Wetherby Athletic ended a 48-day wait for action with a single goal victory over Mount St Mary’s to progress in the West Yorkshire League Cup on Saturday.
Athletic borrowed Ripon City’s Mallorie Park venue to host their first fixture since initial floods swamped the Ings in November.Dom Creamer scored the only goal from close range as Wetherby reached round three.
Teenager Josh Wilson carved out Wetherby’s opening opportunity soon but his shot was claimed by the visiting goalkeeper.
Wetherby then came a whisker away from opening the scoring when Joe Whiteley fired a stinging shot just wide.
Despite being two leagues below Athletic, St Mary’s showed skill in attack and goalkeeper Liam Corbett was forced into a succession of good saves.
And Athletic were given a reprieve on 15 minutes when St Mary’s ballooned a spot-kick over the bar, following a foul by a combination of Corbett and Ali Bowles.
Wetherby responded and Matt McGlinchey - playing his first full match in over a year - fired in a powerful shot that just curled wide before Tom Hesketh just cleared the bar with his effort.
Trying again, Bobby Stevenson latched on to a Wilson knock down and seeing the keeper well off his line attempted an audacious lob from distance that landed on the roof of the net.
The only goal of the game arrived in the 36th minute courtesy of a wonderful team move.
Winning the ball in a crunching tackle, McGlinchey beat his man and looped in a deep cross that Maloney knocked towards goal. The keeper pushed the shot wide, but it fell at Dom Creamer’s feet and he finished eventually.
The second half started with Wetherby on the attack and a free kick was cleared by the keeper only as far as Creamer, whose return shot was just over the bar..
Wetherby thought they had doubled their lead when a short corner routine found Jon Maloney, whose header bounced agonisingly wide.
Wetherby started to rack up chances, with Maloney, McGlinchey and Creamer all coming close.
However, St Mary’s hit back in the final ten minutes the possession and put Wetherby’s goal under enormous pressure. Corbett pulled off the save of the match as he dived full length to his left to push a fierce shot around the post. McGlinchey then produced two wonderful blocks at the near post.
Wetherby boss Mark Forster said: “We’ve had eight Saturdays in a row where we have not played a game. It saw us not at our best in shape or condition.
“We came up against a team that are fairly young and had a right go at us and in some respects the result flattered us.”
Eight-placed Wetherby return to league action on Saturday with a trip to second bottom Robin Hood Athletic.
“We have a few bad knocks that will need assessing before the next game. I was pleased with some of the lads, Matt (McGlinchey) played his first full game in two years and Liam Corbett made three outstanding saves.”