DEIGHTON Under 14s moved into the third round of the RCD Cup with a solid 4-1 win over Kexborough.
In a game where bad tackles were rare, three of the five goals scored came from the penalty spot, but each offence was as a result of carelessness rather than bad play.
Fourth Division Kexborough knew they would have to play well to progress against First Division opposition.
Having won promotion last season as Second Division champions, Deighton’s first season in the top flight has been a struggle so far and, with only two wins before the cup-tie, the potential for upset was a fear.
Kexborough, having lost six players through illness, gave a good account of themselves and, with a little more luck, might have grabbed a couple more goals, but Deighton were deserved winners.
The lower division outfit were under pressure from the start and were chasing the game from the fifth minute when Darius Aitken’s chip floated over keeper Harry Steer and into the net.
Apart from a handful of forays into the opposition half of the field, Kexborough spent most of the first half guarding their own goal and defenders Mason Hinchliffe, Jack Gill and Joe Braithwaite were equal to the task as, despite their dominance, Deighton struggled to get near the visitors’ goal.
Ben Stott shot just wide of the far upright and Oliver Russell’s shot from the left flashed across the face of goal, but it took a penalty to finally break the Kexborough defence for the second time.
A handball left the referee with no choice but to point to the spot and Jordan McLachlan was happy to dispatch the ball into the back of the net.
Deighton’s failure to make more of their possession looked like it might backfire on them as a clumsy challenge in the penalty area gave Kexborough a lifeline.
Shay Senior confidently hit the back of the net from the spot and Kexborough were back in the game at 2-1 down.
Despite the set-back, however, Deighton were not about to give up their advantage and Aitken restored their two-goal cushion just before the referee’s whistle signalled half time.
Kexborough put in an extra effort after the break and Cole Flaherty almost took Deighton by surprise early in the second half, but his goalbound shot was bravely cleared off the line by Dominic Lamb.
And, within minutes, Deighton keeper Marcus Matthew was forced into an excellent save to stop Mason Hinchliffe’s 20-yard drive.
The result was virtually settled on the hour mark when Sam Rolph’s mis-timed challenge on Oliver Russell once again resulted in the referee pointing to the spot – and Russell made it 4-1 himself.
Kexborough had one last chance but Lee Hinchliffe’s flick from a corner hit a post.
Deighton will face a much tougher challenge in the third round when they travel to meet Second Division Drighlington, who are hoping to follow them into the top flight.