FA Sunday Cup: Gutted Grene apologise for cup semi-final exit

Chapeltown Fforde Grene's Chris Hitching, Craig Maynard and Suruwa Bojang.
Chapeltown Fforde Grene's Chris Hitching, Craig Maynard and Suruwa Bojang.
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SOME of Chapeltown Fforde Grene’s gutted players “apologised” after they missed out on a glorious chance to play at Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park.

They were hoping to reach the FA Sunday League Cup final for the first time when they took on Campfield at Marine near Liverpool last weekend.

Grene actually took the lead in their semi-final but then got hit with a swift double blast to end their hopes of an historic appearance in the showpiece.

“We were winning one-nil with about 18 minutes to go and they scored twice in quick succession,” explained secretary Thomas ‘Charlie’ Matthews.

“It was really disappointing. It should have been our cup.

“I thought we did enough to win. Their keeper came up with some beautiful saves while one of our players – Joel Hughes – should have put one chance away that he had.

“One or two players came up and apologised afterwards for their low performance but all we can do now is look forward to Thursday and our next semi.”

Grene tackle JB Celtic in the Leeds & District Cup semi-finals at Yorkshire Amateur’s Bracken Edge tomorrow night when they will seek to put Sunday’s bitter blow behind them.

It is the second time they have fallen in the last four of the national competition.

Matthews added: “The carrot was there – everyone knew we’d be playing in the final at Blackburn Rovers if we’d won.

“I’d even been in touch with the council and there’d been mention of a Lord Mayor’s civic reception and open-top bus around Leeds if we’d have gone on and done it. I’d been told to put it all in an email and they’d see what they could do but it’s not to be.

“You only get those sorts of rewards if you win; you don’t get anything for second place.”

Grene went ahead early in the second half via Chris Hitchings but they ran out of gas against their Merseyside opponents who will next face OJM in next month’s showpiece.

Matthews continued: “It was goalless at half-time but we scored about five minutes into the second half and I thought we’d have enough from there to go through.

“But they scored twice in about eight minutes and we never recovered.”

Campfield boss Anthony Clarke hailed his keeper Ryan Jones after that terrific display including one stunning save from Daniel Sherriff’s volley in the first half.

He said: “Without that save in the first half, possibly they could have gone on and scored a couple more.

“You’re not going to see anything better than that at this standard of football, even higher.”