This weekend, three of the four semi final ties took place in the SportsReach football league. The first legs of the ties were full of goals and desire, all teams looking to take a vital step towards qualifying for the final. In the Champions Cup, both ties took place, with League Cup champions Great Ecc facing off against reigning Champions Cup winners Accrington, whilst Lancaster made the trip to Fulwood, who were looking for their first cup final. Meanwhile, Wray made the trip to face Quernmore for the second time in as many games, both sides hopeful of a good result! Moorlands game against Loko was postponed and is instead being played this weekend.
Champions Cup Semi – final 1st leg results:
Accrington 2 – 5 Great Ecc
Archer 63, 72 // Shields 6, Sharples 34, 47, Hogarth 64, Parker 75
Great Ecc took a massive advantage into the second leg of this semi final, scoring 5 away goals against a tough Accrington side. Certainly the tie of the round, these two cup heavy weights have experienced great success in recent years, but one defending champion will have to go out after this round. Great Ecc made a great start in the game, finding themselves 2-0 up at half time, thanks to Shields and the lively Sharples. Great Ecc were soon 3-0 up as Sharples netted again, two minutes into the second half. Just what Great Ecc would have wanted, but certainly not what Accrington needed! The next goal in the game really needed to be Accrington’s, to give them a fighting chance in the tie, and thankfully for them, Archer netted for them in the 63rd minute. Their joy was to be short lived, however, as the ever reliable Hogarth scored for Eccy in the 64th minute. This period of the game seemed to swing back and forth as Archer drew another one back for Accrington, making it 4-2. However, Parker sealed the win for Great Ecc with their fifth of the game in the 75th minute, giving them a great advantage as they head back to Great Eccleston for the next game in a few weeks.
Fulwood 2 – 2 Lancaster
Alexander 45, Mason 75 // Osbourne 7, Lewis 44
In the other semi final tie, Fulwood and Lancaster faced off, with no clear favorite between the two. Lancaster raced into an early leads, thanks to a wonderful finish from Osbourne, who curled the ball into the top corner in the seventh minute of the game. Advantage Lancaster. It was to be more joy for Lancaster as captain Martin Lewis netted a penalty for the away side, giving them clear breathing space just before half time. However, what Lancaster did not want to do was to concede a goal just before half time – which is exactly what they did. Fulwood’s top scorer Calum Alexander fired home for the home side to give them a vital goal just before half time. Much later in the second half, Fulwood found the important second goal to level the tie, Howard Mason netting for them in the 75th minute. Although Lancaster have the two away goals, it is still all to play for in this tie. Who will get the chance to play in the cup final? We shall find out soon in this intriguing cup tie!
League Cup Semi final 1st leg results:
Quernmore 0 – 7 Wray
Fawcett 1, 13, 49, 61, Preece 63, Ellershaw 83, Goodley 86
Wray faced upto a Quernmore side, who they had beaten 5-0 two weeks previously, with great confidence. And that confidence was rewarded within a minute as the returning Fawcett headed home from a delightful cross. The perfect start for Wray, not so for Quernmore. Fawcett netted again in the 13th minute, with another fantastic finish, curling the ball home from the edge of the box with the outside of his boot. Despite the scoreline, Quernmore continued to battle and work hard to try and keep the score low and even find a goal for themselves. The first half was a real battle with many tackles going in, both teams defending and attacking with great desire. However, it was the second half of this game where the tie seems to have been lost for Quernmore, shipping in 5 goals after the resolute performance of the first half. Fawcett netted another two goals to take his tally to four, whilst the in form Preece netted Wray’s fifth in the 63rd minute. Quernmore stemmed the flow for a short period of time, until another two goals in the last 10 minutes seemingly sealed the tie for Wray. A result that wasn’t befitting of the Quernmore performance on the day, however, in the words of Michael Owen ‘Whichever teams scores more goals usually wins.’ Quernmore will, however, look to keep the damage to a minimum in the second leg of the game and perhaps even cause Wray some nerves.
Moorlands P Loko P