Pier boss lifted by semi victory

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WEST Pier pulled off a shock 2-0 win against Trafalgar in the semi-final of the Senior Cup at Snainton.

Pier boss Paddy Parke was delighted with his side’s display against a Traf team that have dominated the Sunday League in recent years. Pier now face holders Newlands in the final - with the latter having seen off second division Strongwood Reserves 4-1 in the other semi-final.

“We were excellent in the first half and were the better team, scoring both goals. The second half saw Traf take control, but my defenders Sam Hyde, Scott Eccles, James Wardle, and Daz Swinger - who was replaced by sub Dave Crawford, all battled superbly to keep a clean sheet.

“The lads definitely deserved the win and I am chuffed to bits for them.”

After a keenly-fought opening 20 minutes, Pier gained the upper hand with two goals in the space of five minutes.

MIkey Barker raced through the Traf defence in the 20th minute, and was fouled in the area, martin Cooper firing in the resulting penalty-kick.

Five minutes later, stand-in striker Steve Sheader smashed the ball past Jamie Sanderson from 18 yards to double Pier’s lead.

After the interval, Liam Salt’s Traf outfit came roaring out of the traps, but some superb defending from Pier, including a couple of goal-line clearances, kept the league leaders at bay.

Salt admitted after the game: “We were below-par against Pier and the better team went through to the final.”

Newlands needed to be on top form to see off an understrength Strongwood Reserves side 4-1 in the other semi-final, which was played at Staxton.

Ryan Cooper handed Newlands the lead with a neat finish, and when Ben Luntley added a second goal it looked like the top-flight team were coasting into the final.

Strongwood, who were without several key players due to injuriers and suspension, then pulled a goal back in the 80th minute when Lee Tate scored from a corner.

Eric Hall, who had been playing in goal in place of Strongwood’s regular keeper Sean Pinder - who is serving a suspension - was moved into an outfield role as the second division team eyed an equaliser.

Newlands took advantage of this move, racing upfield with a counter-attacking move and Luntley finished it off to make it 3-1.

Kile Fields’ stunning long-range shot sealed Newlands’ spot in the final.

Jamie Gallagher excelled in the Newlands midfield, while Jason Harrison also stood out in defence.

Strongwood Reserves boss Steve Mainprize was proud of his lads’ efforts: “We have done really well to get to the semi-finals and performed well today despite the depleted team we had.

“Jason Darling was our star player in defence, while Oli Coyle also played well.”