SAINTS FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE
St Mary’s AFC progressed to the final of the Intermediate Cup after a 5-0 away win against AFC North at the RWB Playing Field. Denis Istrate and Kane Williams each scored braces while a further goal from captain Adam Wilberforce secured their place in the final.
It was a fairly even contest in the opening exchanges of the game, with AFC North creating the first chances. Nathan Stamp hit his effort over the bar while Josh Thompson hit the side netting from an acute angle.
But, it was St Mary’s who opened the scoring on the eleventh minute as Wilberforce was played through on goal and he slotted his finish under the onrushing Gav Elliot. Wilberforce nearly got a second moments later as his shot was deflected wide, before from the resulting corner, Harold Djeukam’s effort was hooked off the line.
However, the visitors weren’t going to be denied their second goal as two minutes later, Istrate capitalised on a mistake in the AFC North midfield and the winger raced towards goal before placing his shot into the bottom corner.
The hosts tried to respond through Ellis Edmonds as good passing play on the right wing allowed the fullback to test George Dougherty with a dangerous cross. AFC North thought they pulled a goal back as Jack Wheelhouse’s free-kick, from his own half, eluded everyone and flew into the net, but the linesman flagged for offside as he judged Thompson to be interfering with play. At the other end, Elliot produced a great save to deny Cedric Prempeh, while Dougherty gathered a Wheelhouse free-kick at the second attempt.
There was chances galore in the latter stages of the half as Josh Hirst’s tame effort was gathered, before Cameron Walker volleyed over Istrate’s corner. Connor Batty then saw his drilled free-kick gathered by Dougherty as St Mary’s went in at half-time 2-0 ahead.
In the second half, the visitors nearly scored their third within a minute of the restart. Walker’s cross was met by Prempeh who saw his strike cleared off the line by Wheelhouse. The defender denied Prempeh on the line once again, before St Mary’s saw a goal of their own disallowed, as Prempeh was judged to have had the final touch on Walker’s goal bound cross.
St Mary's did get their third goal though shortly after as Williams met Walker’s cross and after his original effort was blocked by Ryan Middleton, the midfielder fired his rebound into the bottom corner. The floodgates then opened as the visitors scored their fourth just five minutes later. Walker again turning provider as his cross was half-cleared by the AFC North defence and Istrate fired a thunderous strike into top corner to secure his brace.
Dougherty was then called into action to deny Batty’s chipped effort while Prempeh was denied once again by Elliot. Sam Pullman then saw his acrobatic effort saved by Dougherty, before Cody Wilks at the back post headed over Istrate’s corner.
St Mary’s scored their fifth with ten minutes left to play as Wilks’ initial header was saved well by Elliot, but the rebound fell to Williams who fired the ball into the top corner. James Grayson should of pulled one back for AFC North as he fired his effort wide from close-range, but St Mary’s preserved their clean sheet as they progressed to the final of the Intermediate Cup.
AFC NORTH: 1. Gav Elliot (GK), 16. Jonny Gutherless (15. Ryan Middleton 35’), 5. Jack Wheelhouse, 2. Ellis Edmonds (3. Andy Furlong 54’), 7. Nathan Stamp (14. Ryan Hunt 59’), 8. Jamie Beecham, 18. Ben Lindsey, 11. Harry Bennett, 12. Connor Batty (01. James Grayson 80’), 6. Liam Thomas (17. Sam Pullman 54’), 10. Josh Thompson.
ST MARY’S AFC: 1. George Dougherty (GK), 2. Corey La Touche (14. Callum Vernon 46’), 4. Harold Djeukam, 5. Joe Farrah, 7. Adam Wilberforce (11. Kane Williams 48’), 8. Cameron Walker, 12. Cedric Prempeh (9. Angel Ramadan 68’), 15. Nathan Davis, 16. Ryan Brusch, 17. Josh Hirst (18. Cody Wilks 59’), 19. Denis Istrate. Substitues (Not Used): 20. Brett Daniels.
AFC North Manager Eddie Calvert:
“I think today was a true competitive game played with a great competitive spirit from both teams. We knew we had to raise our game against a team who was flying high in the Humber Premier One before lockdown.
“We kept them at bay for the first ten minutes, but we gifted them there opener following a mistake at the back and then a few minutes later, it was 2-0. However, I was pleased that the lads didn’t give up and kept up with the pressing game plan.
“I think the disallowed free-kick from Jack Wheelhouse was the turning point as we would have been only a goal behind if it stood. However, St Mary’s went up the other end of the pitch and scored their third goal. The difference showed in the end as St Mary’s went onto to score two more goals, but I couldn’t of been more proud of our performance and never give up attitude and I think that will bode well for the upcoming season.”
St Mary’s AFC Manager Ricky Spencer:
“It was great to be back playing competitive football after the COVID-19 restrictions and I’m obviously very proud of my boys coming away with a 5-0 win against a strong AFC North side. I thought at times we were unplayable with some really good bits of quality football played during inclement weather and full credit to the officials who let the game flow.
“I believe both sides were very respectful and competitive throughout the game. AFC North could have thrown in the towel after sixty minutes, but they kept competing all the way to the final whistle. I have big respect for them and I wish their boys all the best for their upcoming season.
“For us, we’ll focus on the final and having that opportunity for silverware. My boys do have experience of winning silverware after dominating the U19’s league for two seasons and our first season in men’s football has not been bad either.”
SATURDAY CUP ROUND-UP:
Staying with the Intermediate Cup and St Mary’s AFC will face Kingfields FC in the final after their 4-1 victory over Queens County AFC.
In the Senior Country Cup, East Riding Rangers 1st and Pocklington Town 2nds will face each other in the final. East Riding Rangers 1st defeated Dunnington Reserves 5-4 on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 draw, while Pocklington Town 2nds also won on penalties against Hunmanby United 3-0, after a goalless draw to progress to the final.
In the Junior Country Cup, there was another penalty shootout to decide who progressed to the final between Market Weighton United and Wilberfoss AFC First. After a 1-1 draw, it was Market Weighton United who won 7-6 on penalties to progress to the final. In the other semi-final, it was Bridlington Rovers who progressed after a 3-2 victory over Souths FC at Bridlington CYP.
And in the Qualifying Cup, Martonian and Leven Members Reserves progressed to the final. Martonian won 4-3 on penalties, after an exciting 4-4 draw against Bishop Wilton at Gypsey Road, while Leven Members Reserves defeated AAK S&S 8-7 on penalties, after a goalless draw at Leven.
Match report and Cup round up from Joe Brown.