Manchester Central succumbed to their second defeat on the bounce after a closely contested encounter with Cheshire Premier League side Egerton in the Manchester FA Challenge Trophy.
Central got off to a positive start, applying pressure from the first whistle. However, Egerton’s patience in defence payed off after catching Central out with their first attack to make it 1-0 in the 4th minute.
Omar Holness doubled Egerton’s lead in the 15th minute, placing the ball past Ben Jupp to put the pressure on Central.
Whilst the final ball was lacking, Manchester Central’s pressure in attack finally payed off when they were awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute.
Dan Burns stepped up and finished it with power and precision into the bottom left corner to give Central a glimpse of hope.
Central continued to pile on the pressure against a resolute Egerton defence. Josh Frith’s half volley from the edge of the area bounced just over the bar.
Despite the home sides’ pressure, Egerton could have made it 3-1 with some neat build up play in the 37th minute. However, Ben Jupp denied the visitors with a brilliant point blank save from Egerton’s striker to keep Central hopes alive before the half time whistle.
Dan Burns almost levelled it for the home side after his curling shot whistled passed the post seconds before half time.
There were shouts around the ground in the 63rd minute for another penalty after Buba Sakiliba was brought down in the box.
Egerton had chances to seal the match. Ex-Manchester City youth player, James Thorne was denied by Ben Jupp who pulled off another brilliant save.
The resulting corner forced another super save from Jupp to deny Egerton once again.
Central continued to push forward. Paul Riley’s header was cleared off the line by the Egerton defence in the 67th minute but would not have stood after the linesman called for offside.
A double change saw Buba Sakiliba and goalscorer Dan Burns come off, with Joe Darnell and Mauro Mendes coming on to inject more energy into the game.
Manchester Central could have made it 2-2 late on after a perfectly placed through ball was latched on to by Marcello Ahrin but was well-saved by the Egerton goalkeeper.
Ben Jupp once again proved his value in goal in the 89th minute with a brilliant 25 yard save that looked destined for the top left corner.
Central pushed all men forward, including Ben Jupp, in an effort to take the game to penalties. A flurry of crosses and free kicks was not enough and the referee called full time in what can be described as a mixed game for Central.