Blues Club crash out of Challenge Cup after failing to score for first time this season

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The Blues Club crashed out of the Challenge Cup on Saturday, in what was dubbed the top tie of the quarter-final round.

It was a clash of the Lincoln Saturday League’s high fliers as top side Birchwood put their unbeaten record on the line against third placed Gainsborough outfit The Blues Club.

Having lost at the semi-final stage in each of the previous two seasons, The Blues Club were keen to go further this year.

These two sides had played out a 2-2 draw in December and the Gainsborough men were unbeaten in their last four, having lost only once in 12 outings.

Birchwood on the other hand, had won 15 and drawn three of their total 18 games played this season.

In comprehensive fashion Birchwood made it eight successive wins and a second semi-final place, with a 4-0 victory.

This was the first occasion this season that The Blues Club has failed to find the net.

On target for Birchwood were the familiar names of Danny Hicks, with his second of the season, Liam Wright with his 17th, Ricky Greensmith and in-form Tom Butcher, scoring his third in two games.

With holders RM Imp already knocked out a different name was to be engraved on this long standing trophy, introduced to this league two seasons’ ago, from the now defunct West Lindsey League.

Last seasons’ losing finalist Ruston Sports Reserves had a repeat of their semi-final tie of last season, as they hosted Cherry Willingham.

In an early season meeting of these two sides, Rustons had won by the odd goal in seven, but going into this game they had lost five in a row.

Cherry on the other hand had won three of their last five.

With Rustons first team in active, they were able to enhance their side, and on the day this no doubt made the difference as they strolled into the semis, 6-2.

There were two goals each for Joe Butler and Scott Nicholson and one each from Henry Rush and Alex Mackinder.

Brendan Foster-Matthieson got both Cherry goals.

The third tie brought together Fulbeck United and Monson FC

In a really tight game it was Fulbeck who edged into the semi-finals with the only goal of the game, scored by Dean Jones.

The final tie was between the league’s two bottom sides with bottom team Crown & Arrows visiting Retford Town.

With two goals from Martin Whaplington and one from Dale Wilkes, Crown and Arrows made it to their second semi-final of the campaign in their first season in the league.

Gary Anderson got Retford’s goal.

The semi final draw sees an all Lincoln tie with Birchwood United taking on AFC Crown and Arrows while Fulbeck United meet last seasons’ losing finalists, Ruston Sports Reserves .

This weekend The Blues Club are at home to Ruston Sports Reserves in league action.