A fine second half performance from Ferrybridge Progressive saw them advance into the final of the West Riding County FA Sunday Cup at the expense of Bradford Sunday Alliance side West Bowling.
A 2-1 success took Ferrybridge into their second county final in three years and they will now meet Thornton United in a game to be played at the West Riding County FA headquarters at Fleet Lane on Thursday, April 28 (kick-off 7.30pm).
Ferry started the semi-final much the better of the two sides, youngster Brett Smith and Regan Fish’s pace causing real problems. It was the latter that played a part in the first real chance when Fish was brought down just outside the area, Mikey Dunn’s effort from the resulting free-kick being tipped round the post by Bowling Keeper Tom Carlisle.
Ferrybridge again went close when James Hicks’ towering header struck a bemused defender on the line. Moments later the powerful centre-forward had an excellent shout for a penalty turned away.
However, Ferry were not to be denied much longer as Dunn broke the offside trap to leave himself one-on-one with the keeper. Carlisle brought the pacy attacker down inside the box to bring about a penalty that was put away by Fish with the keeper fortunate to escape with just a yellow card.
This woke Bowling up and they came more into the game. Front man Chris Wood directed a free header straight into the arms of Adam Tasker before he came up with an equaliser from a Tom Lambert cross.
With Bowling looking more and more dangerous Ferry were in debt to the heroics of Tasker, first of all rushing out to stop Glynn Hirst and then denying Wood what looked like a certain goal, doing brilliantly to parry the ball away.
The second half probably brought with it the best 45 minutes of Progressive’s season. Following a rousing half-time talk from Jimmy Williams, they came out a different team and went close immediately, Dunn’s and Hicks’s willingness to win the ball seeing Hicks’ effort strike the foot of the post.
With Dunn and Fish in top gear now Ferry were on top and came up with a moment of magic to win the tie. Player-manager Williams picked the ball up just outside his own area and went on a surging run, powering past no less than six Bowling players to advance to the opposite box. He then played a neat one-two with Fish before running onto the ball and blasting an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Ferrybridge looked comfortable with the lead as subs Clough and Bird calmed the manic passing down. For all Bowling’s efforts they never really mustered a save out of Tasker in the second half.
Although the score stayed 2-1 to the close, Ferrybridge were unlucky not to add more as Dunn and Fish struck the post and upright with the keeper beaten.
Ferrybridge play another final this Sunday when they take on Fryston AFC in the Castleford Sunday League’s Premier Division Cup. The game, at Kellingley Welfare, kicks off at 10.30am.