Six-goal second half blitz blasts Lions into next round of PFA Senior Cup
Stamford Lions put a shocking first half performance behind them to turn around a 1-0 deficit and score six goals after the break to progress in the PFA Senior Cup against Wittering Harriers on Saturday.
Despite totally dominating the early possession, the Lions did not muster one shot on target in the opening period before turning on the style after the break against their gallant Division One visitors.
Manager James Sheehan said: “The old cliche of a ‘game of two halves’ was evident.
“I’m not sure why but we were just not ourselves in the first half. It was a very windy day, but I really can’t find an excuse for the first half performance.
“Luckily we got three early goals at the start of the second half and that got us back on track and really we were back to playing the attacking football we have come to expect.
“Fair play to Wittering, they made life difficult for us in long spells of the game, but ultimately we are obviously pleased to be in the next round after what was a potential banana skin of a match.”
Joe Lippett headed over from eight yards out early on before Rob Montgomery fired into the side netting with just the keeper to beat.
Tom Edwards twice saw his curling shots go wide of the post and Tom Lees failed to get a good connection with the goal at his mercy.
With top marksman Luke Ball strangely subdued throughout the first half, the Lions’ normal attacking threat was not evident.
Wittering soaked up the pressure and began to play their own game and were given time and space to pick at the Stamford defence.
With 35 minutes played it was the visitors who took a shock lead, catching Lions cold with a swift breakaway counter attack as Andrew Moss found himself with space as he fired in a low shot under goalkeeper John Swales and Wittering went in at the half-time break a goal up.
From the first whistle of the second period the Stamford side looked in a totally different mood as they charged at their opponents.
Montgomery headed in an Edwards cross to level the scores five minutes after the restart before Ball pounced to keep his goalscoring run going as he fire home after the keeper had palmed away a Bailey Pillin shot.
Edwards then made it 3-1 with an assured finish after 10 blistering minutes of attacking football.
The game settled down as Lions continued to probe, but Wittering held their ground and defended well.
With 20 minutes to play again the Harriers struck as a curling cross split the Lions defence and Grant Tippet was on hand to rifle a powerful shot past Swales.
Any thoughts of a fightback were short-lived though when only a minute later Montgomery finished from the edge of the box to restore a two goal cushion.
Rob Forster emerged from the substitute bench full of energy and soon added his name to the scoresheet, showing off some quick footwork before firing past the keeper.
Edwards was then tripped in the area as he made another surging run and a penalty was awarded. Ball finished off the spot kick to claim his 13th goal of the season so far as any fear of Lions suffering an early cup exit evaporated.