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Super-sub helps Buttershaw White Star march into semi-finals
Two missed penalties did not deter Buttershaw White Star as they clinched a West Riding County FA Sunday Cup semi-final berth.
Substitute Alex Cusack scored twice as White Star claimed an outstanding 4-0 victory at former winners Thornhill Lees, conquerors of fellow Bradford Sunday Alliance League side Bolton Woods in the previous round.
Neither team had any clear chances in the early exchanges but with 15 minutes gone, left back Matt Warden drilled home a 20-yard shot which the home keeper could only help into his own net.
Graeme Sides set up Mark Bett with an easy chance to double the advantage and, with man of the match Garry Tyson dominating in defence, Thornhill Lees were not getting a look in.
A handball in the area presented Jordon Missin with a great chance to add to the tally but his spot-kick cleared the bar.
Cusack came on to make sure of the victory with two goals in the last 15 minutes, before Bett saw a second White Star penalty saved by the keeper.
Buttershaw next face Ferrybridge Progressive WMC of the Castleford & District League on Friday, April 11 for a place in the final.
White Star’s cup exertions have seen them slip to third in the Premier Division table and a lot now depends on their two clashes with defending champions West Bowling, the first due to take place this coming Sunday.
Bowling increased their advantage at the top to four points with a last-gasp 2-1 victory away to long-time leaders Sandy Lane at the weekend.
Stu Cotterill edged the home team in front and it took Bowling until ten minutes into the second half to equalise through Corey Larvin.
Jack Murphy then hit home a disputed free-kick in the last minute to seal the points.
George Hotel also moved away from the bottom after a 3-1 win over Relay, who are being pulled into the relegation fight. Basement side Mill Lane improved their chances of escape with a terrific 8-1 victory at Peel Park, who are now also warily looking over their shoulders.
Division One action saw leaders Buttershaw Celtic playing their first match for seven weeks and they shook off the rust to beat Bradford Phoenix 2-1 after falling behind.
Dan O’Donnell bagged both Buttershaw goals, while Liam Keeley was in commanding central midfield form.
Napoleons Casino are third but with four games in hand over the top two and maintained their title push with a 2-1 win over Victoria Rangers as teenager Aiden Rhodes hit a late winner direct from a free-kick.
Division 1B leaders Red Lion edged out Beldon Sports in another 2-1 outcome, while Swaine Green climbed to third with a solid 8-1 victory over cellar dwellers Wrose Bull.
Top scorer Andy Lee struck four goals for Green and the returning Aron Heywood grabbed a hat-trick, while centre back Steven Pattison picked up the man of the match award with a no-nonsense display.
Division 2B pace-setters Grass Greener beat mid-table Eccleshill by the odd goal in five thanks to a Rob Coulter hat trick.
Second-placed Salthorn WMC beat Toller, who are fourth, 3-0 – but Cartwright Lister, in third place but with 100 per cent record, remain title favourites after preserving their record with a narrow 2-1 win over Heaton Athletic.