The final countdown: Four!
ST PETER continued their brilliant cup form to cruise into the Wheway final as Harry Cardwell’s double helped them to a 4-0 win over Guernsey’s Northerners.
In a strong and icy-cold wind, Cardwell’s goals were sandwiched between Jake Prince’s penalty and substitute Sol Soloman’s injury-time volley.
The early stages were evenly-contested, offering few signs of the one-sided score-line which was to follow. Luke Mollet’s well-controlled volley was hit straight at St Peter keeper Ryan Le Couteur, before Sam Murray broke free for the visitors and saw his effort tipped around the post. At the other end North’s Rhys Gower pulled off an equally good save from Cardwell’s powerful strike.
There was little time on the ball for anyone, in a congested midfield, but the hosts began to dominate possession and territory and were rewarded with the opening goal from the penalty spot. Just after the half-hour mark Sean Lambert’s ankles were clipped in the box – it was soft but the contact could be heard 50 yards away in the stand. Jake Prince stepped up to smash home the spot kick.
Cardwell doubled the advantage soon after when he was neatly put through one-on-one with Gower and calmly slotted in.
Then came a crucial moment just before the break, when the ball dropped to Murray only six yards out but he could only awkwardly hook his half-volley over the bar, ensuring St Peter held a two-goal lead at half time.
The visitors knew they would need the next goal to stand any real chance of progressing to the final, and went close when Ben Bullock’s swerving shot was pushed behind by Le Couteur. Moments later though St Peter were celebrating their third after a quick counter-attack and a fumbled save from Gower saw the ball drop to Cardwell who confidently planted the ball into the net.
Sam Luce had an effort cleared off the line with time ticking away before substitutes Elliot Poole and Solomon combined, with the latter dispatching from close range to round off a comprehensive win.
‘We battled hard and I thought we deserved it in the end,’ said St Peter captain Luke Campbell. ‘4-0 might flatter us a little bit, it was a tough game out there.
‘We’re in four cup finals now, it’s been a good season, and you could say we’re a cup team. We want to bring a bit of silverware back to St Peter as they haven’t had that in a few years.’
Campbell’s side will now face holders St Paul’s in the final, while they can also look forward to the Jeremie, Le Riche and Kent Reliance Intermediate Challenge Shield finals.
St Peter: Ryan Le Couteur, Jordan Preston, Sam Luce, Luke Campbell, Dave Cox, Sean Lambert, Jay Curtis, Harry Cardwell, Daryl Wilson, Jake Baker, Jake Prince.
Subs used: Sol Solomon, Elliot Poole.
Northerners: Rhys Gower, Chris Le Cheminant, Ollie McKenzie, Aaron Mahieu, River Marsh, Simon Marley, Stuart Roussel, Luke Mollet, Marc McGrath, Sam Murray, Ben Bullock.
Sub used: John Rihoy.