[I]t was a another busy weekend of football in the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County League, and a weekend for once not affected by the unpredictable Cumbrian weather.
In the Ken Glover Memorial Shield Quarter Finals, Aspatria and Wigton Harriers met at St Mungos Park in a match that went into extra time in an entertaining local derby This was another tense encounter, with Aspatria’s local rivals and League leaders Wigton looking for revenge after last weeks defeat in the Benevolent Cup. This was an open game from the kick off.
Wigton had a couple of early chancesm but Aspatria’s keeper Dan Swann was a safe pair of hands, and Aspatria had as many chances and nearly took the lead from a corner on fifteen minutes when Malc Graham rattled the right hand post of the Wigton goal.
The home side then did get on top, scoring two quick goals as Graham and Richard Hudson both found the back of the net. Aspatria should have put the game to bed but missed a gilt edged chance to score to make it 3-0, and it was Wigton who broke back and the ever dangerous Johnny Studholme rifled in a shot from 20 yards out that went straight into the top corner of Swann’s net. 2-1 at half time. Wigton had the wind behind them in the second half, and Studholme levelled the scores from an inswinging corner which ended up going straight into the back of the net.
With both sides now looking for the winner, it was Aspatria who took the lead again with a looping shot from Graham with 20 minutes left. With Aspatria looking to see the game out, and with only minutes left, Wigton were awarded a penalty for hand ball which Studholme dispatched for his hat trick and 3-3. The first half of extra time ended goalless but Aspatria then took the lead in the final fifteen minutes through a Richard Hudson strike, and Aspatria sealed win with the goal of the game from substitute Wayne Iredale who saw the Harrier’s keeper off his line and volleyed the ball over to make it 5-3 to Aspatria at the final whistle.
In the second Quarter Final, Cleator Moor Celtic Reserves lost 2-0 to Workington Athletic at the Lakes College 3G pitch with goals from Ash Kelly and Calum Best for Athletic. Borough meet Gosforth next weekend and Carlisle City Reserves entertain Pirelli on the 3rd February in the remaining two Quarter Finals.
In the Smurfit Kappa Premier Division, Cockermouth and Netherhall battled it out for a 2-2 draw and a point apiece. Brian Sraughton and Brett McMillan were the goal scorers for Cockermouth, and Aston Reynolds and Cameron Harker found the back of the net for Netherhall. Silloth had a day best forgotten, with the Seagulls hammered 0-8 at home by Carlisle City Reserves. Ryan Scott scored a hat trick for the visitors, Jamie Hendry scored twice and there was a goal each for Jack Baker, Lee Thompson and Reece Robinson.
In Division One, second placed Gosforth lost 0-3 at home to Crown Newlaithes in an excellent result for the visitors. 0-0 at half time, the visitors controlled the second half and goals from Lewis Gardener, Sam James and Tom Freind from a free kick and a clean sheet for seventeen year old ‘keeper Ellis Dickinson mean Newlaithes are now in fifth spot.
Top of the table Pirelli had a 4-1 win over third placed Bransty Rangers with Jordan Irving, Pip Carruthers and Adam Roberts scoring for the home side with Bransty contributing an own goal. Joe Dobinson got Rangers only goal. Whitehaven Miners and Whitehaven Amateurs played it out for a 2-2 draw, with Tom Stanaway and Declan Stamper on the score sheet for the visitors, and Windscale had a very useful 3-2 win over fourth placed Borough, with Jordan Lee netting a brace and Alan Blair grabbing a goal for Windscale, and Lee Woolfe and Bryan Rutherford scoring for Borough.