Frickley Athletic emerged victorious from a local derby with Hemsworth MW on Tuesday night to make it through to another semi-final in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup.
A close game was decided by a single first half goal from Reece Thompson, but in-form Welfare, from three divisions below in the Northern Counties East League, kept the quarter-final tie in the balance right to the final whistle with a battling display that showed again how far they have come this season.
On a windy night Frickley boss Karl Rose named a strong side with Thompson back from suspension to lead the line in place of the cup tied Max Leonard. Gavin Allott dropped to the bench and Luke Jeffs returned to the side at left-back.
Playing with the wind and down the slope in the first half, the Blues dominated possession and looked for the early ball over the top to utilise the pace of Luke Hornsey and Thompson up front.
Although he struggled with his place kicking, Ben Sawden in the visitors goal denied the front two on a number of occasions.
But after missing a couple of one-on-ones with the keeper, Thompson was released down the left channel and raced into the area before unleashing a left foot shot that went in off the underside of the bar in the 28th minute.
Hemsworth struggled in the wind although Dom Blair went close with a shot from outside the area.
With the wind at their backs the visitors made it a more even second half and were unlucky not to level when Adam Wilson cut inside Jake Stannard and curled a low shot just wide of Ben Simpson’s left hand post.
Sawden again denied Thompson and Allott with fine saves before Allott crossed for Thompson to head home what appeared to be the clincher only for the offside flag to be raised.
It stayed 1-0 to the finish with Frickley going through to their fourth successive semi-final in this competition.
They were joined in the last four by Handsworth Parramore, who beat Swallownest MW 7-0 in the other quarter-final played on Tuesday.
Frickley’s first-ever visit to Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium proved a disappointing one on Saturday as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat.
Karl Rose’s men were expecting a tough game with their hosts enjoying a superb season in their first at this level, standing in second place in the Evo-Stik Premier League before kick-off.
And that was how it proved with Curzon two up by half-time and adding another goal early in the second half to effectively kill off the game.
Frickley were without Luke Hinsley, who missed the game as he was on honeymoon, and recent full-time addition to the squad Reece Thompson, who was completing his three-match suspension.
Luke Hornsey came into the side with Gavin Allott asked to plough a lone furrow up front and Joe Davies returned at left-back in place of Jameel Ible.
After a fairly even first 20 minutes the Blues went behind on 22 minutes as Ryan Brooke flicked home a square ball from Cummins after Jack Broadhead had slipped in attempting to clear.
On 34 minutes Brooke was brought down in the area and Sam Walker converted to put the Blues 2-0 down.
The Blues failed to threaten the home goal at all and the game was over as a contest shortly after half-time when Walker’s cross was converted by Joe Guest in the 50th minute.