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Another big day out for Eccleshill United cup kings
Eccleshill United make the short journey to Valley Parade for a second time this season when they take on Knaresborough Town in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Cup final on Saturday.
The Eagles would love to emulate the outcome of their previous visit to Football League club Bradford City as that ended with them picking up the silverware on offer.
Lee Duxbury’s men won the West Riding County Cup after Marcus Edwards netted an injury-time penalty under the floodlights on a Wednesday night back at the beginning of April.
That was against much higher-ranking opposition in Conference North outfit Harrogate Town, while on Saturday they will be up against NCE Division One counterparts – and hopefully in May sunshine as it is a 3pm kick-off.
The Eagles would take the League Cup off neighbours Thackley were they to beat Knaresborough, the Dennyboys having won the trophy for the last two seasons.
Former Bantams midfielder Duxbury has enjoyed a good season as Eccleshill’s head coach and their route to tomorrow’s NCE League showpiece was by no means an easy one.
The Eagles knocked out Premier Division neighbours Albion Sports and then accounted for the then top-tier leaders Tadcaster Albion, before a 4-3 victory at Heanor Town in the semi-finals thanks to a four-goal haul by Edwards.
Their run to this final is good but not as impressive as the one that took them all the way in the WRCC, when they beat Guiseley – another Conference North side – before stunning Harrogate.
Knaresborough also defied the odds to reach Valley Parade. They were drawn away in every round and also beat more than one Premier Division side en route.
If league form is any guide, the Eagles finished fourth – ten points off the summit but only six off the runners-up spot and a promotion place – while Knaresborough were two places lower and five points behind.