Alston see off County League high-flyers

Date: Friday 20th October 2017

ALTHOUGH several Cumberland FA Senior Cup second round matches fell victim to the weather on Saturday, there were good wins for several Eden teams — particularly Alston who beat Cumberland County League leaders Bransty — while Westmorland League leaders Keswick gave Hallmark Security League side Carlisle City a real run for their money.

ALSTON MOOR SC 2,

BRANSTY RANGERS 1

High-flying Bransty Rangers, who currently top the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County Lea-gue first division, were Alston’s latest victims in this Cumberland Cup second round clash.

The first half saw Alston play some fine football, but they could find no way past the visiting keeper who pulled off a great save to deny Jamie Ellwood from 10 yards in the 20th minute.

At the other end, Alston keeper Jason Williams was rarely troubled, and although Bransty were starting to keep the ball, no serious efforts on goal resulted from their neat play.

After the break the game exploded, with many fouls, tackles and flare-ups cropping up all over the pitch.

Alston continued to press for the vital first goal but were thwarted by the excellent Bransty keeper.

With 15 minutes to go the home side were awarded a direct free kick for a nasty challenge on Callum James. Up stepped Dan Alexandra who curled the ball over the wall and high into the top corner of the net for a goal which is unlikely to be bettered this season.

Five minutes later, Alston went 2-0 up when Alexandra wriggled his way past a couple of defenders before squaring the ball back to Joseph Wright who finished neatly with his left foot.

The visitors then threw everyone forward and were rewarded in the 88th minute with a goal from a looping header.

This made the final minutes a very nervy affair, but the home side stood strong and hung on for a very impressive win against their Whitehaven opponents. In the third round, Alston will play Pirelli, who won the Westmorland League last season before moving into the Cumberland County League.

WETHERIGGS UTD. 5,

GREYSTOKE 1

In a game marred by two serious injuries, Westmorland League Division I side Wetheriggs progressed to the third round of the Cumberland Cup, when they will play the winners of Netherhall and Castletown United.

The threadbare visitors, who play in Division II of the same league, were dealt a major blow after 10 minutes when goalkeeper Steve Mandle landed awkwardly and ruptured his Achilles tendon. This meant a reshuffle, with full back Jamie Dobinson donning the gloves and manager Dave Simmons forced to play 80 minutes at full back.

Meanwhile, the hosts were boosted by the return of front man Martyn Coleman, who was cup-tied for his Northern League side Shildon, and they also gave a debut to former Elgin City player Chris Tucker.

In a reasonably even and dull first half, Wetheriggs had the better of the chances, with midfielder Kie Wallace going closest to breaking the deadlock when he screwed his shot wide with the goal gaping and the score remained 0-0 at half-time.

The home side started the second half a lot brighter and soon broke the deadlock, Coleman twisting and turning in the box before curling a left- footed shot into the bottom corner.

Within minutes Greystoke were back on level terms when David Ivinson turned on the edge of the box and, with the help of a slight deflection, his shot flew past keeper Joe Nichol to make it 1-1.

Coleman put his side back in front when he capitalised on a mix-up in the Greystoke defence and again curled a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

Coleman then turned provider when his cross was headed into his own net by an unfortunate defender to make it 3-1.

He completed his hat-trick in the 75th minute when he found space 25 yards out and rifled a shot into the top corner.

Wetheriggs were then dealt a blow when defender Darren Campbell mistimed a tackle and was taken to hospital in an ambulance with what was later confirmed as a broken tibia.

Manager Ian Henderson had been forced to include himself as a sub and, having used his other replacements, he was forced on to make his first team debut at the grand age of 58.

There was just enough time on the clock for the hosts to get one more when impressive younger Windle lobbed the keeper after another Coleman assist and the game finished 5-1.

KESWICK 2,

CARLISLE CITY 4

Finding a way past Carlisle City, who play in Division I of the Hallmark Security League, was always going to be a challenge for Westmorland League leaders Keswick, who had done everything they could to get the game on, and what a game it was — a classic cup tie.

Carlisle started quickly and dominated the first half hour. Their number 10 Michael Slack opened the scoring with a well worked goal on 15 minutes, and Rob McCartney made it 2-0 just seven minutes later when he was on hand to finish a great cross from Ryan Errington on the left. Keswick then settled and finally began to make progress into the visitors’ half, but Keswick keeper John Philips was called into action again on the half hour, making a great save from a Slack shot.

On 40 minutes Errington made it 3-0 with a great curling shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.

It could have been game over, but just four minutes later Andy Rigg scored for Keswick with a beautiful strike that powered past Adam Coward into the Carlisle net.

In the second half Keswick pushed forwards and looked the more likely team to score. A well saved Sam Reilly strike was swiftly turned around by Coward, and Keswick were caught by the rapid City counter attack. Coming forwards Philips mistakenly handled the ball outside his box and, from the resulting free kick, Slack scored his second to make it 4-1 on 73 minutes.

This was now a cracker of a game and on 80 minutes Declan Robinson scored a second for Keswick.

In the final 10 minutes Tom Atkinson, Richard Bannister and Robinson all had shots save by Coward in the City goal.

PENRITH AFC 4,

CROWN NEWLAITHES 0

Penrith were ahead after just eight minutes through Matty Moynan’s thumping volley from 12 yards.

Blues midfielder Brad Hayton saw a shot saved before Grant Davidson, Shaun Gardner and Jamie Hodgson all went close.

Home keeper Stu Dixon saved from visiting striker Tom Friend, and at the other end lively front man Chris Wraighte rattled the crossbar.

Penrith took the game away from their Cumbria County League opponents after the interval.

Connor Shields netted from close range on 56 minutes and was then fouled in the penalty area, Wraighte tucking away the spot kick.

Gardner completed the scoring 10 minutes from time, nipping in front of Shields to head home Robbie Hebson’s excellent cross from the right.

• In a somewhat mismatched game at Frenchfield, Westmorland League Division III side Penrith Saints were up against Cleator Moor Celtic, from the Wearside League.

This was never about whether Celtic would win, but by what margin. And it was 18, with the goals coming from Leigh Dunn (5), Stuart Shaw (4), Darren Little (3), Kieran Maguire (2), Calum Birdsall (2), Rhys Little and Adam Meagan.

Westmorland League Division III side Langwathby lost 4-0 at home to Eden Thistle, of Division II, while Aspatria were awarded a home win against Unisun Athletic, Pirelli were awarded a win over Penrith Town, and Cockermouth were awarded an away walkover against Frizington White Star.

Second round results: Alston Moor SC 2, Bransty Rangers 1; Keswick 2, Carlisle City 4; Langwathby Utd. 0, Eden Thistle 4; Penrith Saints 0, Cleator Moor Celtic 18; Wetheriggs Utd. 5, Greystoke 1; Frizington White Star v. Cockermouth — away walkover; Pirelli v. Penrith Town — home walkover; Aspatria v. Unisun Athletic — home walkover; Workington Athletic 5, Kirkoswald 1; Carlisle Utd. 8, Borough 1; Windscale 3, Carleton Banks 0; Crown Newlaithes 0, Penrith 4.

Third round draw: Braithwaite or Whitehaven Miners Social v. Cleator Moor Celtic. Aspatria v. Carlisle City. Eden Thistle v. Workington Athletic. Wetheriggs Utd. v. Netherhall or Castletown Utd. Windscale v. Northbank or Gosforth. Cockermouth v. Penrith AFC. Pirelli v. Alston Moor SC. Carlisle Utd. v. Workington AFC or Whitehaven AFC.