Buoyant Bels end 15-year wait to reach cup final
Stamford Bels reached their first final for 15 years after beating FC Peterborough in Saturday’s PFA Challenge Cup semi-final clash.
Goals from Alfie Winters, Dave Atkinson and Tyler Sculthorpe secured a cup final spot against Peterborough League Division One rivals Moulton Harrox Reserves.
Bels had started well against their Division Two hosts and their constant pressure was rewarded with an opening goal after 10 minutes.
A quick free-kick from Atkinson found Alfie Winters who smartly kept the ball up and volleyed on the turn from 35 yards out to break the deadlock in style.
Bels continued to press and soon doubled their lead with Alfie Winters again involved as he beat three FC Peterborough defenders before being fouled and Atkinson converted the resultant spot kick for his seventh goal of the season.
FC Peterborough started the second half brightly with their winger causing problems down the right, but Bels defended well and shut down any attacks.
The game was put to bed when substitute Tyler Sculthorpe came on and latched onto an Alfie Winters through ball to rifle home into the top corner.
Bels switched off in stoppage time and gave away a soft penalty, but their quarter-final shoot-out hero George Winters again proved unbeatable.
He made a superb save to his right to keep out the penalty, but the referee ordered a re-take due to encroachment in the area when the spot kick was taken.
However, the Bels custodian was also equal to the re-take with another super save to ensure a clean sheet as the Stamford side secured their first final spot since the 2002-03 season.
Bels will be bidding to make it a cup final double on Wednesday night when they take on Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division side Cottesmore Amateurs in the last four of the Daniels Cup. The match is being played at Blackstones FC and kicks-off at 7.45pm.