SUPERB SAM SETS UP WIN AFTER RED
ON A historic day for the club, Avro shrugged aside the early problem of going down to ten men to enjoy a comfortable victory in the club’s first ever appearance in a national cup competition.
The home side earned themselves at least one more game in this season’s Vase after brushing aside fellow Hallmark Security outfit Barnton.
In the third minute, visiting striker Steve Warburton burst through a static home defence only to be dragged back by Daniel Grimshaw, the full-back receiving a straight red card for the foul.
Far from struggling with a man fewer, the home side dominated the remaining 87 minutes, keeping possession comfortably and scoring three goals without reply.
Joint manager Lee O’Brien was full of praise for his side: “To say I’m satisfied is an understatement. We wanted a reaction after losing last week, and when we went down to ten men so early I’ll admit I was a bit worried. But the bottle and battling qualities from the lads was nothing short of brilliant.”
The home side took a deserved lead on 16 minutes when full-back Sam Rathbone swept home a Jake Pollard corner kick, and it was somewhat of a surprise that they only led by a single goal at the break such was their dominance.
Skipper Louis Potts calmed any chance of nerves creeping into the game when he took advantage of poor defending by Barnton early in the second half, crashing home from 25 yards past a stranded Aaron Lyons in the visitors’ goal.
Home keeper Jordan Latham was a virtual spectator throughout, his only saves of note were from long-distance efforts. When the visitors finally sparked to life late in the second half, on the two occasions that they managed to get past Latham, his clean sheet was guaranteed thanks to spectacular goal line clearances from veteran striker Mike Norton and goalscorer Rathbone.
Substitute Phil Armstrong finished the scoring with the goal of the game
on 79 minutes, his sweet volley capped a fine flick-on from Norton.
For the home side, the younger of the Rathbone brothers, Joe, belied his 18 years with a masterful display in the centre of the park, breaking up any threat of attack while always looking for an attacking pass.
Visiting manager James McShane was magnanimous in defeat saying “Without doubt the better team won on the day, I expected them to tire as the game went on, but they were still full of running in added time.”
O’Brien added: “We have a big squad so the competition for places is huge here. We told the lads that they had to earn a victory today, and obviously they took everything on board and coped with the loss of Dan really well.”
HIGH FIVE: Avro’s players celebrate with goalscorer Sam Rathbone
Sam Rathbone scores the opening goal