OLD Malton St Mary’s will take a step into the unknown when they contest the North Riding FA Saturday County Cup final tonight (7.30pm).
Player-manager Darren Dunning admitted knowing nothing about their Teesside League opponents, Thornaby Dubliners, whom they take on at County FA headquarters in Stokesley.
But, boosted by victory at the weekend which extended Saints’ lead at the top of the York Minster Engineering League, he was confident of making club history and lifting the cup for the first time.
“If we perform like we know we can then we can get a result,” said Dunning. “We beat one of the best teams in the Teesside League in the last round, but we also know it’s all about who turns up on the night so we just have to concentrate on ourselves and our performance.”
Saints edged Whinney Banks in the semi-final on penalties, and Thornaby are seven points adrift of them in their league table.
It is the first time Malton have reached the County Cup final since they lost to Cargo Fleet in 2010, and Dunning feels it could be a huge night for the club. He said: “We’ve never won it. It’s a big night and it will be a massive achievement.”
The midfielder also revealed that, although his side can still win the league and league cup, this is the one he wants most.
“It is probably our priority this season,” he said. “We’ve won the league and cup before but not this one so there is added importance.”
Riccall can top Saints in the table if they win their games in hand. Yet Dunning admitted he was prepared to risk dropping league points to secure cup glory.
“The league is out of our hands but we’ll just try to win every game and see what happens,” he said. “We have a good squad and I’ve been able to swap things around in recent weeks to keep everybody fresh.”
They dropped no points on Saturday as they opened up an eight-point gap at the summit with a 2-0 victory over Aviva while Riccall were in York FA Cup action. Marcus Godsell and Steve Baxter got the goals.
Ryedale neighbours Terrington lost 3-1 at Dunnington, who rose to fourth. Olly Newby put Dunnington ahead and, although Matty Bower levelled after half-time, a Robert Chipps penalty and a second strike for Newby, both in the last 10 minutes, saw Dunn take the spoils.
In division one, Luke Zacharenko scored both goals in Hemingbrough’s 2-0 win at Malton & Norton - a result which confirmed the Ryedale side’s relegation.
• BROOKLYN enjoyed a fine 3-2 win at Osbaldwick in the York Minster Engineering League Supplementary Cup.
Brooklyn must negotiate tough home and away legs against high-flying division one rivals Osso and Tadcaster to reach the final. But they began that bid in fine fashion.
Osbaldwick broke the deadlock but the second half belonged to the Ryedale side. They produced 15 minutes of attacking football, bringing goals for David Thompson, set up by Andy Phillips, man-of-the-match defender Kristian Wilkinson, with a volley into the top corner, and Phillips, finishing a superb counter attack.
The hosts grabbed a goal back late on but Brooklyn held out.
In the Junior Cup, Rufforth United edged Kirkbymoorside 2-1, while Stamford Bridge fell 3-1 to South Milford.
Brooklyn’s second string, of the reserve ‘C’ division, were pipped 3-2 by reserve ‘A’ leaders Dunnington in the Reserve Cup quarter-finals - after a last-gasp winner.
Dunnington went two up, Calum Smith missing a great chance at the other end, but Brooklyn pushed forward after half-time and got reward.
Man-of-the-match Chris Smales headed home a Smith cross and soon got his second with a first-time shot from 20 yards.
A poor touch denied Matthew Bean the chance to put Brooklyn ahead, while a Tom Everitt chip went just over. And Dunnington were awarded a dubious throw-in and took it quickly, catching Brooklyn out to get the winner.
Malton & Norton and Stamford Bridge reserves were both knocked out on penalties.
M&N drew 4-4 at Thorpe, Steven Hoggard (2), Richard Stevenson and Joseph Jefferson their scorers, before losing 5-4 in the shoot-out, while Bridge drew 2-2 with Poppleton only to fall 3-2 on spot-kicks.