Beeston next for Ekin’s all-conquering ’’Bridge

Joel Freeston takes a tumble for Knaresborough Town as he is tackled by Liam Healy of Boroughbridge FC.

Joel Freeston takes a tumble for Knaresborough Town as he is tackled by Liam Healy of Boroughbridge FC.

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DAZ Ekin dedicated Saturday’s 2-1 League Cup victory over Knaresborough Town to club chairman Andrew Willey.

The Aldborough Road stalwart is currently recovering after having an operation on Thursday.

“One of his sons was there on Saturday and let him know the score straight away, I hope that left a smile on his face,” he said.

“Andrew was really the motivation we needed to go out and win.

“He’s got a long way to go in his recovery but the whole club is behind him.”

Boroughbridge fought back from a goal down to beat ’Boro’ 2-1 thanks to goals by Ben Jones and Paul Beesley.

They will play the winners of Bardsey and Old Centralians who contest their last 16 fixture tomorrow.

The Keswick Laners, with home advantage, will be firm favourites to set-up an all Premier League semi on a neutral ground.

“You can’t write off Centrailians but of course Bardsey will be the team to beat,” he added.

“They’ve set the benchmark over the last few years. Whatever happens it will be cracking semi-final. We’ve got that to look forward to and of course the Whitworth in the bag too.”

It doesn’t get any easier for Ekin and his troops with a home clash against title chasing Beeston tomorrow in the league.

The ‘Bridge gaffer will be wary of the Leeds-based side after they were beaten 1-0 by Wetherby Athletic at the weekend.

Saturday’s ‘El Clasico’ is the epitome of the local derby with ’Boro’ but el frenetico was probably a more apt depiction as both teams failed to come to terms with the dry, blustery conditions.

’Boro’ certainly settled the quicker of the two sides with Matt Thompson and Joel Freeston giving the visitors plenty of early problems.

‘Bridge’s defending at this stage was a bit frenzied conceding free kicks, corners and possession allowing ‘Boro’ to take a deserved if somewhat fortuitous lead when Paul Diamond inexplicably let a 30-yarder from Jimmy Bradley slip through his grasp.

It was 25 minutes before ’Bridge had their first opportunity.

Liam Healy seeing his header cleared off the line, and two minutes later Ben Clayton and Paul Eagling combined to release Mark Burniston down the right from where the youngster’s cross was superbly met by Ben Jones for the equaliser.

’Bridge settled after this and took the game to their opponents after the interval with Paul Beesley and Martin Hutchinson both firing wide before Hutchinson found Beesley who was able to lob Jack Rushworth to put ’Bridge in front.

Ben Clayton was then adjudged offside as he headed home an Eagling.

Manager Davey threw three up top only for his side to be kept at bay by Dave and Mark Burniston, Healy and the outstanding Dan Thirkell. Even striker Beesley pitched in with a 96th minute goalline clearance as ‘Bridge booked their place in the semi final.

“There was about 250 down there and a lot from Boroughbridge,” added Ekin.

“They really got behind us and gave us some good support which was great.”

Despite Railway’s management team not wanting Thirkell to play for ’Bridge and Liam Gray turning out for ’Boro’ they did. Thirkell was ’Bridge’s man-of-the-match.

“Danny asked his dad whether he could play, we wanted it to be all OK before kick-off because the last thing we want is a bad relationship with Railway,” said Ekin.

BOROUGHBRIDGE RESERVES were beaten by Bardsey Reserves 3-0 in the League Trophy.

BOROUGHBRIDGE A, however, had better fortune. They beat Wigton Moor 3-0 away from home. Johnny Brear, Luke Fletcher and Sean Corbett scoring ‘Bridge’s goals.

BOROUGHBRIDGE were beaten 2-1 by Atlanta on Sunday in the Claro League.

andrew.groves@ypn.co.uk