UPPERMILL head into tonight’s Huddersfield FA Challenge Cup final at the Galpharm (7.00) accepting they are underdogs but confident they can give Bay Athletic a real test.
For Richard Spychalski’s West County Amateur League title chasers – they beat Hall Green United 4-2 on Saturday – it’s the chance to take another step towards a treble, because they are also through to the final of the West Riding FA Challenge Cup, with Otley Town their opponents at Woodlesford on Friday, April 29 (7.00).
But Uppermill, one of four District League teams from over the Pennines (the others are Diggle, Springhead and Heyside), put up a strong display against Bay in the county quarter-finals, when they lost out 4-3.
And their District Cup semi-final success against another County Amateur League Premier Division side, Storthes Hall, has boosted confidence.
“We’re a predominantly young team with a lot of our players coming through from our thriving junior set-up,” explained manager Simon Tait.
“Against Bay in the West Riding Cup we were 3-1 up, then in the Barlow Cup, we were beating Newsome 2-0 only to be pegged back and lose on penalties after extra time.
“Perhaps our difficulty in holding onto a lead reflected our inexperience.
“But against Storthes Hall, we hit back from two down to win 3-2 after extra time, and managing to earn a win like that has provided a real boost in confidence.”
Kristian Ventress has been a regular goal-getter for Uppermill, who are bottom of the District top flight but have played only 10 league games.
“Because of postponements and our success in cup football this season, Saturday’s game against Cumberworth was our first league game since November,” added Tait.
“Hopefully when we play the games in hand, we’ll quickly climb the table, but for the time being, we’re only thinking about tonight’s final.
“The club is well-run, with 33 different teams and five in open-age male football, but we haven’t had that much success in recent years, so it’s great to get to a high-profile final like this one.
“The lads are looking forward to playing at a stadium like the Galpharm, and with many of them being Oldham Athletic supporters, they’re looking forward to being on the pitch rather than in the away end!”
Bay’s victory over Hall Green was sealed by Kitson Gayle, Arron Joseph, Brighton Mugadza and Steve Bennett and kept them six points clear of Albion Sports at the top of the WRCAL Premier Division with a game in hand.
Bay were looking for a favour from Storthes Hall, but they went down 6-2 at home to Albion, for whom Alex Cusack scored four.
Golcar United were 5-1 winners at Hunsworth through Callum Meade (2), Ivan Hanley, Mat Devlin and Mick Reynolds.
In Division I, AFC Emley Reserves drew 3-3 at Eastmoor, where Nick Reid, James Mortimer and Dave Cutts scored, while Bay Athletic Reserves beat Overthorpe 4-0 through Matt Mulvihill (2), Daniel Ryan and Nick McMahon.
Lepton reached the Division II Cup final with a 3-0 win over Ovenden.
Ash Flynn scored twice in the first half, his first from a free-kick and the second an overhead effort.
Anthony Haigh completed the scoring in the second half and Lepton now face Long Lee in the final on May 23, with the venue to be confirmed.