Cup Kings in seventh heaven

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Warrington Town 3-0 Ilkeston, by James Gordon Pictures John Hopkins

WARRINGTON Town will end a memorable season with a cup final, after Ilkeston became their latest knockout victim in the Doodson Sport Cup.goal-celebration4
It was the seventh time this season that Town had defeated opposition from a higher league, as the Northern Premier League side were blown away in a three goal first half.
Scott Metcalfe, Stephen Tames and Ben Wharton were on the scoresheet to fire Shaun Reid’s side to the final, where they will face either Farsley or Ramsbottom at a venue yet to be confirmed.
Town started without captain David Mannix and the injured Warren Beattie, but welcomed back the inspirational Craig Robinson after a five match ban, and the FA Cup hero was at his typical best.
Tames and Wharton fired a couple of early warning signs to the visitors, twice linking up to set the other up for headed chances that fell over and wide of the goal.
Ilkeston came within a couple of inches of opening the scoring on 11 minutes, when David Morgan’s vicious shot from 25 yards bounced awkwardly in front of Karl Wills and came back off the inside of the post.
That didn’t deter the hosts from their quick tempo, and they got their reward for a positive start with the first goal on 17 minutes. Nathan Burke’s right wing cross was met by a fine header by top scorer Metcalfe, who guided it past the ‘keeper and in to the far corner.
Wharton squandered a glorious chance barely five minutes later when a hooked clearance had him through on goal, and after winning the foot race to the ball with the goalkeeper, he poked his shot wide.
There was a touch of fortune when the second goal did come on 27 minutes, Wharton freeing Tames inside the box, and the striker’s shot finding the back of the net courtesy of a wicked deflection off an Ilkeston defender.
And Town were in dreamland on 35 minutes. Chris Gahgan’s low curling cross was flicked towards goal by Wharton, and it came back up off the ‘keeper for Wharton to head home and get the goal that his endeavours had deserved.
It put the home side well in control of the tie, although they had Robinson to thank for preserving the 3-0 half time advantage, the centre-back putting his body on the line to divert Michael Williams’s shot over the bar in the closing stages of the first period.
Ilkeston made a double change at the break, and had a chance early on in the second half, but were by and large kept quiet by Town, who held on for a comfortable victory.
Ilkeston join Exeter City (League Two), Colwyn Bay, North Ferriby United (both Conference North), Trafford, Workington and Rushall Olympic (all Northern Premier League) in succumbing to Town in cup competitions this season.

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Warrington: Wills, Turner, Hardwick, Kinsella, McCarten, Robinson (Corrigan), Gahgan (Hickey), Burke, Wharton, Tames (Booth), Metcalfe. Unused subs: Mannix, Collins.
Ilkeston: Smith, Gordon, Lane, Burgess (Baker), Maguire, Gorman (Burrows), Morgan (Reid), Chettle, Wright, Bako, Williams. Unused subs: Samba, Fortnam-Tomlinson.

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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