Guildhall Cup semis finish in upsets
The underdogs came out on top in both semi-finals of the Guildhall Cup.
In the morning kick-off at Croston, Bolton United – currently fifth in the Mid Lancs Premier Division – defeated Premier League leaders Southport and Ainsdale Amateurs 1-0 in a keenly contested game.
Bolton scored early in the first half, against the run of play, with a well taken goal by Nadir Patel.
Despite a lot of Southport pressure, Bolton held out and were grateful to their goalkeeper for two outstanding saves in the second half and a superb rearguard display.
As Southport pushed for an equaliser, Bolton almost sneaked a second goal when their centre-forward rounded the keeper but shot wide.
In the second semi-final, in the evening kick-off at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium in Bamber Bridge, First Division Chipping caused a major upset by defeating Premier Division outfit Preston Wanderers on penalties.
Preston took the lead early in the second half through a superb strike by Bailey Barbour from outside the area.
At this point most observers thought that Preston would go on to win the game.
However Chipping had other ideas and fought back to equalise through a well taken goal by Jonny Timbrell from the edge of the area.
The game finished 1-1 at the end of normal time and 30 minutes of extra time could not separate the two teams.
In a tense shootout, Chipping held their nerve and triumphed 4 – 2 on penalties.
Bolton and Chipping will now meet in the final to be played at the Lancashire FA County Ground in Leyland on Friday, April 29 (7.30pm).