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Belvedere prevail in shootout to reach cup final

Bluefin Sports Insurance Amateur Cup Semi-Finals
Bluefin Sports Insurance Amateur Cup Semi-Finals
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Burnley Belvedere were the eventual winners of a tense penalty shoot out at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium to reach the final of the Bluefin Insurance Amateur Cup.

They raced into a two goal lead, John Thompson and Nathan Eagan scoring inside 16 minutes.

Mostonians pulled one back on 23 minutes, Alan Beckett with a clever finish from inside the area.

They scored the final goal of the game on 35 minutes, Ryan Millington providing the assist for Beckett to notch his secondand level the scores at 2-2.

The game went straight to penalties and it was Belvedere who emerged 5-4 victors., Josh Cliff scoring the winning penalty.

Mostonians started the game the better of the two sides and had their first chance on two minutes, Beckett’s header from inside the box comfortably caught by Damian Ellison.

It was Belvedere, however, who opened the scoring on nine minutes.

Eagan did well to beat his man and win a free kick about 30 yards out, before the free kick was initially parried up into the air by the keeper before Thompson was on hand to head the rebound into the empty net.

Belvedere continued to press and went two up on 16 minutes, Elliott Riley playing through Eagan whose left footed strike inside the box found the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.

Despite being two down, Mostonians looked threatening on the counter and halved their deficit on 23 minutes.

A long ball down the left led to a low cross from the byline which was side-footed home first time by Beckett.

There was pinball in the Belvedere box on 31 minutes, a series of last ditch blocks from the defence eventually leading to the ball deflecting narrowly wide of the post.

Mostonians levelled the scores on 35 minutes, Millington providing the assist for Beckett to finish a brilliant effort from inside the box for his second of the game.

They were millimetres away from taking the lead just minutes later, a free header from Tom Hughes brilliantly cleared off the line by Riley.

They had another chance on 41 minutes, Millington’s header crashing against the bar from a corner.

The last chance of the half went to Mostonians again in injury time, Paul Ashton’s well struck effort going well wide of the post.

The second half started slower than the first but it was Belvedere who had the first chance on 53 minutes, a clipped ball down the right finding substitute Martin Brodderick who fired wide.

Eagan continued to look a threat for Belvedere and he spotted the keeper off his line on 75 minutes before trying an audacious lob from the halfway line but it went well over.

Belvedere had another opportunity on 85 minutes, with Connor Smith then Eagan both testing the defence and keeper Tom Elford, but he comfortably held on.

Both sides pressed to score the winner but neither could find it, with the game going to penalties.

And Belvedere were the victors, Josh Cliff smashing the final penalty into the corner for a 5-4 shootout win.

Belvedere XI; Ellison, Lane, Toms, Lawless, Thompson, Little, Smith, Riley, Eagan, Green, Goldsborough (c).

Subs (rolling); Brodderick, Cliff, Ennis, Halstead, Carrol.