Stockport Town 0-0 Barnton (Barnton win 5-4 on penalities)
Stockport Town’s League Cup cup run came to a close as they crashed out 5-4 penalties to Barnton after an eventful 0-0 semi-final draw at Stockport Sports Village.
Town had more than held their own against their high flying division rivals before goalkeeper Jacob Luty’s sudden-death penalty miss compounded them to missing out on a place in the final after Ryan Malone’s winning spot-kick.
While Stockport had most of the first half chances in normal time, Barnton showed why they are currently fighting at the top of the North West Counties Division One, as they carved out two clear cut chances, neither of which were taken on this occasion.
First, Daniel Laverty blazed over with the goal at his mercy inside the opening five minutes, before their prolific striker Kevin Towey forced a stunning save from Luty just before the half hour mark.
Adam Kay was looking dangerous for Stockport, putting two great chances wide after great work from Lanre Olapade and Nathan Neequaye respectively. However Town were forced into an early substitution following an injury to Olapade after a collision.
The second half was a much more nervy affair, Ruben Abreu forced a good early save from Barnton’s keeper, Richard Mottram, but this was one of very few flash points as neither side was able to comprehensively win the midfield battle and dominate the game.
Town had a chance to win the game in the final minute when Adam Kay was once again found in a great position by his namesake Jamie Kay, unfortunately he fired over inside the box.
The first half of extra-time saw Barnton look to turn the screw, hitting the bar, as well having a seemingly goal-bound effort blocked on the line by Town’s Jake Pollard.
The second half of extra time flew by however neither side were able to breakthrough before the end of 120 minutes.
The penalties epitomised the drama of the game as both Sam Scott and Ruben Abreu missed for Town, as did Mottram and Garner for Barnton, but with the score at 4-4 in sudden death, goalkeeper Luty was nominated to take the next penalty.
Town’s keeper struck the ball well enough but it was saved well by Mottram, diving to his left.
The match decider was left to Malone who stepped up and struck the final blow as Stockport were denied a cup final appearance in their first ever competitive season.