Belfast Telegraph

Antrim shock Pool to claim Cup history

By Ian Cahoon

County Antrim made Milk Cup history in the Junior Section when they became the first county side to reach a final.

They did so with a fine 2-1 win over Liverpool in Portstewart and the victory has set up today's meeting with Everton.

An all-Merseyside decider had been on the cards, but the Antrim boys upset the odds and they are now just one game from glory.

Brendy Glackin scored his fourth goal of the week to put Antrim ahead and Mark McKee was also on target for Stefan Seaton's boys.

While Connor Masterson replied for the Anfield boys it was not enough to deny Antrim a moment of history.

"It was a great game. I know the Liverpool coaches from the work I do and they were very complimentary, saying the best team won which we appreciated," said Seaton.

"We're just really proud to be there in the final, in our own country and it allows people to come and support some of their own."

Seaton revealed that any thoughts of celebrations were immediately put on hold ahead of today's finale.

"As soon as the match was over the first thing I was thinking about was preparation for the final – ice baths and all the boring things," he added.

"The kids were in the changing rooms afterwards having their milkshakes and getting themselves ready. These players deserve a great deal of credit for all that they've done.

"We have players from all over the county in the squad. There's ones from Larne, Ballymena, Ballymoney, west-Belfast – they truly represent the whole county."

The other semi-final was a thrilling encounter as Everton produced a stirring comeback to beat Watford on penalties after being 3-0 down at half-time

The Hornets took the lead after 20 minutes. Winger Panos Armenakas opening the scoring as he picked up the ball on the left touchline, shimmied past two Everton defenders and smashed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

The lead was doubled five minutes later after more impressive play from Watford.

Striker Michael Folivi showed a good turn of feet to roll the ball back to Max Ryan, who scored.

On the stroke of half-time the Hornets really were in dreamland when Ogo Obi made it 3-0 with a stunning 25 yard free-kick.

The powerful striker found the top left corner of Matthew Yorke's goal with the young stopper unable to get anywhere near it.

The second half fightback began when George Withe finished well from a tight angle.

Tom Pearce then converted from the penalty spot and with five minutes remaining the Toffee's comeback was complete.

Thomas Davies found himself with time and space in the penalty box and he wasn't going to waste his big opportunity.

Like the matched itself the penalty shoot-out ebbed and flowed before Michael Taylor scored the definitive spot kick.

Co Tyrone's reward for a fine week will come at Anderson Park in Coleraine as they contest the final of the Globe Trophy.

Spare a thought though for San Luis de Colina, who have conceded 19 goals in their last two games after a 9-0 thrashing by Ipswich Town.

It was the Tractor Boys' first win of the week and the star of the show was striker Sam Ford who netted SIX goals. Andre Dozzell grabbed two and Joshua Pollard rounded of the scoring action.

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