Staithes bidding for league and cup double

Lealholm missed out on the first piece of silverware this season as they lost to holders Lingdale United in the final of the Scarborough Junior Cup at Whitby Town last Friday night.

Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges. Lingdale started to get on top but could not find a way through while Lealholm also found it hard to break down the Lingdale rearguard.

The East Cleveland side came nearest to scoring in the first half when Anthony Jones headed against the bar but the interval was reached with the game still goalless.

The second half started in frantic fashion as Michael Woodhouse opened the scoring for Lingdale inside the opening minute.

Lealholm pressed for an equaliser but were finding it hard to break through while Lingdale kept counter-attacking. The game was still on a knife edge going into the final five minutes with just the single goal separating the teams but with two minutes left, Lingdale’s Wayne Skelton chased a lost cause and managed to keep the ball in and cut inside the defender who then pulled him for a penalty.

Shane Breckon kept his cool to fire home and seal the cup for Lingdale. Lealholm kept going in search of a goal but it wasn’t their night.

In league action, new leaders Staithes Athletic followed up a narrow victory over Goldsborough with a 3-1 win over Loftus which ended their title hopes in the process.

A Morrison cross was deflected into the net by a Staithes defender to give Loftus a first half lead but in the second half a Steve Starsmore penalty brought the sides level. The same player then put Staithes in front before Adam Thomas sealed the points to take Staithes four points clear at the top but having played three more games.

Their final two matches are against the two teams who can still win the title so there is everything to play for.

Lealholm and Lingdale had both won in midweek against Hollybush and Hinderwell and besides both having to play Staithes, they also have to play each other.

Stokesley visited Hollybush with an outside chance of the title but they slipped to defeat as the home side won by the odd goal in three. Great Ayton United entertained Brotton Railway Arms and a close game was settled by a first half goal from Brotton’s Stuart Lyons.

On Monday night, Lealholm travelled to Goldsborough and a tight game saw the visitors score the only goal to move within a point of Staithes at the top of the table.

In the quarter-final of the Eileen Hodgson Bowl, Boosbeck beat Goldsborough to set up a semi-final against Great Ayton.

In the League Cup semi-final, Staithes hosted Lingdale United and got off to a flying start as Steve Starsmore opened the scoring inside the first minute. Lingdale levelled through James Swann and just before the break, took the lead through Shane Breckon. Further goals from Liam Allinson and Swann were enough to see Lingdale reach the final where they will meet Lealholm.

Tonight, Staithes Athletic take on Stokesley Sports Club in the uPVC Suppliers Knockout Cup final at Whitby’s Turnbull Ground, 7pm kick-off.