SportsReach Champions Cup Quarter final (second leg) – 28th January
The second legs of the Champions Cup Quarter finals took place this weekend and with plenty still needing to be decided, all the teams played their socks off, resulting in plenty of goals and plenty of exciting games taking place. In the early kick off, Lancaster traveled to Quernmore, hoping to keep their slender 1 goal advantage in tact, against a Quernmore side who were full of confidence. Great Ecc traveled to Wray, hoping to overturn a 1 goal deficit and ensure that they could continue defending the trophy. The hardest game of the day to predict was Fulwood vs. Moorlands, the game finely poised at 1-1. Finally, Loko traveled to Accrington, hoping to overcome a 3 goal deficit from their previous game.
Fantastic Quernmore rout Lancaster
Quernmore 6 – 0 Lancaster
(Quernmore win 8-3 on aggregate)
Harwood 11, 49, 75, Yates 54, 64, Own goal 82 //
Before the game Mick Lund shared about a childhood story where he took a dislike to Scottish people following the antics of the Scotland fans when they beat England 3-1. He then shared how that all changed when in Scotland some years later, getting stuck at a bagpipe march, he realised the beauty of the bagpipe. He then linked that to knowing Jesus, how people may not want to know him and try and avoid him, when they realise the true beauty of Jesus, they will realise that they should want to know him! Quernmore started the game very brightly, putting lots of pressure on Lancaster. This led to a few chances for Quernmore and in the 11th minute a goal. Bakri played a lovely through ball to Harwood, who slotted it past the ailing keeper. 3-3 on aggregate but away goals were in Quernmore’s favour. After the goal, Lancaster settled a little and began to find a way back into the game, applying pressure on the Quernmore defence. However, they stood firm. Lancaster looked to find a goal but they couldn’t find a way through and Quernmore battled through to half time, satisfied with the performance, although they knew that they could do better. At half time there was one change, Joe Yates coming on for Ahmad Agha, moving Bakri to left wing and Yates up front.
Quernmore started well again, although very quickly into the second half Lancaster lost striker White to injury, which would not help their hunt for goals! And indeed that was made even harder when Harwood got his second goal of the game on the 49th minute. He had been a menace throughout the first half cutting inside and he was played through again to slot it past the keeper. Delight for Quernmore, ahead on aggregate with the away goals to boot! Quernmore, growing more and more confident grabbed a third 5 minutes later, Yates lobbing the keeper beautifully just inside the box. It was an excellent finish. Quernmore looked menacing every time they attacked whilst Lancaster were struggling to have any success against the Quernmore defence, centre halves Gorst and Harrison were having fantastic games, as was defensive midfielder Heron. Quernmore were having plenty of joy with through balls, finding time and time again that through balls would get them 3 on 1 or 2 against the keeper. Indeed the next three goals came from this! Firstly Joe Yates picked up his second of the game, firing in after good work from Harwood. Then scorer turned creator as again a simple through ball brought Quernmore 3 on 2 with the keeper and a defender, Yates putting it into the path of Harwood who placed it home. In his return game from illness, he scored a hat trick! And our final goal was scored in the 82nd minute, another through ball came to Bakri who took a shot which then hit the Lancaster defender who couldn’t do anything to stop it going in. Full time and the result was 6-0.
Wray squeeze past Great Ecc
Wray 1 – 2 Great Ecc
(4-4 on aggregate, Wray win on away goals)
Fawcett 7 // Leech 2, Birkett 48
Wray went through to the semi-finals of the Champions Cup with the narrowest of victories over cup holders, Great Eccleston. Great Ecc started brightly and Wray found themselves behind within two minutes. Jonny Leech was played through, a ball beating the Wray defence and was finished well, lobbing Wayne Hutchinson. Great Ecc needed another goal to allow them to progress and were putting Wray under a lot of pressure. Wray were rocking but were given a way back into the game when winger George Whitaker kept his cool to find Jake Fawcett who finished from close range. Despite playing into the wind, Wray created other chances to take the lead, but were never able to get on top against a highly-motivated and dangerous Great Eccleston team.
It was the visitors who had the better of the second half and they leveled the tie when a speculative ball into the box from Dan Birkett drifted into the goal. Great Ecc were having plenty of chances, although they were rarely challenging the Wray keeper. Great Ecc thought they had taken the aggregate lead with 10 minutes to go, a free kick into the box was converted by Jack Sharples, cue delirium amongst the Great Ecc ranks, but a narrow offside decision cut short their celebrations. Wray had one or two sights of goal in the second half, but couldn’t get an equaliser. In the end, the game was lost but the tie was won, with the 3-2 win at Great Eccleston a fortnight ago proving to be crucial.
Accrington march onwards
Accrington 2 – 1 Loko
(Accrington win 8 – 4 on aggregate)
Riley 53, Schofield 81 // Towers 17
Loko traveled to Accrington in the second leg of this game, needing to score at least 4 away goals to stand a chance of going through. A difficult ask – but not impossible. And indeed, after 17 minutes, Loko had the first of the four goals they needed, player-manager Andrew Towers converting for them. The next goal in this game was going to be crucial. If Loko were to find a second, much more pressure would be on Accrington, but if it were to be Accrington, Loko’s day was going to be much harder.
The answer to that question didn’t come until the second half, Eddie Riley converted for Accrington in the 53rd minute. This made it 7-4 on aggregate, meaning that Loko would have to score 4 more goals to ensure their progress. A tough – but not impossible task. However, as the game wore on it was harder to see this game going any way other than a Accrington victory – and in the 81st minute that was confirmed. Jake Schofield added the hosts second of the game and eighth of the tie to ensure victory and again progress to the semi finals of the Champions Cup.
Fulwood progress through
Fulwood 2 – 1 Moorlands
(Fulwood win 3 – 2 on Aggregate)
Dean 8, Atkinson snr 63 // 13
This game was finely poised at 1-1 from the first leg and was a tough game to try and predict. However, Fulwood had the advantage of an away goal and added to that advantage by scoring an early goal. Luke Dean netted in the 8th minute to put Fulwood up 2-1 on aggregate. However, 5 minutes later Moorlands were back in it. They had their away goal which made the game winner takes all! The next goal in the game would be crucial in deciding the outcome of this tie and it was to be Fulwood who were to find it. Richard Atkinson senior netted for them in the 63th minute, putting them 3-2 up on aggregate. However, if Moorlands were to score again then it would be Moorlands progressing to the semi-finals. But, Fulwood kept them out and it was to be them progressing to the semi-finals of the Champions cup.
Champions Cup semi – finalists
League Cup semi – finalists
- Great Ecc