Bartestree 1 Ledbury Town 3
LEDBURY Town booked their place in the HFA County Challenge Cup final after a 3-1 win this afternoon (Saturday) in cold and blustery conditions.
Town got the better of their West Midlands League Division Two rivals in a hard-fought and lively semi-final at Bartestree.
Town will now meet higher-graded Westfields or Pegasus Juniors in the Easter showpiece at Edgar Street.
Bartestree took the lead in the 26th minute when Ryan Jones coolly drilled his shot into the net after Town’s defence and goalkeeper Lewis Skyers struggled to deal with a right-wing cross.
But the hosts’ advantage lasted fewer than 60 seconds.
Town’s Neil Gardiner got away down the right and his cross caught the wind and deceived Bartestree goalkeeper Rauri Wargent at the near post and sailed into the net.
Bartestree started the second period strongly and the lively Miles Langford shot over the bar after neat build-up play from the villagers.
Town went ahead in the 62nd minute when Dan Herbert , who had an effort ruled out for off-side in the first-half, reacted quickly to slide the ball into the net after his initial shot had been blocked.
Tom Boyle was superbly denied by Wargent and Herbert volleyed a corner over the top before Town sealed their triumph in the 79th minute.
Jamie Welch delivered a cross from the right and Tom Boyle applied an emphatic finish, drilling a rising shot into the top corner from close-range.
Bartestree pushed to get back into the match but Town comfortably held on and their players and fans can look forward to a big day out at Edgar Street.
For video footage and interviews from this match, see the Hereford Times website on Thursday and for the Big Match feature, see Thursday’s Hereford Times paper.