Stricklan leads way as County lift cup
4:38pm Thursday 11th April 2013 in Headlines
BOLTON County secured the first leg of a potential double when they lifted the West Lancashire League Division Two Challenge Cup.
The Radcliffe Road men, in pole position to win the title, have been transformed this season under the management of Henry Chapman.
They overcame Todmorden Borough 2-1 at Charnock Richard on Tuesday night, Dennis Stricklan and captain Tom Aspen giving them a 2-0 half-time lead before they were forced to defend resiliently.
The 15th-minute opener epitomised the spectacular progress County have made this season when Stricklan volleyed home after good work from Sakeel Abdullah and Liam Stewart.
The consistently impressive Abdullah paved the way for the second on the half hour when he won the ball and threaded a pass through for top scorer Aspen who fired past the onrushing keeper.
County’s defence stepped up to the mark after the break as Todmorden moved up a gear.
Their pressure paid off 20 minutes from time when they halved the lead, but County stood firm to spark celebrations at the final whistle.
Little Lever pulled off a surprise result in the Bolton Hospital Cup with a 2-1 victory to knock out one of the favourites, Atherton Colls.
The Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division side went a goal behind two minutes before the break when Mitch Leece put the home side ahead.
But Little Lever hit back with a leveller in the 65th minute from Andrew Buckley before Craig Bingham hit the winner five minutes from time. The gate receipts added another £100 towards the competition’s charity target of £5,000.
Another shock was produced by Castle Hill Reserves who beat Bolton Wyresdale on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the West Lancashire League Houston Cup.
The competition is for all the league’s reserve divisions, and Castle Hill, of Division Three Reserves, were outsiders as they beat Division One Reserves opposition for the second successive round.
Luke Rigby and Brent Halliwell, with a 45-yard run and shot, got the goals for Castle Hill who will be favourites in the last-eight tie against Radcliffe Boys of Division Four Reserves.
l Eagley aim to make it third time lucky when they take on Charnock Richard in the final of the Lancashire Shield at the County Ground, Leyland tonight, kick off 7pm.
Paul Marriott’s men have suffered defeat at the hands of Charnock in the final of the competition for the last two years.
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