Les James League Cup quarter-final

Stonehouse Town1

Little Stoke 2

By Mike Wheatley

STONEHOUSE started this game at a disadvantage as they were restricted to 12 players due to injuries and suspensions.

They almost went behind in the first minute, when keeper Will Pedrick fumbled the ball. However, they atoned for this two minutes later, when Luke Soule picked up the ball just inside opposition half and ran on, eventually releasing the ball and moving forward to collect the return, but unfortunately his final shot was wayward.

After eight minutes, Little Stoke replied when Keir Williams took a free-kick 20 yards out, which was saved by Pedrick.

End-to-end activity continued with a Stonehouse corner from the left after 15 minutes was cleared by visitors’ defence.

Little Stoke then took the lead on 20 minutes, when Williams took a free-kick from left hand edge of home penalty area and beat Pedrick with a rising shot into the far top corner of his net.

The home side were level on 35 minutes when a great ball from Tom Palmer was collected by Chris Earle on the right and placed in far corner of visitors’ net.

After 44 minutes a bad miss came from a cleared Little Stoke corner. Collected by Lewis Hogg, he put Luke Meacham through only for him to shoot wide.

A corner from Little Stoke brought the close of the first half, but it again passed everyone by.

The first action of second-half was a melee in Stonehouse goal area, which was cleared without any damage.

The half continued at a relatively slow pace with little excitement until Little Stoke had the ball in the net on 85 minutes only for Meacham to be ruled offside.

However, on 88 minutes a Little Stoke corner from the right was headed in by substitute Ethan Moore and this proved to be the winning goal.

Both sides produced late flurries and Stonehouse had a shot by Soule cleared off the line in the final minute of normal time.