Friday, March 09, 2012

Saints into last eight at soggy Rhyl

A GOAL from Richie Partridge booked The New Saints a place in the last eight of the Welsh Cup in a 2-1 win over Rhyl at a soggy Belle Vue.

Only referee Lee Evans knows how this game ever got started on a waterlogged pitch which got increasingly worse under a torrential downpour all afternoon.
While some semblance of football was still possible, the Saints took the lead on 17 minutes when Craig Jones sent a bullet header into the net from Chris Marriott's right-wing corner.
But the Lilywhites levelled four minutes later, Chris Williams leaving Phil Baker stranded in a puddle before firing a shot against the bar, which was then slammed into the net by Mike Pearson.
Chris Sharp just failed to restore the lead when a poor back pass from Greg Strong put keeper Chris Howarth under pressure, while Williams put a good chance wide for the hosts after Andy Pearson had crossed from the byline.
Conditions became increasingly farcical after the break with Rhyl pressing and Brad Maylett sending in a couple of crosses just under the bar which keeper Paul Harrison did well to tip away.
Pritchard sent another chance wide of the target but the Saints began to create more chances with Sharp denied in a one-on-one with the keeper and Chris Seargeant hitting the side netting.
Sub Partridge soon showed he relished the conditions, skipping past Russell Courtney before cutting inside to unleash the winner into the far corner.
There were a couple of chances for Rhyl to take the game into extra-time but, mercifully, a Mark Cadwallader header from a corner in stoppage time flew wide of goal.
Photo: Richie Partridge is congratulated by Barry Hogan, John McKenna and Aeron Edwards after netting the winner.

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