WSFL Challenge Cup Semi-Final
Rifle Volunteer produced an outstanding performance to storm into their second cup final of the season with a 5-2 victory over Evergreen.
The win completes a remarkable run to the final for the team, who can now look forward to their first ever Challenge Cup final in May.
Playing on their own turf for the first time since January 12, Rifle were looking to avenge three recent defeats against their opponents, and they got off to a dream start when they took the lead after five minutes. An inswinging corner from Andy Lomas was glanced on by Wayne Jackson and the ball managed to find its way into the top corner of the Evergreen net.
The goal shook Evergreen into life and Rifle allowed their opponents back into the game. A free-kick was half-cleared to an Evergreen midfielder outside the penalty box, and he rode a tackle before sending a ball across goal for a simple tap-in to level the score.
It wasn’t long before the home side restored their one-goal advantage though. A superbly-taken free-kick by Adam Doe struck the far post and from the ensuing melee, the ball fell to Myles Hall who took advantage by firing home from close range.
It was from another Lomas corner that Rifle got their third goal .Terry Cooper stole in at the far post and looped a header back across the target and into the corner of the net.
As the home side pressed for a fourth, they were caught on the break when a long clearance up field found its way into the path of an Evergreen forward, and he made no mistake in slotting the ball past James Fee to bring his team back into the game.
Fee was rarely troubled throughout the second half as Rifle defended expertly and restricted their opponents to long shots and hopeful headers.
The visitors pushed forward in search of an equaliser, leaving them vulnerable to the counter-attack. Rifle took advantage with George Wells slipping in substitute Paul Skuse, who finished calmly.
There was still time for Hall to add further gloss to the scoreline as Skuse sent him clear in the final minute, and he made no mistake with an excellent finish past the keeper.
Connot Townsend and Jack Garrett scored the Evergreen goals Premier Division St Josephs moved into second place by beating bottom club Hammer 3-0 with Ben Hammond scoring twice and a Jack Brown goal.
This leaves them five points adrift of leaders Oxhey Estates but with three games in hand.
Bushey won a tight match against Gadeside Rangers 2-1 to remain in fourth place.
Jamie Brown and an own goal saw them home with Matt Evans replying for Rangers.
Leaders Mill End Sports beat Cassiobury Rangers 4-1.
Cassiobury went ahead through Joe Mortimer but Glen O’Malley equalised before half-time.
The second half belonged to Mill End with goals from Andy Pryor, Adam Cadmore and a cracker by Dean Brownsell.
Croxley FC dragged themselves off the bottom of the table by beating Chorleywood Club 2-1 in a relegation dogfight.
Chorleywood went ahead in the first half as Stuart Duffy fired home but their opponents got back on terms when Gary Hayne was fouled and Craig Garratt converted the resultant penalty.
Croxley then sealed the crucial three points in the dying minutes with Rida Zechri crossing for Elliott Clarke to head home.
Green Dragon claimed their 11th league victory in succession with a 3-0 win, inflicting a first league defeat of the season on Old Fullerians.
Dragon are now one point behind Fullers with two games in hand.
Dean Parratt, the WSFL leading marksman, got his 33rd of the season along with further strikes from Keifer Shuttleworth and Dave O’Sullivan.
Hertsmere (Sunday) claimed their first league win of the season by beating fourth-placed Victoria with the only goal scored by Michael Adyemi.
Leaders Rickmansworth Rovers were held to a goalless draw against Croxley FC Reserves while Amici FC moved into second place, winning both games in a double header against Shenley Wood 4-2 and 2-0.
Amici’s goals were scored by Craig Gorry (3), Chris Coleman (2) and one from Mitch Weiss against a Jamie Hazel pair for Shenley.
Oxhey Lions and Dome Bar Area fought out a 2-2 draw after Liam Hanley scored twice for Lions and Michael Napolitano and Gavin Fisher nabbed one each for their oppponents.
AFC Oddfellows beat Racing Santandome 5-1 away with Darren Brichell, Daniel Francis, Geoff Jones, Matty Coultham and Alex Fagillo all scoring. Mark Bates got Racing’s sole reply.
RD FC overcame Railway Arms 4-1 with a brace for Kojo Agyeman and one each for Adam De Swart and Sean Bone. Railway’s goal came from Chris Phillips.
Division Four Table-toppers Rickmansworth Athletic were beaten in a seven-goal thriller by third-placed West Herts Reserves, who led 3-0 at half-time thanks to a brace from Dave McConnon and one from Matt Jones.
However, the visitors pulled the score back to 3-3 through Shane Kitts (2) and Nicky Thomas before Jones netted a second and secured three points to keep up the Stags’ promotion hopes.
Second-placed Met Police (Bushey) ran out 4-2 winners against North Watford with the Watford goals coming from Shoaib Ali and Mansoor Ali.
Carpenders Park Rangers wasted two precious points in their bid to get into Division Three when they drew 1-1 with Sun Postal United. The goals came from Joe Barton for Rangers and Jason Haxton.
Green Dragon Reserves had a rare 3-1 win against fellow league strugglers Watford Town thanks to efforts from Scott Bain, George Degnan and Lewis Walker.
Terry Devereux President’s Cup Semi-Finals West Herts exited the President’s Cup, losing 2-0 to AFC Spartians.
It looked as if the tie was heading for extra-time until the 80th minute when the home team took the lead through Paul Spicer and added a second minutes later, courtesy of Callum McCarroll.
Oxhey Estates proved too strong for Croxley Green Community Centre, running out 6-0 winners.
Luke Beardsworth was the star man with a fine hat-trick and was well supported by Paul Danslow, Johnny McGeachey and Roy Byron, who also got on the scoresheet.
Invitation Cup Round One AFC Bushey crushed Sun Postal Sports 7-0 thanks to six different scorers.
Lewis Lyans grabbed two with the other goals coming from Daniel Harris, Ryan Legge, Carl Mitchell, Jose Vas and Scott Mitchell.
Bushey will play Carpenders Park Rangers in the last eight of the competition.
Invitation Cup Round Two Division Two’s Langleybury Cricket Club proved too strong for West Watford, progressing with a 6-2 win.
David Best scored a double and Andrew Cheeseman, Danny Imlach, Josh Costello and Andrew Whittington all grabbed one each.