Halse hold their nerve to reach County Cup final

Halse United U17s
Halse United U17s

Halse United U17s are through to the final of the U18 County Youth Cup after a nerve-jangling 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten Northampton Falcons in a tense semi-final.

In front of a large home crowd, Halse started brightly and took the game to their opponents with excellent interplay between Ben Gascoigne, Adam Hilton and Ollie Read culminating in Hilton’s effort going just wide of goal.

Halse keeper Scott McNair and his defence of Max Woodard-Knight, Jay Franks, Tom Silman and debutant George Kingham looked in control at the other end, although they were unable to prevent Northampton from taking the lead on 17 minutes.

Halse responded well with captain Jack Purnell and Liam Simpson creating opportunities through the midfield, and the home side’s good play was rewarded when they won a penalty which was calmly converted by Gascoigne.

United then had McNair to thank for producing a fine fingertip save to keep them on level terms at the break.

The game continued to flow end-to-end after half-time before the decisive moment came with 20 minutes remaining when Sam Whitworth turned and fired past the visiting goalkeeper.

The Falcons threw everything forward for the remainder of the game as they sought an equaliser in a tense finale, but Halse held on with the final whistle bringing a huge cheer from the home fans.

United face Northampton Kingsthorpe Jets in the final.