Wellington Colts beat Christian Faith team Relentless to reach HFA Burghill Cup final (From Hereford Times)
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Wellington Colts beat Christian Faith team Relentless to reach HFA Burghill Cup final
11:43am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Sport
A VERBAL volley from manager Richard Palmer inspired higher-graded Wellington Colts to a place in the final of the Herefordshire FA Burghill Cup.
Second-half strikes from man-of-the-match Rich Macdonald, Pete Wall and Chris Palmer put paid to the cup dreams of Division Three outfit Relentless.
“I was worried at half time,” admitted Wellington manager Palmer.
“I had words with the lads and actually changed the formation at half-time and it seemed to work. It was a game of whoever scored first won, it was that tight.
“Wall was fantastic in the middle of the park and the back four were great.”
Relentless, who are a Christian faith team, finished last Saturday’s semi-final with 10 men after Scott Jones was red-carded in the dying minutes.
But they had started the tie strongly and were unfortunate not to find themselves ahead after two first-half efforts from Mike Wilkins were ruled out for offside.
Defender Roger Price also had a glorious opportunity from a corner but glanced his close-range header wide.
However, home side Wellington came out battling in the second period.
Macdonald was causing problems among the defence, setting up Palmer who blazed over, and then firing a shot across goal that ‘keeper Lee Lerigo was forced to push wide.
The forward again created an open-goal opportunity for Palmer but his strike-partner could not get a toe to it.
Relentless’ James Anderson then saw his header superbly tipped over by Colts' 'keeper Nick Britton.
But 10 minutes later, a thumping finish from the lively Macdonald gave Wellington the lead, and the wheels came off for the visitors.
Wall made it two, before a moment of madness saw Jones sent off for Relentless.
After a crunching foul on one of his fellow players, the defender booted the ball at an opponent which referee Alan Robinson thought was worthy of a red card. Palmer completed the scoring in the 87th minute, neatly slotting the ball past Lerigo.
Relentless captain Anderson said: “In the second half we started to niggle with each other and that’s what cost us the game.
“It was evenly matched until our heads went down and the team was bickering.”
Assistant manager, Lewis Greenow, added: “A bit of frustration came from the players in the second half, maybe because of the two disallowed goals.
On defender Jones’ sending off, he said: “I think it was valid. He lost his cool.
“We were two-down, so close to a final and with emotions running high and a bad tackle coming in on our player, he lashed out and left the referee with no option.”
With their cup dream over for another season, Greenow said: “We still have many league games left so there’s plenty to work for.
“Although our decent cup runs are over, we want to push on and hopefully next season we can win one.”
Anderson said: “When you look at how we’ve improved from last season where we conceded 150 goals, it’s been a massive turnaround.
“We’ll probably find ourselves third in the league, we’ve reached a semi-final, two quarter-finals and beaten teams in divisions above, so it’s been a great season.”
Wellington boss Palmer, meanwhile, hopes to get his hands on some silverware in this campaign.
“We haven’t been in a cup final for several years. It’s brilliant and the lads deserve to be there,” said Palmer. “The boys are good enough to win it and we have another cup semi-final to play, so hopefully we can get some trophies.”
MATCH FACTS WELLINGTON COLTS: Britton, M Jones, Olive, T Jones, Quinlan, M Smith, Went, Wall, Macdonald, Palmer, Sharp. Subs: Burnett, Priday, N Jones, Docherty.
RELENTLESS: Lerigo, Edwards, Williams, Ricketts, S Jones, R Price, L Wilkins, J Anderson, D Wilkins, M Wilkins, Lewis Subs: Lugg, Vedmore, S Anderson, Farmer, D Price.
Referee: Alan Robinson (Herefordshire FA).
Star man: Rich Macdonald (Wellington Colts).
Red card: Relentless: S Jones 79.