Widnes cup of joy for Park­lands

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

Avon Ath­letic 2 Park­lands 4 THE 2017 Derek Roy­lance Widnes Chal­lenge Cup con­cluded in dra­matic fash­ion last Fri­day evening when Park­lands edged a six-goal feast against Avon Ath­letic to se­cure the sil­ver­ware.

On a lovely night for a foot­ball fi­nal on a pitch per­fect for the game at Widnes’s Se­lect Se­cu­rity Sta­dium, both sides came into the show­down as joint­favourites.

Avon were forced into a change be­fore the match as de­fender Ryan Par­son­age was forced to stand down due to an in­jury he sus­tained in the semi-fi­nal against St Michael’s

The match started in lively man­ner with end-to-end play while some strong tack­les were be­ing dished out in mid­field.

Avon got the game un­der­way and im­me­di­ately looked to at­tack Park­lands af­ter con­trol­ling the ball from left to right and a sud­den break down the right flank caught Park­lands by sur­prise.

The ball en­ven­tu­ally found Avon’s Ryan Robin­son un­marked on the edge of the Park­lands penalty box, but his shot was stabbed into the ground and Park­lands keeper Adam Jack­son had a easy save.

Park­lands made the first break­through with just eight min­utes on the watch when an ex­cel­lently-worked move ended when An­thony Rawl­in­son tapped the ball into a gap­ing Avon net.

Avon re­sponded well and within five min­utes lev­elled the score.

A set-piece taken by Michael Burns was launched into the box and was headed to­wards the back post by Avon’s Aaron McGar­vey. The ball was met by the head of An­thony Ran­dall who slot­ted home past Jack­son.

Park­lands con­tin­ued to ap­ply more pres­sure through­out the re­main­der of the half, putting good passes to­gether and cre­at­ing half chances. Full-back John ● Dempsey had the best of those op­por­tu­ni­ties skip­ping past three Avon play­ers on a long run only to see his fi­nal shot go wide of the mark, so the teams went into the in­ter­val with the score­line still even at 1-1.

Park­lands looked to start the sec­ond half where they left off the first putting good passes to­gether and within two min­utes of the restart they took the lead again when Jay White volleyed Callum Bar­row’s cross into the box.

Bar­row had made an ex­cel­lent run through the right chan­nel be­fore cutting the ball back into the path of White, who swiv­elled and volleyed past the stranded keeper David Ne­vitt.

Park­lands then had the ball in the net again in the 49th minute when a White ef­fort from the edge of the Avon box took a de­flec­tion off Bar­row who had run into an off­side po­si­tion. The as­sis­tant of­fi­cial raised his flag and ruled it as off­side.

Park­lands had their tails up now and in­creased the tempo of the game.

Craig Wilk­er­son who had just been in­tro­duced to the fray along with Dempsey and Char­lie Bur­dekin all linked up for Park­lands’ third goal with right-back Dempsey claim­ing the goal with a thun­der­bolt of a shot.

Avon started to dig deep and re­spond in the lat­ter stages when Burns saw his free-kick smash against the top of the cross­bar on the 80th minute. This spurred the side on and they be­gan to take con­trol.

Avon brought it back to 3-2 in the 83rd minute. Af­ter yet an­other free-kick to Avon, taken by Burns, the ball was glanced to the back post by Jay Yates and fi­nally put over the line by sub­sti­tute Ste O’Grady.

Avon were now push­ing for a late equaliser and with six min­utes of stop­page time an­nounced there was still enough time to level things up.

But Park­lands set­tled down and kept the ball well.

With only two min­utes re­main­ing on the clock, Bur­dekin brought the ball down from a throw-in and started a run to­wards goal.

Af­ter beat­ing a cou­ple of Avon play­ers on his mazy run he then chipped the ball over Ne­vitt to make the game, and cup, safe for his team.

A spe­cial men­tion must go to the four of­fi­cials from the Widnes Ref­er­ees So­ci­ety who han­dled the match su­perbly – Alec Walker, Paul Steven­son, Craig Doyle and Allen Dun­bar.

Park­lands FC play­ers and man­age­ment cel­e­brate win­ning the Derek Roy­lance Widnes Chal­lenge Cup with a 4-2 tri­umph over Avon Ath­letic at the Se­lect Se­cu­rity Sta­dium last Fri­day evening.

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