Congleton Town FC

Congleton Town defeat Stalybridge Celtic to reach the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-finals

Congleton Town will face Crewe Alexandra after defeating Stalybridge Celtic in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday.
Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes

One of Congleton’s impressive cup adventures has taken another step towards silverware with their 19th cup game of the season ending in victory against opposition from two leagues above them.

Ethan Hartshorn’s second half strike secured semi-final status for Congleton on a night where The Bears welcomed Stalybridge Celtic to the Cleric Stadium for a Cheshire Senior Cup clash.

The Bears will now welcome League Two outfit Crewe Alexandra on a date that is yet to be confirmed.

Jon Beamont had The Bears’ best chance for a goal before the interval as Marco Fregapane picked out the midfielder in the box who fired narrowly wide of Connor Leach’s goal.

As for the host’s, Raul Correia would’ve been disappointed to see his effort go wide of the post as he tried to slot past the onrushing Dave Parton.

In a game that didn’t produce many chances for either side, it was always going to take a moment of quality to separate the two sides and prevent the tie going to a penalty shootout, and that quality came moments into the second half.

Bright work from Beaumont and Fregapane once more resulted in the ball sitting perfectly for Hartshorn to fire home from inside the box.

In a bid to claw back level, Stalybridge found themselves limited for chances with Congleton proving to control the game with and without the ball.

The visitors’ best chance fell to Domaine Rouse who fired high and wide from close range.

Richard Duffy: “We deserved to win.”

Speaking after the game, Richard Duffy believed it was a game The Bears deserved to win:

“Scrappy game but a game we deserved to win. There wasn’t a lot in it, not a lot of chances but that little bit of quality counted because I don’t think they [Stalybridge] created a lot.

“Obviously they’re a decent team, two leagues above us, superior to us and that’s where we are trying to get to as a team. But yeah, we deserved to win.”

Duffy opted to go with Lewis Short again at the heart of defence and was full of praise for him after Tuesday’s performance:

“Shorty has been great. Especially when we’ve been lacking centre backs he has stepped in and been the best player over the last four of five games.”