Football
Pillinger is the hero for Villa

By Jamie Arrowsmith 02/02 Updated: 07/02 11:22

TWO goals from Adam Pillinger sent Fairfield Villa through to the final of the Worcestershire Junior Cup on Saturday with a 2-1 semi-final defeat of Bredon.

Paul Oakes’ men will tackle Midland Combination Division One rivals Archdale 73 in the final towards the end of the season but have had little time to enjoy their victory with another big cup clash ahead tomorrow.

A trip to Feckenham awaits in the quarter-finals of the President’s Cup with the winners going on to face Littleton or Alvis in a two-legged semi-final.

“It is an exciting time at the moment with the interest in cup competitions keeping us going,” Oakes said.

“We’ve already had two very close battles with Feckenham this season and we both know everything about each other so I’m expecting tomorrow to be no different. I really wouldn’t like to call the winner.”

Whatever the outcome tomorrow, Villa guaranteed themselves one cup final to look forward to with a hard fought but deserved victory on Saturday.

Pillinger opened the scoring when working his way past a defender and firing home but the visitors levelled on the stroke of half time with a fantastic strike.

Villa applied more pressure the longer the second half went on and secured their place in the final when Pillinger was on hand to smash home after Scott Gaffney and Dean Beagan had seen shots blocked.

“We started like a house on fire which pleased me because of problems with availability ahead of the game,” Oakes said.

“When we got ourselves ahead early I thought we would go on and win it easily but that did not prove to be the case.

“They’ve equalised with a phenomenal strike but thankfully Pillinger was on hand to get us what I think was a deserved victory.

“I was pleased for Pillinger, he produced a really good display. We moved him to more of a central strikers role and he performed well there, especially as we lost Ryan (Sproston) after just five minutes (to illness).

“We lost him briefly to Cadbury Athletic but he went about his business in the right way and has applied himself well since coming back.”

Oakes was quick to highlight the important of the success, saying: “It is what we’ve been aiming for and I’m thrilled for everybody at the club, especially the players.

“There are a number of important people at this club who have all played their part in varying ways, Mark Cosgrove, Jason Hancox, the Committee members and of course Lee Shaw and in what has been a difficult year at times, this makes it all worthwhile.”

Oakes hopes to have some extra options available to him for tomorrow with Lewis Smith and Andy Pike returning. He also hopes to complete the signing of Joe Norton in time to be involved. Chris Parish, Ian Wroe and Scott Gaffney will all be missing though.

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