Title-chasing Welland reach cup final

Malvern Gazette: Title-chasing Welland reach cup final Title-chasing Welland reach cup final

WELLAND reached the Cheltenham Association League's Junior Charity Cup final.

They beat Tewkesbury Town Reserves 2-1 at Bishops Cleeve in the last four with Omar Elmougy and Stuart Wilkes on target in midweek.

The villagers previously drew 2-2 at Cheltenham Patriots in a Division Three top-of-the-table clash.

Welland were keen to make amends for a below-par display and 2-1 loss against Patriots a week earlier, which saw them drop to second.

The latest match was not short of passion or commitment and Welland remain one point behind with a game in hand.

Both teams created early openings but lacked an end product until midway through the first-half.

A Patriots corner was cleared only for the winger to cross for an unmarked striker to finish past keeper Niall Hacking.

The second period started slowly with both teams struggling to open up well-organised defences.

Wilkes dispossessed the keeper after a poor back-pass with the ball falling kindly for Elmougy to dispatch calmly into the empty net.

But the equaliser sparked Patriots into life and within five minutes they hit the bar twice and regained the lead from a rebound after a fine Hacking save.

Welland pushed for another equaliser as a defeat was not good enough.

With 15 minutes left, Jon Williams and Mark Taylor linked to unleash winger Tim Lewis and he surged past the full-back before finding top-scorer Elmougy, who buried a first-time half-volley.

The teams had further chances with Patriots' efforts going wide, while Andy Brannelly and Elmougy fired just over at the other end.

Welland visit Leckhampton Rovers on Saturday.

In Division One, Matthew Hindmarsh, Lawrence Smith and Shaun Henley scored for seventh-placed Upton Town in a 3-3 home draw with Star Reserves.

Bottom-of-the-table Hanley Swan lost 1-0 to fellow strugglers Bishops Cleeve thirds.

On Saturday (3pm), Hanley host Star Reserves with just five points separating the bottom five, while Upton are without a game.

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