Keighley Under-17s 3, Barkston Ash Under-17s 2
Keighley & District FA are chasing a fifth West Riding County FA Minor Cup after dethroning the holders in a semi-final at county headquarters at Fleet Lane in Woodlesford last Saturday.
They gave a magnificent display to defeat previously unbeaten Barkston Ash and, while Jonson Butterfield will get all the headlines for his hat-trick, the whole squad played their part in clinching a deserved final against Wharfedale & District FA on Saturday, March 29.
Keighley’s back four of Joe Meegan, Josh Ferguson, Keann Shaw, captain George Guest and keeper Josh Hardisty were immense as they snuffed out many goal threats.
This allowed the midfield quartet of Tom Baker, Dominic Mortimer, Harry McGowan and Butterfield to start dominating in wide areas and through the middle.
Baker and Meegan on the right and Butterfield and Ferguson on the left caused Barkston continuous problems, with McGowan and Mortimer controlling the middle.
This started to release the front two of Euan Sessford and Jack Wrigglesworth, but the first half didn’t come to life unitl the 43rd minute, Butterfield swinging over a cross-cum-shot that sailed over the Barkston keeper to give Keighley a deserved half-time lead.
The second half was only minutes old when a fantastic point-blank reaction save from Hardisty kept Barkston out, and a minute later Sessford was hacked down in the area, the referee having no hesitation in awarding a spot-kick.
Ferguson stepped up, but, unfortunately, his penalty sailed high and wide. This swung the pendulum to Barkston, who equalised on 60 minutes after an error in midfield.
However, Keighley were still controlling the flow of the game and it was no surprise when their superiority counted on 75 minutes, Butterfield smashing in an unstoppable volley across the keeper into the top corner.
James Gilmartin, Ben Cox and Sam Fox were introduced to bolster the midfield and front line and, after some excellent work by Fox in the area, he was tripped for Keighley’s second penalty.
Butterfield this time made no mistake to complete his hat-trick with only three minutes left.
Barkston scored a consolation goal in the seventh minute of added time with the last kick of the game, but it was Keighley who were in raptures as the final whistle blew.
Their manager Charlie Wysocki said: “The players were superb, and all the training, team talks and tactics paid off with what was the best all-round performance since I took over the reins four years ago.
“The problem that we are always trying to overcome is that at junior level they can get away with relaxing for ten to 15 minutes but this is not the case at this level.”
He added: “The job is not complete, but if we apply ourselves in the final as we have done here, then it will take a very good performance to beat us.
“The last time Keighley won the competition was in 2006 and the level of achievement should not be underestimated as, in the history of the cup dating back to 1928, we have only won it four times.
“I would also like to thank the rest of the squad – Connor Mitchell, Callum Holmes, Saif Hussain and Matthew Fleetwood, who were with us – and all the support that we had from friends, family and the Association. It does help and is a great spur for all of us.”