WHITBY Fishermens travelled to first division high-fliers Eastfield in the quarter final of the District Cup.
After successfully seeing off their reserve team in the League Trophy the previous week with a resounding 8-1 victory, this was a tougher challenge in which they produced arguably their best performance this season .
Fishermen’s welcomed back Cleever and Winspear into the back four along with Sullivan who had an outstanding game switching to right back.
Play was fairly even in the first 20 minutes with both sides cancelling each other out.
Eastfield struck first when they sprung the offside trap with their centre forward latching on to a through ball to make it 1-0.
This spurred Fishermen’s into action and they took the game to Eastfield with Purvis and Scaife getting on top in the midfield battle, but they suffered a set back when centre half Taylor had to leave the field which what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
His replacement was unlucky in that before getting up to the pace of the game he gave a penalty away which was saved superbly by Scales in the Fishermen’s goal. This is all the encouragement Fishermens needed and a great ball over the top from Scaife was finished in style by Mark Swales to level the score.
Eastfield hit back though and scored in time added on at the end of the first half to go in 2-1 up at the interval.
Fishermen’s introduced Stevenson in the second half and his and Storr’s direct running on the flanks were causing Eastfield problems.
Fishermen’s got a well-deserved equaliser when another through ball once again found Swales who lobbed the keeper for his second of the game for 2-2.
The Whitby side were now on top and Swales was unlucky when a fiercely struck free-kick hit the post in the 90th minute but the score remained level .
After an inspired team talk by the management, the hard-working Armstrong chased a ball down to hit a powerful shot into the top corner to make it 3-2 but again Eastfield hit back with a free-kick which Scales fingertipped onto the bar, but the follow-up was tucked away for 3-3.
Straight from kick-off, Fishermens were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out which Swales lashed against the bar.
Fishermen’s were on top in the second half of extra time but got the killer goal five minutes from time when Swales collected the ball on the edge of the 18 yard area, beat three players and finished with confidence to round off a fine hat-trick .
Man of the match: Ben Sullivan for an excellent defensive display.
Eastfield St James 3 Whitby Fishermen’s 4