Awsworth Villa reach cup final for a first time
Awsworth Villa booked a NSL Senior Cup final spot after a 2-1 win over Newark Flowserve on Tuesday night.
Villa are still in the hunt for honours in the league, however, perhaps have an even greater chance of silverware in the cup.
Awsworth named a strong 16 as they aimed to reach their first cup final in living memory.
Skipper Liam Hutchinson passed a late fitness test and took his place in centre midfield whilst Joe Staley returned to partner Liam Smith at the heard of defence. The opening minutes were expectedly nervous with both sides keen to gain the upper hand.
Liam Hutchinson tested the goalkeeper with a stinging long range effort whilst Anthony Withe saw a good chance go begging following some good footwork in the box. Ryan Whitehurst was a constant threat with his running in behind and it was this hard work that brought about the first goal.
After 31 minutes Villa were awarded a corner and when the ball was passed short, it eventually came out to John Michalski who unleashed an unstoppable shot from 25 yards that flew straight in the top corner.
Villa were now in the ascendency and were pushing hard for another goal. The Newark backline however remained strong and the score remained 1-0 at the break.
The second half started as the first finished with Villa dominating possession and trying to create the openings. Newark, however, were standing firm and with the clock ticking, they were forced to commit more men forward.
The equaliser came on 62 minutes when Awsworth failed to clear their lines and the pacy Tyler Martin nipped in front of Luke Grinham to fire past Matt Walsh.
Substitute Kurt Savage was introduced after 70 minutes and he almost made an immediate impact, flicking on a free kick for Liam Smith to head in. Assistant referee correctly called it offside.
Matt Goodwin’s pace once again caused problems down the right wing but when he delivered the cross the goalkeeper looked to have it covered.
But with Ryan Whitehurst bearing down on him he fumbled it directly into the Villa striker’s path.
Newark were then forced to throw everything at Awsworth but man of the match Liam Smith dealt with it expertly and the game finished, sending Awsworth in to the Senior Cup final for the first time. Awsworth will now face either Clifton or Real United on May 14 at Dunkirk FC (3pm KO).