THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION KNOCKOUT CUP
March Town United 0 Haverhill Borough 3
History was made as Borough travelled to face March Town in the Semi Final of the First Division Knockout Cup and came away with a 3-0 victory that booked their place in the club’s first ever cup final.
Borough made five changes to the starting eleven that faced Ely City last time out with Ryan Geoghegan (ill) and Graham Smith (cup-tied) being left out of the squad and Bart Pater, Danny Shipton and Ryan Swallow dropping to the bench.
Ian Bluett, recently signed from Haverhill Rovers, came into defence for his debut and Owen Longley made his first start since his return from Halstead Town.
Charlie Turner played his first game since Boxing Day having recovered from an operation whilst there were also recalls for Tom Hardwick and Aaron Forshaw.
Having kicked off the away team created the first real chance of note in the fifth minute when Forshaw’s free kick deflected off the wall and away for a corner which was subsequently dealt with by the home side.
The opening 25 minutes however were dominated by March, in the 12th minute a corner created confusion in the Borough penalty area, Liam Merryweather’s goal bound shot was well blocked before Matt Barber fired over the rebound.
On 21 minutes the home side came even closer when Dan Woods’ 25-yard curling effort had Turner beaten but came cannoning back off the bar and away to safety.
It was Borough who opened the scoring in the 26th minute however as Forshaw scored his first goal of the season, picking the ball up midway in the March Town half his shot from 25 yards took a wicked deflection off a home defender leaving Dave Beeny in the home goal completely wrongfooted as the ball flew in to the net.
Just four minutes later things got even better as a quick break away led to Matt Staines crossing to Longley who controlled and fired into the roof of the net from eight yards to give the away side a two goal lead.
The rest of the half ebbed and flowed with both teams breaking quickly and dangerously before the last big chance of the half fell to the home side as Woods free kick was helped on to Merryweather who snatched at the chance and sent his shot high over the bar.
The second half started with March again doing most of the pressing and came close to getting back into the game in the 53rd minute when Barber’s shot drew a stunning one-handed save from Turner with the rebound scrambled to safety.
Without creating a great deal themselves Borough very effectively then killed the match, Merryweather’s drive from the edge of the box bringing another top save from Turner in the 74th minute being the only real chance of note.
In added time at the end of the match from another Borough break away saw Longley play in Swallow who was scythed down by Merryweather inside the penalty area.
Halls stepped up to take the kick, confidently placing it to the keeper’s left to leave the final score 3-0.
Borough ran out deserved winners in the end and will face Stowmarket Town in the final on Friday May 6.
More cup action is to come on Saturday as Borough try to create more history and reach their first ever county cup semi final when they travel to face Ipswich Athletic in the Suffolk Senior Cup, kick off 2.15pm.
Borough: Turner, Halls, Hardwick, Bluett, Watson, Lodge, Longley, Milne, Bone(Pater), Forshaw, Staines (Swallow). Unused subs Choat, Shipton, Westcott.