Wetherby Athletic Reserves reach West Riding County Trophy final

Liam McEntee scores for Wetherby Athletic (Alex Daniel)
Liam McEntee scores for Wetherby Athletic (Alex Daniel)

Wetherby Athletic Reserve held off a late fightback by opponents Honley to reach the West Riding County Trophy on Wednesday night.

Liam McEntee’s second-half brace ensured Wetherby progressed 3-2, after Neil Dickie had put the Tangerines ahead five minutes before the break.

Honley struck back with two goals in the last five minutes, but the Huddersfield outfit failed to find an equaliser to force extra-time.

Wetherby will now face cup favourites Tadcaster Magnets in the final on Wednesday, April 22.

Athletic’s manager Des English, who used to play for Magnets, said: “It’s obviously big for the club.

“We won it three years ago and there’s still a few of my lads that were win the squad then.

“It’s a great achievement, and it puts us on the map.

“I have a lot of friends at Magnets, so it put a bit of extra pressure on us to make sure we got to the final to play them.”

Following the defeat to Leeds City on Saturday Dan Slater, Chris Turner and Chris Burt came back into the squad with Brian Blewitt, Ciaran Mallon and Matt Lombard all cup tied.

On a terrific surface both teams tried to get their passing games going.

Chris Burt fired over after five minutes but neither side created anything of note in the opening 20.

Honley were beginning to dominate possession and their left winger fired wide after 25 minutes before Andrew Duffy made an important block on a goal bound shot.

Wetherby started to string some passes together and forced a couple of corners that led to nothing.

However on 41 minutes, the Tangerines counter-attacked from a Honley free kick. Maxted switched play to McEntee, who drove a fierce shot against the post but the ball fell kindly to Dickie to fire home.

A slight change in formation saw Wetherby start the half brightly but were thankful to James Senior in goals who made a terrific save on 52 minutes.

Three minutes later Wetherby went 2-0 up as McEntee hit home the rebound after Scott Westerman’s shot was parried.

Wetherby were in full control and they went 3-0 up when McEntee scored his second after his initial volley was saved.

With three minutes left it looked like Wetherby were cruising to the win. However Honley had other thoughts and their left winger cut through the defence, waltzed round Senior and slotted home.

And they got a second when a free-kick was swung in and a tremendous header found the back of the net.

However, the match ended in ugly circumstances when Honley’s forward was sent off for a hèadbutt on Senior.

On his side’s performance, English said: “We got stronger as the game went on, especially after Neil got the first goal.

“It was pretty even at half time but second half we changed the tacticsand it worked out well.

“We were really good value for the lead, but typical of my team, they decided to make it a little bit edgey and conceded two goals.”