The Macron Cup

Second Round

Whitchurch Alport 2

Shelley 3

First division Shelley caused a major upset by knocking Whitchurch Alport out of the Macron Cup at Yockings Park on Saturday.

In a thrilling tie and on a pudding of a pitch, few would argue that the visitors ended up worthy winners. The game swung one way and then the other but the all important goal came too late for Alport to get an equaliser.

The tempo for the match came as early as the third minute when man of the match Matty Waller finished superbly with a deft chip over Dave Parton. Within 10 minutes Alport levelled through Sean Griffiths whose speculative 25 yarder looped up over a stranded keeper via a deflection. Waller would have put Shelley back in front only to be denied by a brilliant goal line clearance by Jim O’Neill.

On 30 minutes the Reds went in front when Joe Cuff went one-on-one with the last defender. He kept his head to make sure he created the best opening and picked out the bottom corner. A minute later, Cuff rattled the base of the post and it proved to be a pivotal moment in the afternoon.

Shelley went up to the other end and Alex O’Keeffe finished superbly past Parton for two apiece.

The Reds keeper made a brilliant save – one of many – to deny José Bradshaw in first half stoppage time.

After the break Shelley started the stronger of the two teams and Parton made an unbelievable stop to push Craig Billington’s 20-yard freekick onto the crossbar.

Waller continued to be a menace with Parton bravely diving at the tricky winger’s feet.

Another huge turning point occurred on the hour when Dan Skelton received a red card for a perceived stamp leaving Alport a man light against the hungry opponents.

Waller twice went close before Bradshaw brought another top drawer save from the Whitchurch goalkeeper.

But it was Bradshaw who settled this second-round tie when he bundled home the scruffiest of winners from a couple of yards out having gambled on getting to O’Keeffe’s delightful cross.

It was the Yorkshire side who went through to face Abbey Hey at home in the next round.