SKELMANTHORPE’S hopes of a cup final appearance had all but dissolved by half-time as they went down 8-1 in the Under 15 cup semi-final to Brighouse Town in a game which was defined by chances taken.
The Division II side gave as good as they got for much of the game but, the biggest difference between the two sides was in front of goal where Brighouse hit the target but, at the other end, Skelmanthorpe simply couldn’t put away their chances.
The danger signs arrived as Luke Hill gave Brighouse the lead from a counter attack.
Skelmanthorpe almost drew level from a corner kick but Ryan Van Leeuwen’s header was brilliantly saved by keeper Luke Hirst.
Tom Short doubled Brighouse’s advantage with yet another speedy counter before a clumsy challenge gave referee Mark Hinchliffe no alternative but to award Brighouse a penalty and captain Harry Sutcliffe placed the spot kick safely in the corner to leave Skelmanthorpe looking demoralised at three down.
Luke Hill’s terrific run on the left, just before the end of the first half, gave him the narrowest of angles to aim at but the midfielder arrowed a shot into the corner from 10 yards to leave Skelmanthorpe facing a very difficult task.
Skelmanthorpe’s day got even worse when Callum Murgatroyd’s half hit shot took a deflection which was enough to see the ball roll gently in off a post with keeper Joe Watson going the wrong way.
While they never looked likely to make a serious comeback, Skelmanthorpe probably deserved a little more for their efforts but, when Chris Hallas fired a shot against the bar and had his follow up cleared off the line after running half the length of the pitch, it seemed that luck was in short supply.
Another chance came and went when Will Gibson blazed a good chance over the bar and a degree of frustration began to set in and referee Hinchliffe was forced to book a couple of Skelmanthorpe players.
There was no doubt that the work of Cameron France, Sam Hall, Will Gibson and James Slater deserved more and they finally grabbed a goal when Ryan Thorpe headed a Sam Hall corner into the back of the net.
But the game wasn’t over and by the time Bradley Gresham and Harry Sutcliffe had added another two for Brighouse, frustration led to a second yellow and subsequently a red card for a Skelmanthorpe defender.
Angus Hastings finished off the scoring with an unstoppable shot into the top corner to give Brighouse Town passage into the final where they will meet Deighton on Sunday April 10 (11.00) at AFC Emley.
Warley Rangers came out on top in the remaining Under 17 cup semi-final against Clifton Rangers but, with the game tied at 1-1 after extra time Warley had to endure a penalty shoot out before they could celebrate.
Warley now meet Pudsey at AFC Emley in the final next Sunday (2pm). The day’s other cup final at the Welfare Ground sees Darton Crowns take on Penistone in the Under 16 section (11.00).