Ashby Ivanhoe miss out on penalties in Challenge Cup tie after incident-packed game

By Josh Kay

27th Sep 2023 | Local Sport

Ashby line-up a free-kick in their cup tie with Loughborough Dynamo. Photo: Josh Kay
Ashby line-up a free-kick in their cup tie with Loughborough Dynamo. Photo: Josh Kay

Loughborough Dynamo 3 Ashby Ivanhoe 3 (Loughborough win 5-3 on pens)

Ashby Ivanhoe bowed out of the Leicestershire Challenge Cup on penalty kicks after finding themselves seconds away from progressing,

It was an agonising way to lose for Ivanhoe, who used a man advantage for much of the second half to put their higher-level opposition on the ropes, only to let their lead slip in the dying seconds.

Making four changes from Saturday, Ivanhoe were a match for Dynamo in the first half, and while having less possession than their opponents, created several good chances.

Despite this, they would find themselves behind after 20 minutes from the penalty spot. There appeared to be little contact as the Ashby defence tried to win the ball off Jake Wright, however the referee saw fit to point to the spot on this occasion.

Evan Garnett stepped up and scored from 12 yards for his first in what turned out to be a big night for the Dynamo forward.

His side would not lead for long however as Tolani Omotola equalised for Ashby just five minutes later. Poking home from a corner, the goal was Omotola's first in blue and full deserved after an excellent first half performance from the striker.

Ashby gained confidence after the equaliser and further chances came before the break for the visitors, however it was Garnett who took his chance which gave Dynamo their lead back.

Picking the ball up from the edge of the box, Garnett struck a low driving shot from range which cannoned into the far corner, somewhat shell shocking the Ivanhoe defence.

The second half saw the introduction of Joe Neal and Sam Grouse, the latter being at the centre of the game's major talking point early in the half.

Reacting to a challenge from the Ashby striker, Dynamo goalkeeper Lewis King threw Grouse to the ground and then appeared to stamp on his face. As a brawl ensued, Grouse emerged showing sizeable marks to his eye and cheek.

Reduced to 10 men after the incident, Dynamo tuned to young goalkeeper Josh Mee, who would play a pivotal role throughout the rest of the contest.

He was forced to pick the ball out of his net moments after his introduction after facing the second penalty of the night. Grouse firing the spot kick low to his right.

Ivanhoe controlled the rest of the half which a man advantage and forced Mee into action several times on his debut. The most notable of these was when Liam Donaghy fired a shot towards the top right corner, forcing the 16-year-old into an excellent save.

Making their pressure pay off, Ashby thought they had won it as the game entered added time. Poor defending from Dynamo meant that Joel Carta had space to shoot with his right foot from just outside the six-yard box, finding the bottom corner with his right foot.

They were cruelly denied before the final whistle though as Garnett's shot from distance beat Sam Taylor through his legs in a horrible moment for Ashby's goalkeeper. Taylor had to pick his head up immediately though as penalties were imminent.

The only miss of the shootout was from Grouse who was denied by Mee after beating him earlier in the contest. James Harrison, Carta and Neal all made no mistake from the spot; however, Taylor was unable to prevent any of the Dynamo spot kicks.

The defeat had shades of the Belper match from last month as Ivanhoe were once again beaten in the dying seconds after holding a commanding position.

The weekend provides a perfect bounce back though as the squad and much of the fanbase travel to Skegness for a match that has been hotly anticipated since the fixture list was released.


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