CARLSBERG WEST CHESHIRE LEAGUE ROUND UP
Cammell Laird 1907 Reserves withstood a concentrated spell of early attacking from opponents South Liverpool to emerge as this season’s Pyke Cup winners. Friday’s final at Vauxhall Motors was an excellent encounter but was sadly marred by an injury to Laird midfielder Kris Hesketh who was stretchered off with a broken leg. South were on the offensive from the off forcing a number of corners and having shots blocked by a determined defence. After being penned in their own third of the field for the opening 15 minutes, Lairds launched an attack of their own and Chay Dysart fired over but South were soon back on the attack and Alex Woodcock rounded off an excellent run with a shot that went narrowly wide. Against the run of play Lairds went in front in the 21st minute when Dysart climbed at the far post to head in Jay Clare’s corner. South responded with Nathan Trout finding the net only to be ruled offside. The rest of the half saw a more even spread of possession and South keeper Sam Mass did well to tip Clare’s long range free kick over the bar. On the resumption, Woodcock’s strike went over the top and co-striker Cameron Dalton headed wide but Lairds went two up just before the hour when a free kick found its’ way to Ben Holmes who pounced on the ball and slotted it past Mass. Soon afterwards Hesketh suffered his injury in a strong but legitimate tackle, the game was halted for some 20 minutes and when play restarted South quickly pulled a goal back when Alex Woodcock drilled the ball past Leon Bimpson in the Lairds goal. South almost levelled when Gary Dunning had his strike on goal deflected wide and Trout headed the resultant corner over. At the other end Clare had his effort cleared away from the line and Chris Cairns fired over the bar but with time running out it was the Lairds defence who were next called into action when deflecting a succession of South shots away from danger. Shortly afterwards the final whistle blew as Lairds recorded a 2-1 victory against opponents who had pipped them in the race for the League title.
Bootle Reserves lifted the West Cheshire Shield after defeating South Sefton rivals Belfry, 1-0, in Thursdays’ final at Prescot Cables. Belfry made the stronger start but gained no reward from 2 early corners. Generally goalmouth action was scarce until after the half hour mark when Belfry keeper Phil Hughes saved well then saw another Bootleshot go narrowly wide while Belfry went close just before the break with a headed effort. On the resumption Bootle began to apply pressure, Jackson Ellis hit the post, another long range shot crashed against the bar while at the other end Belfry found the back of the net only to be denied by a raised flag. With 15 minutes remaining Hughes was called into action when pulling off a superb double save but with time running out he was beaten when Ellis latched onto a through ball and slipped the ball into the net for a winning goal that provided some consolation for a young Bootle outfit who narrowly failed in their Division 3 promotion attempt.
VITAL LEAGUE ISSUES
Blacon YC went into their final Division 1 outing of the season against West Kirby requiring a point to ensure that they avoided the dreaded relegation trap door. As they reached half time 0-2 down, their top flight tenure hung by a thread. But a stirring 2nd period fightback, which saw them net 3 times without reply, steered them to safety at the expense of Southport Trinity. Kirby had taken a 20th minute lead when Lee Butterworth glanced in a free kick. Just before the half hour, the lead was doubled after a snap shot by Louis Morgan took a deflection on its’ way into the net. Kirby keeper Josh Hart preserved the advantage with 2 superb saves immediately prior to the break but soon after the resumption he was relieved to see Aiden Shannon’s strike hit the post. But Blacon were not to be denied for long and they reduced the arrears courtesy of Ross Broadbent’s well struck spot kick. The Chester outfit now had the bit between their teeth and Kevin Garland latched onto a through ball before firing home. Thirty minutes of the contest remained with the majority of it being spent in the Kirby half but Blacon had to wait until 3 minutes before the end before clinching victory when Shannon got the final touch in a goalmouth scramble. Neston Nomads have to wait until Tuesday evening before knowing whether their Division 3 promotion bid has been successful. Mark Bentley, Steve Chapel and Paul Ellison were on target in their 3-0 midweek win at Upton AA Reserves. This has left them 3 points clear of rivals South Liverpool Reserves, who have a home date with Upton on Tuesday when a South victory by 3 goals or more will book their place in Division 2.
Monday night action saw League champions South Liverpool round off a Division 1 campaign, that featured just 1 defeat, by overcoming West Kirby, 4-0. Nick Walker opened the scoring for South which was added to before the break by Youth team star, Dave Mee. After the interval, Mee provided an assist for top marksman Alex Woodcock and fellow substitute Cameron Dalton rounded off the victory before the end. Runners-up Cammell Laird 1907 Reserves completed their programme when Kevin Fitzsimmons netted in a 1-1 draw at Mallabywho had John Hedges as their marksman. Mallaby’s opponents in next week’s Wirral Senior Cup final, Vauxhall Motors, signed off by going down 3-1 at Newton. Jack Cassidy, Jack McDowell and an own goal counted for Newton with Dominic Holden hitting the consolation. Upton AA continued their climb from the lower reaches with a 3-0 defeat of Capenhurst Villa. Danny Coyle, Dale Higham and Steve Rowlands were the men doing the damage. Two nights later Villa suffered their 6th consecutive reversal when going down to a single goal defeat at the hands of Newton [Liam McDowell] while on the same evening table trailing Ashville [Ricci Neil] completed their campaign when losing 4-1 to West Kirby who had Jason Bull,2, and Josh Baxter on target.