EPWORTH TOWN COLTS v BARNETBY UNITED - REPORT AND PICTURES FROM LEE FIELDEN
Barnetby reached the semi-finals of the Sporting Shield for the fourth time in five years with a hard-fought 2-0 win out on the Isle of Axholme.
A superb defensive performance, matched by an equally impressive goalkeeping display from Sam Thirkell, saw was the perfect tonic following the disappointment of last week's County Cup exit.
Epworth Town Colts Blues had beaten 1st division AFC Queensway in the previous round and Barnetby knew they had a game on their hands.
On an afternoon blighted by a howling wind, touching gale force at times, which swept from end to end down the pitch, quality football was at a premium and United started with the wind at their backs.
With the returning Jimmy McPhee making his first start for nearly two years, they settled the quicker and took the lead after 20 minutes when Andy Bradley’s left-wing cross evaded everybody and found its way into the bottom corner.
This kicked Epworth into life and they come back strongly into the strong wind and forced a series of threatening corners, but United stood firm.
Half-time came and Barnetby knew a clean sheet would see them through, but this would be easier said than done as Epworth were confident of overturning their slender one goal lead.
On 50 minutes, Barnetby had a glorious chance to go 2-0 up when Hunt's rasping effort was handled in the area, but Shaun Clark’s effort sailed over the bar.
Epworth poured forward and a great save from Thirkell and a goal-line clearance from captain Scott kept United in the lead.
Dunnion replaced McPhee on the hour, and Hunt hit the bar with a thunderous strike as Barnetby exploited gaps left at the back as Epworth searched for the equaliser.
Jack Blendell put the game to bed on 85 minutes when he finished sweetly into the bottom right-hand corner following a jinky, mazy run through the Epworth box for his third goal of the season.
Match played Saturday, October 13, 2018 - Barnetby in the claret and blue strip.