Suarez 45mins, Boyata 50mins, Huws 62mins
- Match reports
- 03 May 2013 16:14
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
City EDS eased past Rochdale to book a place in the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup.
A chilly day greeted the visitors on their arrival at Spotland, with threatening grey skies making it look more like February than May in the shadow of the Lancashire hills.
The Blues had booked their place in this semi-final with a convincing 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic, and were seeking their fifth win on the bounce in all competitions, with two league victories and a win in the Manchester Senior Cup following that meeting.
For this switch of competition from Manchester to Lancashire Senior Cup, there were wholesale changes with just five players starting both fixtures.
The game plan was disrupted after just ten minutes, when Lopes was forced off with injury to be replaced by Sinan Bytyqi after a crunching clash in the area, but the substitute was a strong contender for man of the match.
Although early chances were rare, the match was played at a frenetic pace from the start with a fierce battle in the centre of the park.
City carved out the best of the opening minutes, with the Dale keeper forced into a reaction save from close range, and then clutching the ball gratefully after no one could quite apply the necessary touch to a tricky Marin cross.
It was substitute Bytyqi who produced the first real moment of quality after half an hour, taking a touch before unleashing a ferocious shot on the half-volley to produce an excellent save from the home side’s industrious goalkeeper.
Suarez has been in spectacular goalscoring form of late, grabbing four in his last three games, and it was no surprise to see the youngster pop up to shoot City into the lead right on halftime.
Ntcham floated a cross in from the right, which the skilful Spaniard controlled first time before lofting the ball past the helpless man between the sticks.
It was a deserved lead for the visitors, who had restricted their opponents to few chances despite their endeavour. The Dale’s best opportunity of the half fell to Callum Camps, who fired high and wide on the volley from outside the box.
Lombardo’s men emerged after the break determined to extend their lead, and were rewarded within five minutes when the ball fell to Boyata in a congested penalty area, and the centre back made no mistake.
A third arrived after an hour, captain Huws deservedly finishing off a move he started on the halfway line. The Welshman picked up the ball and surged powerfully downfield, sliding the ball into the bottom corner after exchanging passes with Bytyqi.
Albert Rusnak might have added a fourth after 70 minutes, the goalkeeper could initially only punch his effort before falling on the ball, while Suarez saw a low shot saved and Ntcham sent one over the bar as the game opened up in the closing stages.
City are set to face neighbours Manchester United in the final, date to be confirmed.