Stockport County 0
- Match reports
- 19 November 2012 21:09
- Posted by Mark Booth
Jack Rodwell captained City EDS as they kicked off their Manchester Senior Cup campaign with a 4-3 shootout win over Stockport County.
Despite missing a host of second-half chances, the Blues came out on top in this group match thanks to Eirik Johansen's penalty heroics which followed a goalless draw at Edgeley Park.
It was a game which was contested in a breathless, competitive spirit from the first whistle as City’s young starlets picked their wits against a Hatters side which included many regular first-teamers.
It was decided that this meeting with the Blue Square Premier League outfit was the perfect opportunity to continue Rodwell’s rehabilitation from injury but any fears that the former Evertonian was playing purely for fitness were proved well wide of the mark.
Until his withdrawal at half-time, Jack patrolled with distinction in front of the City back four, providing an authoritative, calming presence against a lively front line and also found time to burst forward to support Lopes, Pozo and Scapuzzi in advanced areas.
City came out on top when the sides last met in a pre-season friendly thanks to a brace from Jordy Hiwula but, with the striker injured this time around, it was up to Scapuzzi to lead the line for Attilio Lombardo’s side.
It was the Italian who had City’s first meaningful chance on the half-hour mark when he wriggled through on the left hand side but Lewis King made a great save with his feet to deny him before Miha Zajac brought the best out of the goalkeeper again from the rebound.
With the break approaching, the hosts picked up momentum and nearly took the lead on two occasions.
First, Rodwell headed a goal-bound Danny Rowe shot off the line in the 32nd minute, while two minutes later; it was Johansen's turn to deny the Hatters with a fine one-on-one save from Danny Whitehead.
George Evans replaced Rodwell at half-time, taking the captain’s armband, and it was from the midfielder’s interception that City nearly broke the deadlock again in the 55th minute.
Dominic Oduro bombed forward from the right-back position, beat two men with his blistering pace, and hit a sweet shot which had King beaten but was a yard over the crossbar.
Substitute Devante Cole thought he’d breached King’s goal 10 minutes later but the goalkeeper again denied the Blues with an excellent save and with 15 minutes to go, it was the post that denied the luckless Scapuzzi the game’s first goal.
A penalty shootout was required to separate the teams and Johansen was the City hero, saving two spot-kicks to seal a 4-3 win for Lombardo’s men.
Manchester Senior Cup rules dictate that a penalty shootout win equals two points for the Blues as they look to recapture the trophy they last won in 2010.
City EDS are next in action away to PSG in the NextGen Series on 28 November.