Bootle crash out the North West Counties League Cup after a 1-0 defeat to Abbey Hey

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Bootle crashed out the North West Counties League Cup after a 1-0 defeat to Abbey Hey at the Delta Taxis Stadium.

Hey started the better team and could have been one-up inside the first 15 minutes. Justin Pickering’s shot was well saved by Bucks goalkeeper Dean Porter, but the ball fell straight into the path of Wes Harney, who somehow managed to fire over the cross-bar from 10 yards out, with the entire goal to aim for.

Hey again went close, just before the half-hour mark. Again Pickering, who caused the Bucks trouble all game, fired over from a tight angle. However, all Hey’s pressure finally paid off as they took a deserved lead on 31st minute mark. Justin Pickering’s free-kick was headed away by Jamie Hay. But Hay’s header landed straight into the path of John Hardy, whose shot hit Matt Harrop’s leg and rolled into the bottom corner of the net, to give the visitors a well-deserved lead.

Bootle had to wait until 6 minutes before half-time to register their first shot on target. Jamie Rainford’s free-kick was comfortably saved by the visitor’s goalkeeper John McIlwaine, after Tom Peterson was fouled.

Bootle started the second-half on a much brighter note after a grilling from manger Joe Doran, during the interval.  John Cheetham header over after Conor Christiansen’s cross was flicked on by Jamie Hay.

Three minutes later and Hay had a great chance to bring the Bucks level. Mark Kilroy’s superbly placed free-kick was met by Hay, whose header bounced off the post and into the hands of McIlwaine

Cheetham again had a chance to bring the Bucks the level, after he was played in by substitute Jack McCabe. Cheetham, however, could only fire straight at McIlwaine.

Despite Bootle applying all the pressure it was Hey who created the best chance of the half.  Sam Jones did superbly down the right hand side, dispossessing then escaping past Neil McQueen, before crossing for Harney, who had a whole goal to aim for. But just like in the first-half Harney could only over.

Bootle had plenty off possession in the closing stages but failed to create any chances in was a disappointing performance.

Photo above: Manger Joe Doran receiving his manger of the month award for January, from Ian Williams of the North West Counties League. Also pictured is; Neil McQueen – far left – Player and assistant manger and Richie Boswarva – center -assistant manger.

By Connor O’Neill

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