United into last eight of Supplementary Cup with win at Milton
By Chris Burnett
Two goals in each half sees Woodley advance into quarter finals
United made their second trip to Milton in a month on Tuesday evening. After picking up a point in the league at the end of December, Woodley once again came from behind, this time winning the game with a dominant performance.
The game started in horrendous conditions with a mixture of sleet, snow and rain falling. Four minutes in, Milton took the lead with their first foray into United’s half. A shot from the right was kept out by Woodley keeper Tom Bryant; Sam McDermaid was the first to react, netting from close range.
Falling behind could have seen heads drop but the reverse happened showcasing fine team spirit. A decent ball from the left by Chace Jewell found Pablo Fernandez who forced Craig Griffiths into an excellent save.
United’s next attack saw them level the scores. Picking up the ball five yards inside the Milton half, Fernandez ran at goal evading several challenges before rolling in Jewell. Taking a touch, the winger fired past Griffiths from the left of the box.
The hosts then went close on two occasions as chances were being created at both ends. A shot from the right just missed to the left whilst another effort from close range went narrowly over with the linesman’s flag up.
Fifteen minutes in, after a crunching tackle, Woodley were forced into an early change when Joe Sissons replaced Luke Axton-Hall at centre back before a great chance to go ahead was created from a quickly taken throw in. Gaining possession just outside the box, Fernandez squared to Harry Hawkins who was denied by a superb save.
United took the lead midway through the half from a corner on the right. After a few blocked shots the ball broke to Fernandez who smashed home.
The away side were on top. Fernandez fired a free kick into the wall, Jewell shot over from another set piece before a fierce Toby Briggs effort was beaten out by Griffiths.
Milton had a couple of chances thirty five minutes in. A McDermaid half volley narrowly missed the target whilst Jack Powell did well to round Bryant only to see the angle to shoot taken away by several Woodley defenders. With his path to goal blocked the low cross couldn’t pick out a purple shirt.
United ended the half well. A Ryan Alexander freekick missed to the left, captain Ed Thomas had a shot from the right cleared off the line before some quick feet from Fernandez on the right side of the box freed up some space allowing a shot that missed to the left.
HT Milton United 1-2 Woodley United
The second half started in better conditions than the first, however the surface was very wet with many players losing their footing. The first chance fell to Thomas who miskicked when well placed.
At the other end a wild shot from the right missed the target whilst Bryant did brilliantly to get down and keep out a Jack Thompson shot after a nice turn by the forward.
Ten minutes after the restart Briggs came within inches of a superb goal when his effort from twenty five yards just missed the top left corner. Ninety seconds later the same player narrowly missed to the right.
Just before the hour the home side equalised with a goal out of nothing when Thompson lifted over Bryant into the left corner.
Ninety seconds later Woodley were back in front from a left wing free kick. Alexander did really well to keep the ball in play allowing Jon Malone to beat Griffiths.
United increased their lead on sixty seven minutes when Briggs, who had run himself into the ground and held the ball up superbly, got a deserved goal. Getting on the end of a Thomas pass, he confidently beat Griffiths from twelve yards.
Looking to get back into the match, Powell had shots miss to the right then left for the hosts.
Woodley made their second change with fifteen to go when Fernandez made way for Harrison Moore who played slightly in front of Hawkins and Sam Wood who both had very good games in the heart of midfield.
With the next ten minutes being played in midfield and with players tiring due to the heavy pitch no further chances were created. A final change was made six minutes from time; Alex Aldrich replaced Wood.
The game ended with both sides going close. Some indecision in the United box gifted substitute Henry Bone a sight of goal only to be denied by another good stop by Bryant whilst a United counter ended with Briggs shooting into the side netting.
FT Milton United 2-4 Woodley United