Murray Trophy 2017/18: Manchester Central’s route to the final

Altrincham Hale v Manchester Central

Manchester Central are set to play Tintwistle Athletic, who play in the division below, in the Murray Trophy cup final at Hyde’s Ewen Fields on 5 May.

Ahead of the cup clash, we take a look back at how Paul McGuire’s side performed to book themselves a place in the final.

Central beat the likes of Altrincham Hale, Chadderton Reserves and Beechfield United en route through the cup competition.

Murray Trophy Group C

9 September: Manchester Central 2-0 Beechfield United

Central opened their Murray Trophy Group C campaign against Beechfield United in early September at Ten Acres Lane.

Kaine Martin’s first-half strike put Central into the lead, before Elvis Amoakwa added a second after the interval.

Central’s Zak Bell was awarded man of the match for the game.

Watch highlights of the game here.

16 September: Manchester Central 2-1 Uppermill

Central then ran out winners against Division Two side Uppermill at Nicholls Campus, after a change of venue.

Aaron Chambers scored for Uppermill, while Central’s Martin and Amoakwa once again proved the goals to give Paul McGuire’s team the victory.

Amoakwa was also awarded man of the match for his performance.

Watch highlights of the game here.

7 October: Manchester Central 1-2 Chadderton Reserves

Central suffered their first defeat in the Murray Trophy against fellow Division One side Chadderton Reserves.

Cory Knight netted a goal for Central to give them a first half lead, but the home side couldn’t hold on after the break.

Amoakwa was dismissed early in the second-half, and Chadderton responded with goals from Liam Eadsforth and Alan Beckett.

Watch highlights of the game here.

28 October: Atherton LR Development 2-2 Manchester Central

Central looked to bounce back from the defeat against Chadderton with an away trip to Division Two side Atherton Laburnum Rovers Development, but couldn’t find enough to earn the victory.

Dane Grimes opened the scoring for Atherton LR in the 10th minute, before Knight equalised just a minute later and Marcello Ahrin completed the turnaround just after the twenty minute mark.

Grimes converted a second-half penalty to earn a draw for the two sides.

Watch highlights of the game here.

20 January: Hindley Juniors 1-7 Manchester Central

Central completed their Group C campaign with an emphatic win against Hindley Juniors, who currently sit bottom of Division Two.

The match, which had been reversed venues and played at Nicholls Campus, saw Martin open the scoring just after the half hour mark.

Three minutes later Knight added a second, before substitute Frank Detou scored four goals late on, including a penalty. Knight also completed his brace.

Tom Jackson scored Hindley Juniors’ consolation goal.

Watch highlights of the game here.

10 February: Manchester Central 2-2 Chadderton Reserves (PEN 4-3)

After a group stage performance of three wins, a draw and a loss, Central faced a familiar opposition in Chadderton Reserves at Ten Acres Lane in the quarter-finals.

Originally, the match did not go according to plan as Ashley Ainsworth and Jake Jacobs scored to give Chadderton a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Lamin Baldeh scored a penalty soon after the interval to get Paul McGuire’s side back into the contest, but it wasn’t until the 94th minute that Central were level, with Liam Ellis getting the goal.

Following the late drama, both sides lined up for a penalty shootout.

Central initially fell behind with an early miss, but goalkeeper Jordan Hadlow stepped up as a hero for the home side when he saved a penalty, dispatched his own spot kick and then saved another Chadderton kick to win the match.

Unsurprisingly, Hadlow was awarded man of the match for his match-winning performance.

Watch highlights of the game here.

10 March: Altrincham Hale 3-4 Manchester Central

Central faced Division Two side Altrincham Hale away from home in the semi-finals of the competition.

In a back-and-forth match, Jameson Lee opened the scoring in the 20th minute for Altrincham Hale. Tom Greenfield and Josh Frith both netted to complete a turnaround for Central to lead the match 2-1 at halftime.

Oumar Kande netted a third goal for Central early in the second half, before a second goal for Lee gave the home side hope again.

Baldeh scored a fourth for Central in the 68th minute and looked to have sealed the game for Central, but another goal for the home side – this time through Liam Paterson – lead to a nervy finish.

Watch highlights of the game here.

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