Bailey and Sillett send Benhall into Bob Coleman Cup semi-finals

Leigh Bailey celebrates his strike for Benhall

Leigh Bailey celebrates his strike for Benhall - Credit: � James Bass 2017

Bob Coleman Cup quarter-final Wenhaston United 0 Benhall St Mary 2 Close-range goals in either half from Leigh Bailey and Chris Sillett saw Benhall St Mary beat Wenhaston 2-0 on Saturday and advance into the Bob Coleman Cup semi-finals.

Benhall's Kelsey Trotter on the run

Benhall's Kelsey Trotter on the run - Credit: � James Bass 2017

In a tight game with limited goalmouth action, it was the strong Division One outfit who had enough to see off the challenge of Senior Division Wenhaston.

Benhall got off to a great start, opening the scoring in the fifth minute. Shane Hambling’s curling free-kick wasn’t dealt with by stand-in ‘keeper Trevor Chenery, and after Ross Pemberton excellently headed goalwards, Bailey pounced on the goal-line.

A marauding run from Taylor Gissing almost saw the full-back double Benhall’s lead 10 minutes later, but Chenery was equal to the effort.

Trevor’s nephew, Lewis Chenery, son of boss Carl, almost pulled Wenhaston level with a left-footed effort that crept wide in the 21st minute, with centre-half Bailey twice bravely denying the Wenhaston forward line seven minutes later.

Benhall's Taylor Gissing rides a tackle

Benhall's Taylor Gissing rides a tackle - Credit: � James Bass 2017


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In fact, Benhall’s back-line, marshalled by the experienced Chris Wright, didn’t give Wenhaston much of a sniff all game, with Sam Calver producing a brilliant block from Erik Tompkins just before half-time.

The visitors started the second half very well, Ryan Everington firing wide, and Wright heading over.

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Wenhaston moved captain and dangerman Toby Payne from centre-half to centre-forward in the 60th minute, and he showed his class immediately before this switch when he went through three or four challenges, but just fired off target.

Benhall top goalscorer Kelsey Trotter linked play well all afternoon, and after he took a tumble, Hambling curled the resulting free-kick too high. Darren Warner held Payne’s tricky shot well, before Benhall sealed the win.

Terrific work from Trotter and Everington saw the ball break to Seb Miller, and after his delicate cross was headed onto the bar by Trotter, Sillett gobbled up the opportunity from inside the six-yard-box.

Benhall will now play fellow Division high-fliers Claydon in the semi-finals on March 25. AFC Kesgrave will play against Achilles in the other semi-final.

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