11:43am Thursday 4th April 2013
Steeton 4 Oxenhope Rec 2
Steeton’s three-hour snow-clearing exercise to ensure their last-four tie went ahead paid dividends as they dumped Keighley Cup holders Oxenhope out to reach the final against Silsden Whitestar.
With a few key players missing, the hosts were forced to shuffle the pack, with Joe Park coming in on the left and Pete Hanson back in the starting line-up.
Oxenhope named pretty much the same side as the one that faced Silsden reserves in the quarter-final, with Chris Day coming in at left back.
Rec had the first chance when Dan Moriarty’s free-kick was dealt with by Phil Rishton.
Chris Simpson was at the thick of things for the home side. He burst through and fired straight at Nick Hudson when he should have made the keeper work harder.
Despite the efforts of the home side, it was the visitors who took the lead when the ball was fed into Michael Garnett and he turned quickly to fire past Rishton.
The game then had one of those talking points that make local derbies what they are. Jamie Longley rounded Oxenhope keeper Hudson and was felled by him.
After a consultation with the linesman the referee decided it was a yellow card and awarded Steeton a free-kick on the edge of the box, which Longley clipped just over the bar.
With five minutes remaining of the first half, Steeton grabbed themselves a leveller as Holden got round the back and found Sam Rooke rushing in to stab home from close range.
However, Oxenhope regained the lead in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time. Tom Marshall weaved his way into the box. His strike was beaten out by the keeper to Jonathan Clewes, who floated the ball back into the danger area and Moriarty was first to react, acrobatically forcing the ball over the line from close range.
The second period saw Steeton up the tempo and, with Damien Whiteoak and Arley Barnes now getting a hold on the midfield, the home side looked the more likely scorers.
They made the breakthrough after ten minutes when Holden was again the provider with a low ball across the box, which Simpson turned in at the far post.
This proved to be the last action of the half for the Steeton No 9 as he went off injured with a twisted knee.
Patrick King came on to replace him and made an immediate impact with his tenacious tackling. Within a couple of minutes, he was fed by Park and he calmly drew Hudson to slot the ball home to put Steeton ahead for the first time.
Oxenhope threw men forward and Rishton did well to save from Joel Gallagher before Moriarty whistled a shot past the face of goal.
With the clock running down, Longley burst through the middle and, faced with a one-on-one with Hudson, took his time to score past the keeper and seal victory for Steeton.
The hosts also had time to hit the bar through Hanson and Matty Kershaw.
Steeton now face Craven League side Silsden Whitestar in the final at Silsden’s Angel Telecom Stadium on Friday, April 19.
Steeton: Rishton, Rhodes, Park, Hanson, Rooke, Whiteoak, Holden, Barnes, Simpson (PJ King), Longley, Kershaw: Subs not used: Foster, S Lee, Mortimer, Mason.
Oxenhope: Hudson, Bailey, Day, Nelson, Walton, White, Clewes (Gallagher), Moriarty, Garnett, Metcalfe, Marshall (Ritson). Sub not used: Andrew.
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