Midgley’s young side looking to upset odds at the Shay

Darren Nelson will lead Midgley Reserves out at the Shay
Darren Nelson will lead Midgley Reserves out at the Shay

The first of Midgley United’s two appearances at the Shay comes next Wednesday when the reserves tackle Ryburn United Reserves in the Invitation Cup final (7.0).

Nick Farrar’s side, which contains a handful of teenagers, will start as underdogs against a Ryburn side which has narrowly beaten them twice in the league and could finish third in Division One.

Ryburn will be determined to make amends for last year’s shock defeat to bottom section side Shelf FC in the final.

Veteran winger Darren Nelson captains a Midgley side which has had a decent first season in Division One.

The youngsters include Sam Sharkey, Jake Shaw, Calum Wheelwright, Sam Tattersall and Farrar’s son Jake.

Midgley have played in the Invitation Cup final before, losing to Sowerby Bridge at Natty Lane, Illingworth four or five years ago. First team boss Craig Gee said club members would be out in force to support the reserves.

Midgley’s firsts will have their day in the spotlight seven days later when they meet Warley Rangers in the Challenge Cup final at FC Halifax Town’s home.

They will go into it on the back of a 5-0 win at Shelf United in their final league game last Saturday.

Shelf were ripe for the taking after a busy, losing spell and Midgley might have doubled their goal tally, which would have taken them above third-placed Calder in the final table.

George Bamford took only five minutes to open their account with a low drive which went in off a post and he rounded the ‘keeper to give the visitors a 2-0 interval lead.

An own goal, when the ball went in off the back of a defender’s head, Greg Spink’s fine finish into the top corner and Bamford’s hat-trick goal, from a Toby Standring cross, completed the scoring.

Tom Booth was withdrawn with a recurrence of his hamstring problem on 40 minutes and will see a physiotherapist.

Manager Craig Gee hopes he will still be able to play some part in the final.

“Everyone else is fit but a bit sore from playing on hard pitches,” he said. “We’ll have a weekend off and then a couple of training sessions next week.”