Lincs FA Junior Cup Semi Final
Market Rasen Town 2-1 Pinchbeck Utd
JUBILANT scenes greeted the final whistle at Rase Park on Saturday, as a goal apiece from Nathan Smith and Andy Belt took Rasen through to the Lincs Junior Cup Final.
A fabulous all round performance from this industrious Rasen side sent the large vocal support home happy.
A much fancied Pinchbeck side came to Rase Park as favourites after overcoming Skegness United in the last round.
Included in their line up was the experienced ex Boston United and York City defender Matt Hocking, as well as a string of players no stranger to playing at higher levels of the non league circuit.
On a near perfect surface after last week’s big freeze both sides lacked any fluency in the early exchanges. Rasen struggled to get any prolonged spells of possession, while the visitors somewhat surprisingly played a much more direct pattern of play.
This style suited the Rasen central defensive partnership of skipper Greenbeck and Jake Wade who dealt brilliantly with the aerial bombardment from Pinchbeck. Dale Christie in the Rasen goal was the busier of the two keepers without really being tested.
Just after the half hour mark the game sprang into life. Supurb control from Andy Belt in the inside left position allowed him to feed leading scorer Nathan Smith.
Ushering Belt’s pass across his body and with his back to the goal he fired an unstoppable shot to the keeper’s left for a terrific opener.
Rasen Manager Andy Brumpton encouraged more of the same in the second period, which early on saw the introduction of Jason Hall to the left flank with Belt replacing the injured Ian Williams in the forward line.
Pinchbeck pressed for an equiliser and a great block by Joe Osbourne prevented a goalbound strike.
On numerous occasions Rasen failed to stop the crosses from wide areas and Dale Christie was forced to punch clear. Christie also saved bravely at the feet of Dunn as well as watching a couple of Pinchbeck headers clear his crossbar.
With 15 minutes remaining the dangerous Dunn was the stronger in the challenge with Wade and despite cry’s from the home fans for a foul rounded Christie and stabbed home the equiliser.
Both sides seemingly looked to settle for the penalty shootout as the clock ticked down.
That was until Kyle Paul dropped a perfect ball behind the Pinchbeck full back from his left back position in injury time, bringing a race to the ball between Andy Belt and the Pinchbeck keeper.
Belt somehow controlled the bouncing ball and then dummied the advancing keeper in one swivvel of his hips, steadied himself before slotting the ball between the retreating defenders and into the net from the edge of the box. This sparked utter pandemonium amongst the home fans.
A couple more minutes passed with no further response from the shattered Pinchbeck side, with the refs final blast on the whistle reigniting the celebrations.
Manager Andy Brumpton said after the match “All the lads, without exception, were fantastic and they thoroughly deserved their victory.
“A County Cup final will be a fitting way to end a season in which they have been outstanding at this higher level. They are a credit to Market Rasen Football club.”
The final, likely to be in April, will be put to the back of the team’s minds as they return to league action next Saturday when Louth Town visit Rase Park for a 2pm kick off.