Walsden are ready for first final appearance and hope for another

Walsden's Josh Gale is likely to have a holding midfield role in tomorrow's final
Walsden's Josh Gale is likely to have a holding midfield role in tomorrow's final

Walsden C & FC are bidding to win two Rochdale Online Alliance trophies in the space of nine days.

The Scott Street men, in only their second season of action, make their first cup final appearance tomorrow (Friday) when they play Fothergill and Whittles in the Chairman’s Cup final.

The climax to a competition for all top-section sides takes place at Rochdale Town’s ground with a 7pm kick off.

Walsden then move on to the semi-final of the President’s Cup, which involved all the sides in the league on Monday evening.

If they can beat Sacred Heart at Firgrove on Monday they will earn a second final appearance on the following Saturday.

Rochdale Asia and Falcon meet in the other semi-final and Walsden are arguably competition favourites after knocking out champions Fothergill and Whittles in last Saturday’s quarter-final.

The game went to penalties with Walsden winning 4-2 after the sides had drawn 2-2 after extra time.

Fothergill and Whittles led for most of the opening 50 minutes after scrambling an early goal from a corner.

Walsden got on top in the second half and Danny brown twice scored from the spot. Joe Gale was taken out for the first by the ‘keeper, who was lucky to escape with a yellow card. The second penalty was for hand ball.

Fothergill and Whittles got a later equaliser with a good header from virtually their only chance of the second period.

It was stalemate in extra time but Walsden, who had Paul Marrow, the Gale brothers, Cameron Hanson and Harry Whitehead in good form, kept their cool in the shoot out even though Matthew Town missed the first.

A Fothergill and Whittles miss and a Glynn Claxton save left Josh Gale to clinch victory.

Manager Dan Howley said a final would be a new experience for most of Walsden’s players and they would go to Rochdale Town in good time.

“It should be another tight game,” he said.

“Our first season was a disaster but we have signed a lot of players and built a good squad,” he said.

Howley reckons Walsden have the best striker in the league in 33-goal Brown and his presence would give them confidence for the showdown with Fothergill and Whittles.