It‘s Aberford Albion that progress into the next round of the Mitre Cup after a decent performance put Wetherby to the sword at The Ings.
Fielding a much changed, the Tangerines featured just a handful of players from the squad that finished fifth in the league and won the Challenge Cup last season, and by the end of the game, it showed!
Saying this however, there were passages of play that showed a lot of promise and as the players gel and find a combined style of play, there could be some excellent football seen.
Wetherby started on the attack down the middle of the park and it needed Aberford’s keeper, Jordan Richards, to come out of his area to clear. Returning the ball, Wetherby drew a foul just outside the box and Joe Whiteley saw his free-kick just clear the crossbar.
Aberford were using the flanks well and twice broke down the right hand side, but each time, the ball in was comfortably dealt with by Wetherby’s defence.
Josh Buckley was the man in the right place twice in succession to block Aberford’s shots as the visitors threatened to overrun Wetherby’s defence.
The home side showed their speed on the counter when a pinpoint cross field ball from Josh Kirkallowed Jackson to take on his man and win a corner.
With 16 minutes on the clock, Aberford took the lead when Wetherby couldn’t stop an off target shot from reaching an onrushing striker, who tucked the ball under Peter Hardisty and into the net.
Wetherby reacted well and another Whiteley free kick was only cleared as far as Jackson. Crossing the ball in, he picked out Wilson, whose header was claimed by Richards.
Both teams were showing some nice attacking play and it needed the ref to come to Wetherby’s aid when he adjudged Aberford to be offside after a quick break. Wetherby countered and Clarke was narrowly unable to collect Kirk’s through ball. Soon after Wilson blazed a shot just wide after being released by Bobby Stevenson.
Aberford were conceding a lot of free-kicks near their area and in the 35th minute this came to haunt them when Stevenson curled the ball into the top corner, despite the attention of a defender on the line.
As soon as the game restarted, the referee showed Aberford’s Martin Restnon a straight red following a coming together between him and Metcalfe.
Even with the dismissal, it was the visitors that pressed and it took a great save from Hardisty to stop Aberford from taking the lead in the 40th minute. However from the corner, it fell to an unmarked player at the back post who had the simplest of tasks of scoring.
Things got worse for Wetherby with a minute remaining, when a throw-in level with the area found a player in space. Hitting the ball well, the shot forced Hardisty into another diving save, but his parry only fell at the feet of an Aberford player who placed the ball over him and into the goal.
The second half started as it ended with the ten men attacking. This time, the ball was played over Andy Graham but as the Aberford player went to shoot, it spun wickedly off his boot and skewed out for a throw-in.
Wetherby gained another free-kick on the corner of the area after Jackson was hauled down again. This time Stevenson went for power and the ball flew just wide of the keeper’s far post.
Stefan Small was having a great game for Aberford and his direct running was causing the Tangerines all sorts of problems.
Wetherby changed things around when substitution when Kirk was replaced by Ryan Heptinstall in the 53rd minute.
The game was over as a contest in the 57th minute when an under hit back pass was chased down by Aberford and chipped over the onrushing Hardisty.
Stevenson was proving to be the architecture of most of Wetherby’s moves and his passing was causing Aberford problems. Slipping in Wilson with a clever side pass, the youngster’s cross was just punched clear by Richards under pressure.
Wilson was involved in the next move as well when he timed his run perfectly to get in behind Stuart Berry. Whipping in a cross that looped over Richards, Metcalfe, who was arriving at the back post, could only head over.
Aberford added a fifth in the 66th minute when a half cleared ball was quickly returned and found the striker, who turned well and finished at the near post.
Metcalfe was visibly growing into the game and he released Heptinstall down the left with a great ball. In turn, Heptinstall found Wilson, who easily jinked past Berry, before firing a shot just wide with the outside of his boot.
James became the next Wetherby player to try his luck when he showed good strength to fashion some space, however his shot was blocked by Alan Howard and the ball bounced clear.
Metcalfe forced Richards into a snap save when he latched onto Wilson’s header, turning the ball back into play, his angled shot was blocked a few feet from the goal line.
Two may have become one for the Spice girls, but five became six when Aberford scored again in the 81st minute. Winning a free-kick following a tussle between Graham and Aberford’s Liam Thompson. Thompson took the set piece quickly himself and caught Wetherby out with the ball nestling in the back of the net.
The score line got even worse a minute later, when Wetherby allowed Aberford to run through them from the kick-off and finish.
Fortunately for us, that proved to be the end of the scoring and we say congratulations to Aberford in the next round.
Match report by Pete Arnett
Wetherby Player of the Match (chosen by Pete Arnett): you might think, given the scoreline, that this would be difficult to pick, however rolling back the years with his passing and command of the midfield was Bobby Stevenson. His cracking free-kick also helped! Saying that however, Josh Wilson, Joe Whiteley and Freddie Jackson all deserve a mention for their play. I’m sure that as this team gels, we will see much more cohesive performances as there were passages of play that were really good during the game.