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Black day for hosts as Royal Oak win through to Division Four final

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

HOME REVERSE . . . Blackfordby YC struck three second-half goals to make the scoreline a respectable one against Royal Oak reserves. Pictured are Blackfordby’s (back row, l-r) S Birt, B Bannister, T Woodward, M Hastilow, J Langridge, S Veasey, G Goodall a

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ANDREW Clements’ double helped Royal Oak reserves to victory over Blackfordby in Sunday’s Division Four Cup semi-final.

Aaron Clark, Darran Hickling and Nick Mulgrew were also on target with Stuart Birt, Tom Woodward and Andrew Gardner scoring for the hosts.

With a strong wind at their backs the Oak were soon on the attack, with Steven Wayte prominent down the left.

In the fourth minute Wayte picked out Clements who forced a decent save out of Michael Hastilow.

Then, a Wayte free kick found Hickling who headed over.

The hosts replied with a long throw-in by Jake Millar falling to Kris Prince, but Oak keeper Carl Worth was swiftly off his line to claim the ball at the striker’s feet.

The action soon switched back to the other end as the visitors took the lead in the 10th minute.

A dangerous ball, swung in from the right by Jake Mole was not cleared and Clark took full advantage, firing into the bottom corner.

The striker could have doubled his tally shortly after, when Ryan Pirrie picked him out, but the winger dragged his shot wide.

On 13 minutes the visitors doubled their advantage.

Pirrie intercepted a pass from James Langridge and found Clements, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Stung into action, Blackfordby fought back with James Higgs pulling a shot wide.

Birt then fired a speculative effort over the bar before Prince was denied by a vital sliding challenge from Lee Sanders.

On 24 minutes, after a decent spell from the hosts, Prince volleyed past Worth – but the referee Keith Perry had already blown for a push in the area.

Wayte was giving full back Bobby Bannister a torrid time down the left.

The winger went close when he cut inside and drove inches wide of Hastilow’s left-hand post.

The visitors continued to threaten and Mulgrew headed over from a corner whipped in by Wayte.

Hastilow then pulled off a fantastic save to keep out a Pirrie free kick which was heading for the top corner.

It was one-way traffic, with a Stephen Seabridge header cleared off the line, before Sanders headed wide at the far post from yet another Wayte corner.

The defender was prominent at the other end soon after, when he headed clear a wicked cross whipped in by Elliott Goodall.

A minute before the break Oak increased their lead. Once again a routine ball into the box was only partially cleared and Hickling punished a hesitant defence with a low strike into the bottom corner.

Two goals in the first four minutes after the break put the game beyond the hosts.

On 47 minutes, the experienced Hickling held the ball up well before sending Clements through on goal - and the striker made no mistake, lashing the ball past Hastilow.

Two minutes later came the goal of the game.

Wayte found Clements down the right and the striker surged clear before crossing to Mulgrew, who timed his run from midfield perfectly to sweep the ball past Hastilow.

To their credit Blackfordby kept going and, aided by an ever-increasing wind, reduced the deficit in the 70th minute.

A cross from Marian created chaos and after an almighty scramble, Birt forced the ball over the line.

Substitute Reece Venning replied for the Oak with a fierce drive which flew narrowly wide.

Two goals in the last 10 minutes from Blackfordby was the least they deserved after fighting back from 5-0 down.

Woodward headed home from a Goodall corner and two minutes from time Gardner powered a header past Worth.

GOALS: Birt 70, Woodward 80, Gardner 88 (Blackfordby); Clark 10, Clements 13, 47, Hickling 44, Mulgrew 49 (Royal Oak).

BLACKFORDBY: Hastilow, Bannister, Woodward, Langridge, Veasey (Gardner 49), Goodall, Millar, Higgs, Birt, Marian (Ball 77), Prince. Subs not used: Winson, Blackshaw.

ROYAL OAK RESERVES: Worth, Browhill, Sanders, Seabridge, Mole, Pirrie (Catlin 58), Mulgrew, Clark, Wayte (Marston 60), Hickling (Venning 63), Clements.

STAR MAN: Ryan Pirrie (Royal Oak) - an excellent display from the combative midfielder.

YELLOW CARDS: R Pirrie (Royal Oak).

REFEREE: K Perry (Burton).

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