RICHMOND Town’s dreams of a cup treble ended last Saturday as they lost their Wearside League Cup semi-final after a penalty shoot-out against Ashbrooke Belford House.
Richmond took an early lead when a cross from Michael Layfield on the right wing found Kalumn Holbrook unmarked in the area. He had time to pick his spot and his header flew into the top corner.
They would have doubled their lead ten minutes later but for a series of fine saves by Brett Wilson in the Ashbrooke goal; first from Liam Darville and then from Richard Thompson’s swerving effort from 25 yards out.
Ashbrooke were not without their own chances in the first half. Right-winger Stephen Callen was always threatening, earning a free-kick on the edge of the area from which Stuart Burton forced a save low down. And it was Callen again who was stopped minutes later by a crunching tackle from Richmond centre-back Simon Pinkney.
In the second half, the visitors came out much the stronger, with Richmond making only the occasional raid on the break. The Richmond goalkeeper Adam Cunningham was at full stretch to push away a free kick from Stephen Bogie in the 48th minute, but he had no chance eight minutes later with the centre forward’s dipping shot from 30 yards.
And the visitors almost snatched a second when Callen’s shot was well saved by Cunningham, before a freekick just outside the area was floated onto the crossbar and then cleared for a corner.
But it was Richmond who took the upper hand in the final minutes of normal time; Liam Darville coming closest with an overhead kick blocked in a congested penalty area.
Richmond thought they’d been awarded a penalty in the 90th minute, but the referee changed his mind after his assistant had spotted a Richmond handball.
The Dalesmen had the better chances in extra time but never managed to find the final touch needed. Holbrook threatened with a free kick on the edge of the area after Wilson in the Ashbrooke goal had been sent off for handling outside the box.
But even with an outfield player in the Ashbrooke goal, Richmond were not able to make it count in the penalty shoot out, missing two of the spot kicks while Ashbrooke only missed one.
Richmond move on now to the Monkwearmouth Cup semi-final away to Ryhope tomorrow.