Hunts Junior Cup Round 1 saw Ramsey Pavilion make the trip to Peterborough Division 2 high flyers AFC Stanground Sports Res. Pavilion Player / Manager Matt Brading welcomed Striker Kyle McPartlin back into the starting line-up and also handed a debut to promising left-back Luke Furness.
It was the visiting side who had the better of the early exchanges. Steve Hurst saw a shot go just wide of the post while McPartlin, Brading and Alex Ramos all saw good chances well saved by the Stanground ‘keeper.
It took a moment of magic to break the deadlock when, on 20 minutes, McPartlin turned two defenders inside out before smashing the ball into the top right hand corner from 20 yards out.
The Pavos went into the half-time break with a one goal lead but would have been disappointed not to have been further ahead, the performance of the Stanground keeper being the only thing keeping the home side in the game.
Into the 2nd half and Stanground began to get more of a foothold in the game. They went close with a header from a corner, another headed chance was cleared off the line by Tom Lloyd and Pavilion ‘keeper Dan Shire saved another shot from close range. The Pavos continued to look dangerous on the break but McPartlin was once again thwarted by a Stanground ‘keeper in inspired form.
As the game wore on Stanground piled on the pressure as they searched for an equaliser, and 10 minutes from time they were rewarded when a well delivered free kick was headed home. The Pavos almost nicked a winner in the dying moments when substitute Jamie Hurst raced clear but again the ‘keeper was able to do just enough. 1-1 the Final Score so the tie would be decided by penalties.
McPartlin rounded off a fine individual display by slotting home the first spot kick for The Pavos, and when Shire saved the second Stanground kick it was the away side in the box seat. But when Tom Lloyd missed the third penalty the home side were back on level terms. Into sudden death and after the sixth Stanground penalty taker was lucky to see his shot just squirm underneath ‘keeper Shire it was left to Stephen Parr to keep the Pavos hopes alive. His shot was well saved and so it was Stanground who progressed to Round 2, 5-4 the final score in the shootout.
Despite the disappointment of losing on penalties, Manager Matt Brading was still pleased with his sides overall performance saying ‘It was an excellent team performance against good side and I was very proud of the way the lads applied themselves. I think we found our identity today’.
Next up for The Pavos is yet another away trip, this time to Ely Crusaders on Saturday 5th November, 2pm Kick Off