Straight to penalties for League Cup?

You had to feel for Harrogate Railway and Ollerton Town this week after their epic Toolstation NCEL League Cup.

When Ollerton arrived at 7.45pm because of traffic on the A1, meaning the game did not kick off until 8.20pm, those present must have thought it was predictably going to go to extra-time.

Railway eventually won the contest after Steve Bromley scored in the last minute of yeahthe additional half-an-hour. Quite ridiculously, the match finished after 11pm.

The League Cup does remain an integral part of the NCEL calendar. The vast majority of clubs take it seriously, that has been demonstrated in the last two finals which have involved the big hitters and have been superb.

Handsworth’s unbelievable victory over Cleethorpes last year will be remembered for many years to come.

The Harrogate-Ollerton situation is fairly fetched, but it does bring forward a case for a new rule which would say that the early rounds, up to the semi-finals stages, go straight to penalties if the scores are tied after 90 minutes.

The Evo Stik’s Doodson Cup has had formula for the past few years and it has worked well.

There is a need for extra-time in the Emirates FA Cup, Trophy and Vase because of the prize money at stake. But in a midweek after a long day’s work, no-one wants the hassle of extra-time in the NCEL League Cup.

Phenomenal Response

The response by former Garforth Town players for the Ralph Backhouse Memorial Trophy on the 28th August has been phenomenal.

Ralph was a well-respected Garforth supporters and his passing in January sent shockwaves through the club because it was so sudden.

The last time I saw Ralph was when I gave him a lift home from Garforth’s West Riding County Cup clash at Ossett Albion last December.

Although the Miners had been well beaten and were going through a tough time on-the-pitch, Ralph never criticised the players as he recognised that they were giving 100%.

He always had that philosophy, even during the 2012 relegation season. The fact that players have said they are “honoured” to have been asked to play, shows the measure of the man and the legacy he leaves.

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