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This Week`s Cup Action Reviewed

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Ebac Northern League First Division club North Shields’ late revival wasn’t enough as Evo-Stik Northern Premier League champions Blyth Spartans were also crowned Northumberland Senior Cup champions.

In a repeat of last year’s final, Blyth deservedly led 2-0 through Luke Armstrong’s brace on 24 and 44 minutes before the action unfolded in the final 5 minutes of the game.

Dean Holmes pulled one back for the Robins in the 85th minute but Ryan Hutchinson restored his side’s two-goal advantage 4 minutes later.

Substitute Gareth Bainbridge then almost simultaneously made it 3-2, though it was a case of being too much too late for Jon McDonald’s side as Blyth held out to lift the trophy.

NPL First Division South side Loughborough Dynamo celebrated achieving the `Great Escape` from relegation by hammering Leicestershire Senior League neighbours Loughborough FC 7-0 at the Nanpantan Sports Ground to reach the final of the Loughborough Charity Cup.

It was only 2-0 at the break through Sam Thorpe and Karl Demidh.

However, Dynamo went nap after the interval with a Tom Rigby brace and singles for Jack Bewley, Danny Durkin and Ashley Hodgkinson.

Dynamo`s league rivals Chasetown took on a young Stoke City side at Vale Park in the final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup and were just seconds away from causing an upset, only for the Potters to equalise at the death to send the game to penalties, which they won 4-3 to lift the trophy.

The Scholars took the lead after just two minutes through Matthew Gardner who controlled a cross-field ball before beating Harry Isted in the Stoke City goal.

But for the rest of the game, the Cannock-based side were defending in numbers hoping to hold out for the victory.

It took the side whose players play in the Premier League academy until the 92 minute to find the back of the net when Harry Souttar headed home a corner.

Despite the goal, the Chase defence was more than a match throughout the game against the side from the Bet 365 stadium.

Another NPL First Division South outfit, relegated Northwich Victoria, weren`t able to end a miserable campaign with silverware.

A 66th minute strike by Scott McGowan was enough for Hallmark Security League neighbours 1874 Northwich to overcome Vics and retain the Mid-Cheshire District Senior Cup

Both teams had their chances to win an at times scrappy but entertaining encounter at St Luke’s Barton Stadium.

The decisive moment came when McGowan won the ball on the right flank picking up a loose pass from former 1874 player George Mannion.

Racing into Vics penalty area, he drove an angled shot across Vics `keeper Dylan Forth into the far side of the net to spark wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

NPL First Division North outfit Prescot Cables won the Liverpool Senior Cup after a 2-0 victory over Southport, who suffered relegation from the Vanarama National League, at Volair Park.

Goals in the 32nd minute from Joe Herbert and on 68 minutes from Andy Scarisbrick handed Brian Richardson’s side the victory.

It caps a successful season for Cables after former Skelmersdale United coach Richardson took over from Andy Paxton in the Autumn.

Richardson secured Cables’ First Division North status before leading the club to silverware.

A century of goals for one club is a big achievement, but number 101 proved even more special for ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division club Eynesbury Rovers hero Tom Coles as it secured Huntingdonshire Senior Cup glory.

Match-winner Coles’ header 3 minutes before the break ensured Rovers claimed the scalp of Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division neighbours St Neots Town to lift the county crown for the first time in fifteen years, courtesy of a 1-0 success.

Roger James was Southern Division One South & West club North Leigh’s goalscoring hero as his double saw off a young Oxford United side 2-1 to lift the Oxfordshire Senior Cup.

The midfielder raced clear to coolly open the scoring in the 20th minute and struck again on the volley early in the second half of the final, staged at Thame United’s ASM Stadium.

Aaron Heap pulled a goal back 3 minutes from time for the U’s side made up entirely of youth team players, but on the balance of play the Millers were worthy winners.

It was a fitting end to a fine campaign which had seen the west Oxfordshire side go further in the Emirates FA Cup and Buildbase FA Trophy than ever before.

North Leigh manager John Brough told the Oxford Mail: “I think the performance warranted the win.

“I think we were a bit strong for them in certain areas, but it was a great way to finish the season.

“It was a bit edgy towards the end, but that’s the way it is.

“We ran out of steam a bit and with them being full-time they kicked on and got the break with the goal.

“The lads put a massive effort in, there were some empty bodies out there at the end, but they really did well all season.”

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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