Five goals were scored in a frantic first half as Westmorland County FA Under 18s defeated Cumberland FA in a pulsating five-goal thriller at Kendal Town Football Club.
The under 18s, who fielded players from various Westmorland League and West Lancashire League Clubs, continued their impressive season against a strong Cumberland squad who played their part in a good advert for local football.
Westmorland started the game well and opened the score on the tenth minute when Will Booth slotted the ball home from close range after Cumberland were caught on the counter attack.
The hosts doubled their lead five minutes later when Booth turned sharply at the edge of the area before slotting the ball past Cumberland keeper Luke Miller to claim his second of the night.
Cumberland, desperate to get back into the game, began to probe the Westmorland defence but Kieran Sill had a strong game in goal to deny efforts by Charlie Osgood and Brad Holliday.
However the visitors pulled a goal back midway through the first half when Marley Foord cut inside the penalty box before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Cumberland equalised three minutes later through Josh Wilson who tapped the ball home past Sill.
Both side continued to create opportunities after Bailey Kenny’s free kick deflected wide for Westmorland, before Jay Wetherill’s goal bound effort was stopped by Sill.
However Westmorland regained the lead on the 42nd minute when Bailey Kenny finished from close range after Cumberland failed to clear the ball away from a corner.
Half Time: Westmorland County FA 3 Cheshire County FA 2
Cumberland almost equalised one minute into the second half only for Josh Wilson to be denied by Sill who pushed the striker’s effort away.
Westmorland always looked dangerous on the break, with various counter attacks cleared by the Cumberland back line while Booth saw his powerful drive hit the cross bar.
The hosts continued to defend well throughout the rest of the second half, while the visitors missed further opportunities through Jay Wetherill and Thomas Atkinson.
Westmorland had a good chance to finish the game off with 5 minutes left however Kenny was denied by Miller who made an excellent diving save to keep the visitors in the contest.
With the game deep into stoppage time Wetherill headed over for the visitors as Westmorland celebrated a big win that sees them climb up to third in the table.
Westmorland Under 18s now travel to play Lancashire on the 3 April for their winner takes all game. If successful they will be promoted to the first Division and qualify for the knock out cup competition.
Westmorland County FA
Kieran Sill, Brandon Colloby, Dan Ashton, Ethan Burrow, Sam Harrison, Jamie Woodruff, George Key, Regan Coates, William Booth, Bailey Kenny, Dan Jones
Subs: Lewis Rands-Trevor, Joe Fiddler, Jack Brench, Matthew Clarke
Luke Miller, Dylan Atkinson, Leo Holliday, Steven Crake, Lewis Close, Joe Atkinson, Hayden Wilson, Jack Hannah, Charlie Osgood, Jay Wetherill, Marley Foord
Subs: Mikey Cox, Brandon Hessel, Michael Heap, Jamie Street, Will Hodgson
Referee: B Law
Assistant Referees: G Coleman and C Miles
4th Official: P Rushton
Report provided by Richard Edmondson