Leicester Sunday County Cup
MDH Knights 3
Barkestone le Vale 0
The county cup provided Barkestone will a welcome break from their stuttering league form, despite an away tie in Market Harborough.
Going into the game as underdogs on paper, Barkestone started positively and caused MDH a few problems in the opening minutes. A good work rate saw Barkestone win possession high up the pitch and the trickery of Alex Thomson opened up the defence without ever really creating a clear cut opportunity.
At the other end, keeper Dave Allen was rarely troubled as Barkestone looked to reach the quarter-finals.
The opening minutes of the second half turned the match on its head. Barkestone missed two good opportunities as Ian Hollingsworth and Jo Lee both failed to squeeze the ball in from one-on-one situations.
Then on a rare breakaway, MDH’s winger got through on goal. Ian Whatton made a superb sliding tackle only for the referee to point to the spot. Allen saved the penalty but could not prevent the rebound from being powered home.
A second goal effectively killed the tie and MDH added a third as Barkestone piled forward in search of a comeback.
In another tight game Barkestone found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreline and must now concentrate on chasing promotion in the Newark Alliance. Man of the match was Chris Tonge.
The Villa 2
Barkestone le Vale 1
Barkestone slipped to their second defeat in as many weeks to lose pace with leaders Trinity.
Vale started the match slowly, giving possession away cheaply and getting into a scrappy midfield battle.
Villa punished them for giving away too much space when their striker beat a sole defender and poked home.
Barkestone upped the work-rate and began to apply pressure of their own, with really creating a clear cut chance.
In the second half, the home side increased the pressure and dominated for long periods. Ian Hollingsworth headed just over and Alex Thomson caused problems with his tricky feet.
Eventually they got the equaliser they deserved when Simon Hollingsworth guided in a header from a Chris Tonge free kick.
Barkestone looked destined to go on to win, but they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Failure to deal with a high, hopeful ball gave Villa one last chance which was ruthlessly taken.
Man of the match was Alex Thomson.