Holliday’s extra time strike sends Norristhorpe to final

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Norristhorpe Reserves reached the Yorkshire Amateur League’s Hodgson Cup final with a thrilling extra time victory over Cleckheaton neighbours West End Park last Saturday.

Norristhorpe fought back from 2-0 down and were never ahead in their semi-final at Thornhill Cricket Club, until Lewis Holliday struck in the second half of extra time.

Norristhorpe started brightly and Zach Wood’s wind assisted free-kick hit a post, while they also wasted a number of other early chances.

West End gradually grew into the game and when Norristhorpe’s defence failed to react to a free-kick, Ben Jagger nipped in to score the opening goal.

West End doubled their lead soon after when Matty Blackburn turned defender Connor Rowlands and slotted past a despairing dive from goalkeeper despairing Chris Roome.

Norristhorpe battled back and Zach Wood’s corner was fired home by centre back Jack Brazier.

Another Norristhorpe corner wasn’t dealt with an Lewis Holliday fired home to level before half-time.

Norristhorpe had an early chance after the break as Brad Wild rounded the West End goalkeeper only to see his effort blocked on the line by Anthony Thompson, who also plays for the Norristhorpe Veterans team.

West End regained the lead when Levan Zserdicky’s free-kick caught the wind and left Roome stranded as it landed in the back of the net.

Things got worse for Norristhorpe when Roome was substituted for veteran Richard Harris but he went on to produce an assured display to prevent further West End chances.

A fine move saw James Pedersen slot a lovely ball through for Wild to lift it over the goalkeeper to level matters and send the tie to extra time.

Norristhorpe’s Scott Jackson had a glorious chance but mis-hit his shot as it remained level at the end of the first period of extra time.

Holliday proved the match winner as his 25-yard shot clipped the far post on its way into the net as Norristhorpe booked a cup final spot which leaves West End to concentrate on their promotion challenge.