A place in the Light Distribution Amateur Shield Final on 1 May was up for grabs on Wednesday evening and Thornton Cleveleys were victorious, defeating Slyne with Hest 2-1 at a chillly Giant Axe Stadium.
The opening 20 minutes belonged to Slyne with Hest, however, with the Slugs creating a good number of half chance. The first real opportunity for the opening goal came on 17 minutes when Gary Hunter’s powerful effort struck the underside of the post directly from a corner kick. The shot bounced off the line and was just about cleared away in some makeshift defending from Thornton Cleveleys.
Slyne’s relentless pressure paid off, and they took a deserved lead half an hour in. A great pass forward was misjudged by Thornton’s Jordan Gregory to give Reece Pearle a one v one chance against the goalkeeper.
Slyne’s number seven kept his calm and placed a gorgeous side footed effort under the onrushing Mark Smith and into the back of the net to give the ‘away’ side a half time lead.
It was, as they say, a game of two halves as Thornton Cleveleys came out at the interval a full fiv minutes before the opposition, ready to take the tie to Slyne.
A quick fire double in the 55th and 61st minute gave the coastal side passage into the Final.
The equaliser came ten minutes after the restart with an incredible goal from Oliver Wilkinson. The number eight controlled a cleared corner kick beautifully with his chest, only to then unleash a lobbed volley from 20 yards over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Just six minutes later, Thornton took the lead in the match. Wilkinson did really well down the right hand side to feed a ball in from the byline, only for the Slyne with Hest skipper, Matthew Bell, to slide the ball in over the goal line.
Despite some late pressure from Slyne and four additional minutes given at the end of the 90, Thornton booked their place in the Final at the County Ground on 1 May and will face either Coppull United or Turton FC, who play their semi-final next week.
Thornton Cleveleys: Smith, Breakall, Dagger, Cheal, Hudson, Gregory, Walmsley, Wilkinson, Robinson, Khambey, Norton
Subs: Walmsley, Tymon, Lawson, Hulme, Spedding
Slyne with Hest: Morris, Aspin, Chilufya, Cutts, Crossley, Hunter, Pearle, Bell, Clark, Dickson, Hastings
Subs: Dixon, Poole, Spence, Winder, Knight
Referee: Mark Hughes
Assistant Referee: Joseph Wareham & Farhan Kazi