Caton United suffered a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat against Winstanley St. Aidans in the Bluefin Sports Insurance Amateur Cup semi final on Wednesday night at Bamber Bridge.
A thrilling second half saw both teams score three times, meaning the game finished all square at 3-3 and went straight to penalties.
Caton had the first chance after five minutes when number nine John Beckwith found himself through Winstanley’s back line.
He took a shot just left of the goal but goalkeeper David Naylor deflected his shot away.
Winstanley’s Daniel Mahoney passed a promising ball to Paul Gibson, he shot but Caton goalkeeper Ryan Shepherd made a comfortable save.
The first half continued with both teams struggling to find the back of the net.
14 minutes in Winstanley’s Joshua Peet received a dangerous cross just outside of Caton’s box but his shot went just wide of the post.
Peet’s teammate Joe Hull also had a chance minutes later – he raced down the left wing, cut inside and got his shot away, but goalkeeper Shepherd made another good save.
Caton’s John Beckwith tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box in the 35th minute but the ball went just wide of post.
The second half kicked off with only Caton United making a change as Sam Kirby replaced Matty Buczynski.
Winstanley St. Aidans began the second half on the front foot and won a free kick just outside the box.
Joshua Peet took the freekick but the ball smashed off the wall.
After 57 minutes the first goal was finally scored.
Winstanley forward Daniel Mahoney was left with plenty of time in front of goal and slotted it in with his left foot.
Seven minutes later the equaliser came when a corner was whipped in and Sam Kirby headed home brilliantly.
Two minutes later Winstanley came back as Joe Hull fired in an impressive finish into the top right-hand corner after receiving the ball just outside of the penalty area.
The score was quickly 2-2 though thanks to Beckwith in the 69th minute, and ten minutes later Alex Hartley put Caton 3-2 ahead after some nice build up play, chipping the ball over the top of goalkeeper Naylor.
It looked as though Caton would advance to the final, but Joe Hull equalisd late on, slotting the ball calmly past Shepherd, forcing the match to penalties after five minutes of added time.
Winstanley St. Aidans’ Mark Ratcliffe stepped up first but his shot was saved securely by Shepherd.
Jordan Sparks stepped up first for Caton United and scored, and Winstaley captain David Quigley missed his side’s second penalty.
Despite his goal during the game Alex Hartley failed to convert his spotkick for Caton., while Winstanley’s Dean Calloway sent his penalty flying past goalkeeper Shepherd to make it 1-1.
Caton’s Lewis Plackett then failed to score his penalty, and after an impressive performance Daniel Mahoney scored his penalty with ease to give Winstanley the advantage.
Caton’s Sam Kirby scored his penalty but so did Joe Hull for Winstanley, leaving Caton’s John Beckwith with the decider.
He swung his leg back, putting plenty of power behind the ball, but it hit the crossbar.