Gallant Todmorden Borough earn final date

Todmorden Borough are hot on the trail of their second West Lancashire League Challenge Cup success in three seasons.

John Gilford’s eighth-placed side stunned leaders Hurst Green 1-0 in their Easter Monday semi-final at Mill Hill St Peters FC, leading scorer Oliver Wood getting the all important goal eight minutes from time.

Borough will now face second-placed Bolton County, who accounted for CMB by 2-0 in the other last four game at Eagley FC, in the final of the Division Two competition.

The showpiece game will be next Tuesday at the impressive Charnock Richard complex (6.15) and Gilford is urging the town to get behind his side’s bid.

“We had good support on Monday with about 50 or 60 people from Tod and the last time we got to the final we took around 150,” said Gilford.

The boss is not impressed by an early kick-off time at a distant venue and admits his side hadn’t planned to be in a final at such short notice.

However, it is clear Borough are revelling in their underdogs tag and have hit form at the right time, following up Saturday’s fourth successive league win by 4-1 at home to Barrow Wanderers with their upset win 48 hours later.

Gilford said he had hardly slept after a spying mission to watch Hurst Green recently.

“They were awesome against CMB - big, strong and a good passing side,” he said.

“I knew we had to match them in every department and we did in a tough game.”

Gilford said all his players had given 100 per cent, not shirked a tackle and earned their big day out. He is just hoping that all his players can wangle time off work to play.

Hurst Green had beaten Tod 3-1 in the one league meeting to take place so far but Borough’s confidence had soared by half time after they had matched their opponents.

Gilford’s men could easily have been in front, Dave Patrick shooting wide, Danny Warwick hitting a post and Jack Dungworth toe-poking the ball wide.

Hurst Park played some neat and tidy football and took the game to Borough in the third quarter, without giving ‘keeper Lee McGrath any anxious moments.

Todmorden upped their game again with Patrick threatening and Warwick shooting into the side netting. Chris Kaye’s excellent long-range effort forced a superb save from the ‘keeper before Wood rose on the six yard line to head the ball into the top of the net from a corner.

Gaz Lawrence, James Peavoy, Dan Lively and Stevie Barker were outstanding at the back for Borough, who stood firm in the closing stages.

Tod’s success a couple of seasons ago was by 2-1 against divisional champions Lytham Town at Squires Gate FC.

Borough are running a mini bus to Tuesday’s final and anyone interesting in going should contact Phil Morton on 07740704881.