Town bring Counties Cup back to East Riding

Beverley Town 3 Eagley 1

Beverley Town 3 Eagley 1

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The East Riding FA became home to the Northern Counties Cup champions after their representatives Beverley Town beat Lancashire FA’s Eagley FC 3-1 in the final of the coveted competition.

Town, who beat Westmoreland and Rimington FC in previous rounds to earn themselves a place in the final, went behind early on but were well worth their win as they dominated both possession and chances.

The early stages of the match were quite even, with both sides having opportunities to go in front.

Beverley’s first chance of the afternoon fell to striker Rob Northen after Danny Norton beat two players and got a cross into the box. Northen was inches away from putting his side in front but the Eagley goalkeeper got to the ball first.

Eagley soon made Beverley pay for their missed opportunities as they went ahead after just 10 minutes. Their striker found the back of the net after collecting a deflected long-range effort and slipping the ball past Beverley keeper Adam Nicholson.

Beverley almost instantly responded through captain Mike O’Connell, however the midfielder’s effort was deflected away by an Eagley defender.

By now, Beverley had gained momentum and were dominating possession, however they were failing to make their opportunities count. Both Andrew Stott and Northen had the chance to equalise, however the former hashed his effort and the latter’s shot went narrowly wide of the target.

Eventually the pressure told and centre-back Dane Mortimer levelled the score. The goal, scored in the 24th minute, resulted from Northen’s low, driven cross, which Mortimer was on hand to tap in.

Ryan Nicholls could have put Beverley in front almost instantly after Mortimer’s goal, however he angled his effort just wide of the far post.

On 37 minutes, Beverley went ahead when Mike O’Connell’s corner found Northen in the box. Eagley failed to clear their lines and the striker took full advantage, scoring a well-deserved goal after his tireless running in the first half.

Beverley continued to put pressure on the Eagley defence early in the second half and they almost increased their lead when Nicholson sent a long ball forward towards Northen. The striker, beating the offside trap, only had the keeper to beat but his outside-of-the-boot effort was curled away after a good reaction save.

Jamie Forrester and Craig Muirhead were brought on for Stott and Norton respectively and their energy was instantly noticeable as they created chances for the frontmen.

Beverley then suffered a scare when a pass from the middle of the park split their defence and allowed Eagley’s forward in on goal, however Nicholson made a brave save to prevent the Lancastrians from finding an equaliser.

Substitute Dan Walker rounded the scoring off on 78 minutes to secure a historic win for Town. Forrester found the striker with a through ball and Walker, one-on-one with the keeper, calmly slotted the ball home.

Town manager Dave Ricardo said: “I’m extremely proud of our performance and of all of the 16 players. After going a goal down, we showed tremendous character and patience to level the score and go on to win convincingly.

“Eagley FC were well-organised and worked hard, but I think we had the edge and deserved the win over the 90 minutes.”

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