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Wearside League Redcar Athletic edged a five-goal thriller on Saturday in the Shipowners' Cup.

By Andrew McElvaney

Redcar Athletic took the game to Cleator Moor Celtic from the off and deservedly went ahead in the 19th minute after a great move involving 4 players. Liam Fox nipped in to steal the ball from a Cleator Moor Celtic player then passed to Chris Atkinson who flicked it to his left for Andy Jennings to race onto and he pinged it low across the box for MICHAEL WOODHOUSE to meet it on the run, placing a clever finish into the far right hand corner of the net. A minute later it should have been 2-0 when Joe Blackburn put Michael Woodhouse clean through on goal but his fierce shot which beat keeper Craig Devine, cannoned off the bottom of the right hand post and away to safety. A minute into injury time Joe Blackburn dribbled his way out of the Redcar Athletic penalty before finding Chris Atkinson, who then sent Andy jennings clear on the right and he cut into the right hand edge of the area before curling in a placed effort towards goal which was only prevent from finding the net by keeper Craig Devine's full stretch save, which he managed just to tip the ball round the post and out for a corner kick.

H-T Cleator Moor Celtic 0 Redcar Athletic 1

Redcar continued their dominance of the game in the 2nd half and finally doubled their lead on 58 minute with a peach of a goal. Matthew Dunford curled the over the Cleator Moor Celtic defence putting CHRIS ATKINSON clear on the left and he curled a lovely chip shot over keeper Craig Devine from 20 yards out which dropped perfectly inside the right hand post into the net.

Redcar Athletic's first real scare of the game came in the 65th minute when Bradley Rooney nipped in on the left to meet a low across the visitor's penalty area, but although he stabbed the ball past keeper Matthew Berry, the other Matthew in the side, Matthew Dunford, slide in to deflect it out round the post for a corner. The Cleator Moor Celtic team came close to imploding in the 68th minute when after conceding a corner, 4 of their players had such an heated argument that their other team members had to step in and calm them down in order to concentrate to defend the corner.

Athletic almost took advantage of the situation as the corner was swung in by Joe Ferguson it deflected off the chest of Michael Woodhouse and Chris Atkinson met it with a spectaculr overhead kick which luckily for Cleator Moor Celtic sailed a couple of inches over their crossbar. However out of the blue on 75 minutes Cleator Moor Celtic managed to pull a goal back to get themselves back into the match. Bradley Rooney got clear into the left hand side of the area after a great cross from substitiute Stuart Shaw and although keeper Matthew Berry did well to parry his shot away to the right, LEIGH DUNN was quick to latch onto the loose ball to fire it back across goal into the bottom left hand corner of the net. This gave the Cleator Moor Celtic team and fans the boost they needed and with 9 minutes remaining LEIGH DUNN blasted in the equaliser from the penalty spot after Bradley Rooney was felled in the area by keeper Matthew Berry.

Cleator Moor now had the bit between their teeth only for it to be knocked out in a dramatic ending to the game. In the last seconds of the 3rd minute of the 3 minutes of injury time added by the referee Joe Blackburn found Liam Fox on the right hand edge of Cleator Moor Celtic's penalty area and he squared it to substitute Sulaiman Massaquoi, who calmly turned, before playing it back and perfectly into the path of ANDY JENNINGS, who let rip from 25 yards with a shot which was in the net before keeper Craig Devine could move to win the game for Redcar Athletic. Just 10 seconds after the match restarted the referee blew for full-time, it was that close to going to extra time but Cleator Moor Celtic could not argue that Redcar Athletic deserved to win this cup tie.

F-T Cleator Moor Celtic 1 Redcar Athletic 3


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