Hill book first League Cup final
n Ruardean fans celebrate the goal that sealed the victory.
RUARDEAN Hill Rangers are through to their first Les James League Cup final after beating local rivals Broadwell.
The visitors went into the game as favourites based on league positions and a fairly comfortable win between the two sides just after Christmas.
But it was Ruardean who had most of the early possession.
They made the most of it when Dan Matthews smashed home a half-volley after 25 minutes.
The Amts stepped up the pace but did not really trouble Aaron Underwood in the Ruardean goal for the rest of the half.
Broadwell got the ball in the net after five minutes of the second half but Dan Brain’s effort was ruled offside by the linesman.
That led to disagreement in the dug-out which was ended when the referee produced two red cards.
Ruardean appeared happy to hit the long ball and make Broadwell come back from deep.
They had a few chances, the best of which fell to Liam Thomas when a shot from the six yard box lacked power and went the wrong side of the posts.
Broadwell made a couple of substitutions in an effort to ramp up the pressure.
Daryl Addis, a recent recruit from English Bicknor, replaced Kieren James who had tormented the Ruardean defence in December but had a quiet game on this occasion.
With just five minutes left, top scorer Steve Clark sealed the win, slotting a Shaun Tingle knock-down past Jack Watkins in goal.
Rangers’ manager Brian Burke was delighted by his team’s performance.
He said: “If you look at the league positions, we were definitely underdogs.
“We knew how Broadwell play and we had a game plan and it worked quite well.
“We said at the beginning of the season we would aim for a cup final.
“To a man our players were all excellent.”
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