Lealholm advance in North Riding Saturday Challenge Cup after win over Whitby Fishermens Society

Whitby Fishermens Society were stunned by a quickfire first-half double from rivals Lealholm as they bowed out of the North Riding Saturday Challenge Cup last weekend.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 3:44 pm
Updated Monday, 19th April 2021, 3:46 pm
Action from Lealholm’s 2-0 win against Whitby Fishermens Society in the North Riding Saturday Challenge Cup. Pictures: Brian Murfield

Whitby Town’s Towbar Express Stadium played host to the tie, and despite no supporters being able to attend, player from both sides relished the opportunity to play on the lush green surface provided for them.

With all of the controversy regarding the proposed European Super League, this clash was a great advert for local grassroots football with both sets of players showing commitment to the game, with some excellent play to go with it.

After an impeccably observed minute of silence to honour Prince Philip, it was Lealholm who edged the opening stages of the game with Fishermens shot-stopper Paul Cull being called into action on a number of occasions early on.

But he was unable to prevent Billy Welford from opening the scoring with 15 minutes on the clock after he was unable to gather the ball under pressure following an in-swinging left-wing corner. Welford eventually finished emphatically having claimed the loose ball.

Fishermens looked rattled having gone behind and it was 2-0 just 11 minutes later.

Unlike Lealholm’s scrappy opener, this was a great piece of team player with Will Stewart-Cross breaking forwards and unselfishly squaring the ball for Brad Lewis to calmly slot the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of Cull’s goal.

With the Whitby side trailing at the break, they tried to mix things up and used the half-time break as an opportunity to make a couple of changes.

These seemed to have a positive impact on their second half performance but a well-organised Lealholm outfit frustrated their opponents throughout the second half.

The biggest moment came the way of pacey wide-man Josh Linsley when he cut inside from the left, but he got caught in two minds on whether to shoot or pass allowing Lealholm to deal with the danger.

As bodies began to commit further forwards, gaps started to appear at the back and Lealholm could have added a third late on with Stewart-Cross having an effort superbly blocked on the line by substitute Joe Wilson.

The score remained 2-0 to the Tigers, and they booked their place in the next round of the North Riding FA competition with the final now in sight.