A great final effort by unlucky Woodhouse

Captain Darren Preece nets Woodhouse United's second goal in the Butterworth Cup Final, April 2011
Captain Darren Preece nets Woodhouse United's second goal in the Butterworth Cup Final, April 2011
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WOODHOUSE United just failed in their bid to lift the Butterworth Cup against high flying Rochdale Sunday League opponents Gardeners Arms.

It was a good display by the Todmorden men who eventually went down 4 - 3 and had a goal denied near the end. Prior to kick-off league champions Gardeners were red hot favourites.

But Woodhouse manager Mathew Town praised his team for their efforts and said they had all done themselves proud.

Gardeners thrashed them in the league earlier in the season so it just showed how much Woodhouse had improved.

“If we stick together and continue like this it will be us doing the double next year,” he said.

Woodhouse had the better of the early exchanges and the game took an early swing on nine minutes when Ryan Alessandra jumped in two-footed, leaving Marc Walters on the floor in agony and got red card from referee Tim Bartley.

Five minutes later Woodhouse midfielder Garry Fish released Terry Lowe on the left and he cut inside to finish into the bottom corner.

Gardeners started to come into it a little more with the physical Mike Weatherilt and speedy Craig Winters causing problems.

However, they were soon 2-0 down when a mazy run by Walters provided an easy finish for captain Darren Preece.

Gardeners stepped things up and started to press Woodhouse back a little. Winters saw his shot hacked off the line by Preece but on 43 minutes he rose highest to flick a Callum Heap free-kick into the top corner.

The league’s leading marksman Weatherilt then popped up to head level.

The game continued to ebb and flow with both sides looking dangerous when going forward and there was a fantastic piece of skill from Woodhouse’s Terry Lowe when he smashed a half volley into the bottom corner to put his side 3-2 ahead.

As the temperatures rose so did tempers on the pitch as numerous players entered Mr Bartley’s notebook for reckless offences.

Not long after Lowe had fired his side into the lead his team were pegged back again as Weatherilt forced the ball over the line.

It looked that the game would go to extra-time, but a cross from the right was side-footed home by Weatherilt.