Ripon City boss saves his side in shoot-out victory

Alistair Hogg
Alistair Hogg
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Ripon City Manager Alistair Hogg , produced heroics as the stand-in goalkeeper for his side’s dramatic 4-2 penalty-shoot-out victory over Newsome in the West Riding County Challenge Cup on Saturday.

The Ripon manager was forced to swap his spot on the sidelines to return between the sticks for the second time this season and saved two penalties to ensure his side’s progression in the competition.

Hogg’s side arrived into the game as clear underdogs with Newsome unbeaten in Division One of the Huddersfield and District League and sitting on the top of the table.

Ripon managed to take the game to penalties after scoring an equaliser two minutes before the end of extra time before Hogg produced two fine penalty saves to set up a clash against local rivals Boroughbridge.

Hogg said: “Newsome were a very good side but we really surprised them. The lads actually surprised me as the manner and commitment of the players was tremendous.

“The commitment and enthusiasm of the lads was exactly what I was looking for. Every Saturday is a different game and there the sort of lads who want to do as best they can.

“We’ve had some poor results but I told them before the game that it was just a one-off cup match where anything can happen. There’s no pressure so let’s just enjoy it and see what we can do.”

Ripon have endured a torrid run of results in the Premier Division of the West Yorkshire League recently, losing their last seven games and conceding 42 goals.

However, Hogg said he was confident his side would secure victory once the game went to penalties and is hoping it will give his players the encouragement and confidence to turn their league fortunes around.

He said: “After our centre half scored with just two minutes of extra time to go I was confident about the penalty-shoot-out. I told the players that I could save at least one but in the end I saved two.

“We knew before the game we would play Boroughbridge if we won and I think that was the little boost we needed.”

“It’s hard to describe the mood around the team in recent weeks. It’s definitely been a low point but we are still carrying on and hoping that our luck will change.

Ripon travel to ninth-placed Hunslet Club on Saturday and Hogg says his side are prepared for another tough test against a difficult side.

He said: “They will be hard work but every game is hard in this league. The players will be boosted by this win but no two games are ever the same but we will be going in with the same enthusiasm.