the ball past the impressive Hendley.

Rovers would not give up and pushed the Indians’ back line with the pace and fluency of their attacks.

In what was the best move of the match, an exchange of passing between Wood and Stoker saw the latter feed an excellent through ball into the path of Cook, who burst into the Bolton box.

With the covering central defender catching Cook and the keeper advancing, he feigned to shoot and instead played a perfect reverse pass to the feet of the supporting Fagan, who calmly rolled the ball home for 3-3.

Hendley made one final save to keep Bolton at bay and the game went to penalties.

After the first two kicks from each side went in, the visitors kept their cool while Rovers missed their next two, sending the Indians through to the final.

Furness Rovers would like to thank Gordon Floyd and Chris Hysted for their hard work preparing the pitch; the Furness Rovers mums for putting on food for both sets of players; and Neil Doherty, from the Furness Football Performance Centre, for lending Rovers a kit.

Have your say

What a great team effort, all the boys in this team seem to play greatly together, due to a great trainer, and a fierce + great team,

Posted by tanya-slee-fagan on 5 February 2013 at 21:45

Thank you for your kind words, we wish you all of our best wishes for the final and look forward to our boys meeting up again before the end of the season where our hospitality will be as warm and food will again be served! Good luck guys!

Posted by Janine Cook on 21 January 2013 at 00:58

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