Kingstone Rovers’ County Challenge Cup run was brought to an end last night as Westfields eased through into the final with a convincing 11-0 at allpay.park. The Midland Football League side will now face neighbours Pegasus Juniors in the final at Edgar Street next month.
‘Fields respected their lower-graded opponents and put out a strong side for the semi-final, with the likes of John Mills, Craig Jones and Aidan Thomas starting the game for the hosts. Coach Phil Glover said after the match that Westfields wanted to show Kingstone respect so fielded their first team for the tie.
He said: “We spoke to the lads about doing the right things and fair play to Kingstone, they’ve had three back-to-back promotions and this is their first year in the competition and they’ve got to the semi final.
“Hats off to all their lads for getting this far, it’s quality for a side to run like they do. They were struggling for a team last week but they’re a good bunch of lads.
“We wanted to show them respect and I know their manager wanted to play our full side, they didn’t want to get to the semi final and play a weakened side. We showed them respect and went strong.”
Both sides had a couple of chances in the opening exchanges as Kingstone’s Paul Jenkins drilled a shot wide of the upright. Westfields were left appealing for handball as Jenkins looked to handle the cross as he brought it under control. For Westfields, Sam Plane’s powerful strike from the edge of the box was blocked as Kingstone quickly worked to regain possession.
For Kingstone, facing a side with their front line led by former Hereford marksman John Mills would’ve been daunting and it was only a matter of time until they fell a goal behind. In the fifth minute, Mills burst into the area and cut the ball back into the centre of the box, with the cross eventually falling to Ben Miller, he firmly struck it past visiting keeper Taylor.
Five minutes after his assist for the opener, Mills added a second. The Bath City loanee latched onto the end of ball over top of Kingstone’s defence and made no mistake in slotting past the keeper.
The energetic Alex Hainault chased down a long ball on the left wing for the hosts, before weaving his way across into the box. Despite Aidan Thomas offering support, Hainault turned towards goal and unleashed a shot, only for this to be parried by Taylor. Mills lurking in front of goal, but his rising shot was well-held by Rovers’ number one.
Goal number three did come in the 25th minute as Ben Miller grabbed his second. A foul on Hainault midway into Kingstone’s half saw Craig Jones deliver the ball into the box, Miller connected well with it from 12-yards and stabbed the ball across the line.
With 37 minutes on the clock Westfields were awarded a penalty following a challenge from Nick Panniers. Although it looked as if Panniers had won the ball cleanly, the referee pointed straight to the spot. Up stepped Kane Kahaki and he duly dispatched the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net after sending the ‘keeper the wrong way.
Before the half time whistle Panniers was able to redeem himself, doing well to cut out a low cross into the box ahead of the prying forwards.
Half time: Westfields 4 - Kingstone Rovers 0
It was always going to be a tough tie for the Saturday Premier side and the second half started off in the worst possible way. Westfields came out after the break with added firepower and within five minutes they’d had netted another three goals. The first came seconds after kick off as Ollie Butler got the better of left-back Lee Marlow, before crossing low into the box for for Aidan Thomas to slide home.
Goals six and seven followed in quick succession as Thomas and Butler both found the back of the net from close range. Three pairs of fresh legs for Westfields would’ve been daunting for the tiring Rovers players, but they were able to keep the spirited ‘Fields attackers largely at bay while trying to catch them on the counter. A couple of half chances came for Matt Matturi and John Richards but they weren’t able to break down the well-organised Westfields defence.
Mills then added goal number 8 to the tally with 15 minutes left on the clock. After cutting in from the right-flank, Mills’ shot from from an acute angle went into the arms of the crouching keeper, but slipped from his grasp and between his legs. Two minutes later Ollie Butler grabbed his second, curling the ball into the far corner of the net from the right hand side of the box.
Kingstone were still trying to create chances to grab what would be nothing more than a consolation goal. Matt Matturi’s effort took a deflection after Paul Jenkins’ free kick was flicked on into the box. ‘Fields reached double-figures as Aidan Thomas secured his hat-trick. He burst through the middle of the defence and calmly rolled the ball past the onrushing keeper.
A great effort from Mills was somehow kept out by Kingstone’s stopper, after being teed-up 25-yards out, Mills was denied a hat-trick as Taylor tipped his effort onto the crossbar. The resulting corner was taken short and eventually the attack petered out.
To round off what was a convincing victory for the Midlands Football League side, substitute Romeo Yao Fabrice added goal number 11 in controversial circumstances. As Nick Panniers protested that the goal shouldn’t stand, he was given his marching orders moments before the referee blew for full time.
Full time: Westfields 11 - Kingstone Rovers 0
Westfields: Blackburm, Butler, Plane, Hurrell, Kahaki, Reeve, Jones (c), Miller, Mills, Thomas, Hainault.
Subs: Moreira, Cooper, Yao Fabrice, Lewis, Bolton.
Kingstone Rovers: D. Taylor, Howells, Marlow, Jenkins, R. Matturi, Panniers, Pritchard, Day, M. Matturi, Richards, Evans.
Subs: Griffin, Edwards, Harrison, Jones, G. Taylor.