Despite performing well below the standards set in last weeks encounter with Old Mancunians Prestwich could consider themselves very hard done by in this cup exit at the hands of an extremely dogged but limited Thrornleigh outfit.
From the start the quality of football on display by both sides was poor, neither side seemed to be able to get any fluency to their passing with both teams seemingly intent on sharing the ball with each other at every opportunity.
Prestwich just about had the upper hand in terms of possession but every time a flowing move appeared to be gathering some momentum it was spoiled by yet another miss-placed pass straight to the opposition or a player running aimlessly into a ruck off opposing players.
The drop in performance level was difficult to explain as Prestwich’s squad had a very similar make up to the previous week albeit lacking the highly industrious Matty Brennan.
Prestwich did create a few half chances in the first period, mostly through Mike Neary’s forays down the right but shots on target were few and far between, whilst at the other end Thornleigh’s efforts were largely being extinguished by the Prestwich back line before they managed to trouble keeper Mike Hudson unduly.
It was looking like Prestwich’s best chance of scoring would come from a set piece or corner with Barrie Campbell coming close on a couple of occasions typically climbing high above his man at the back post but on this occasion unable to steer anything down towards goal.
The scrappy nature of the game continued into the second period but on 55 minutes Prestwic h took the lead with a rare piece of quality in this game, Sam Holden threaded Sean Haslam in wide on the right, Halsam did well to beat his man and hit the touchline far right, his low cross was met by Stefan Rapacz who’d timed his run perfectly to rifle it high into the net off the underside of the cross bar.
Just after Prestwich had a couple of chances to kill the game, once following a fine run by Tito Miguel slaloming passed several defenders but just getting crowded out before he could get his shot in, and once through Sean Haslam shooting just wide.
They were made to pay when the visitors grabbed an equaliser on 64 minutes when a rare concerted spell of pressure by the visitors saw a scuffed shot following what appeared to be a blatant foul on Lewis Smith evade Hudson and just sneak into the right hand corner.
With neither side really looking capable of grabbing a winner the game was meandering to full time and penalties when disaster struck on 87 minutes. A cross from the left was met by Campbell, his attempted clearance struck the back of Smith’s head who’d jumped for the same ball just ahead of him the ball cannoning off the back of Smith’s head into the net for an own goal with Hudson stranded.
Whilst one had to concede they just hadn’t performed well on the day, they certainly hadn’t deserved to lose and it was nonetheless a sickening way to go out for the Prestwich boys.