Gledhill Cup Semi-Finals Preview 2004/05

The next wo weekends should see both of the Gledhill Cup Semi-Finals being played.  Will this season's Bloomfield Road showpiece be an 'All Premier Division' affair or will one or both of the two 'non Prem' sides still left in the competition upset the odds and reach the final.

Sunday February 20th 2005 – Blackpool Mechanics FC – 11am

Poulton SFC (Prem) v Red Rose Catering FC (2B)

Referee – Tony Zak.


Poulton SFC's road to the Semi ;

15/08/04 – Round 1 – Exempt

05/09/04 – Round 2 – Poulton 5 – 2 Chequers (2A)

10/10/04 – Round 3 – Bloomfield Hotel (2B) 1 – 4 Poulton

07/11/04 – Round 4 – Real Cahoots (3A) 0 – 4 Poulton

12/12/04 – Q-Finals – Poulton 3 – 1 The Dunes (2A)

Poulton players celebrate after scoring against Real Cahoots in Round 4

Newly promoted to the Premier Division this season Poulton are going well in the top flight.  They're presently third in the league with eight wins and two draws from the first fifteen matches.  Recently, they were beaten in the Quarter Finals of the Premier Division Cup 4 – 0 by Fleetwood.  In their last league outing they made leaders Quilligans work hard for the points in a 4 – 3 defeat.  Confidence is high and moral is good in the Poulton camp and reaching the Gledhill Final would be great achievement for a team that's surprised a few people with their good showing in the Premier Division this season.

Red Rose Catering FC's road to the Semi ;

15/08/04 – Round 1 – Duke of York (3A) 2 – 2 Red Rose Catering

22/08/04 – Replay – Red Rose Catering 4 – 0 Duke of York (3A)

05/09/04 – Round 2 – Red Rose Catering 4 – 2 Wyre Waste (Prem)

10/10/04 – Round 3 – CLS Wyre FC (2B) 3 – 3 Red Rose Catering

17/10/04 – Replay – Red Rose Catering 5 – 4 CLS Wyre FC

07/11/04 – Round 4 – Clifton Rangers (2A) 2 – 9 Red Rose Catering

12/12/04 – Q-Finals – Castle Gardens 0 – 1 Red Rose Catering

Red Rose Catering FC (Light Blue) on their way to knocking out last season's Premier Division Champions and Gledhill Cup holders Wyre Waste out of the competition in Round 2.

Red Rose Catering are having an excellent season.  As of the time of writing they've only lost one game so far all season.  That was a 6 – 0 defeat to 2B promotion rivals the Ship, Fleetwood FC back on September 19th.  Since then they've gone on a fourteen game unbeaten run in all competitions.  They're presently second in the league three points behind leaders CLS Wyre FC with two games in hand.  They're also still going strong in the Division 2 Cup where they're still to play 2B's Bloomfield Hotel at the end of February.  They've had to beat some very good teams along the way to get this far including last season's double winners Wyre Waste FC (The Old Vic) in Round 2.

It took a replay to get past the Duke of York in Round 1 and two games were also required to progress past CLS Wyre.  A 9 – 2 win against 2A's high flying Clifton Rangers was one of the major shock results of the season so far.  I can't remember the last time a Division 2 side reached the Gledhill Final.  They may be underdogs looking at the league tables but Premier side Poulton will have to be at their very best to turn over in-form Red Rose.

Sunday February 27th 2005 – Squires Gate FC 11am

Reform Health Club FC (Div 1) v Quilligans FC (Prem)

Referee – Kevin Rial.


Reform Health FC's road to the Semi ;

15/08/04 – Round 1 – PG FC (3A) 0 – 8 Reform Health FC

05/09/04 – Round 2 – Reform Health FC 4 – 1 The Clarence (Prem)

10/10/04 – Round 3 – Reform Health FC 5 – 0 Fylde Coast Gates FC (2B)

07/11/04 – Round 4 – Reform Health FC 1 – 1 McDonald Property FC (Div 1)

14/11/04 – Replay – McDonald Property 2 – 2 Reform Health.  Reform went through on penalties

12/12/04 – Q-Finals – Gasworkers FC (2B) 1 – 2 Reform Health

Reform Health Club FC (Red shirts) in Quarter final action up at Broadwaters against 2B's the Gasworkers FC.

Reform Health Club FC are, in many aspects, a new team this season.  Manager Dean Whitehouse has quickly put together a talented outfit of young players who are at last showing signs of gelling into a good team.  Early season league form was indifferent but four league wins in the last seven has improved their current league position to 9th.  Their best form has come in the Cup.  In the closely contested Division 1 Cup they're still going well and have a Quarter Final tie against Fluid Edge FC to look forward to this Sunday (20/02/05).  If they get through that one they'll have another semi-final to look forward to against Fleetwood Cricket Club FC.

In the Gledhill they've kept on defying their critics and numerous tipsters by coming good and playing extremely well against Prem side the Clarence in Round 2, last season's Gledhill Cup finalists McDonald Property FC in Round 4 and 2B title contenders the Gasworkers FC in the Quarter Finals.  No doubt many will again write off their chances in the Semi against Cup favourites Quilligans but if they all play to their potential they may surprise once again.

Quilligans FC's road to the Semi ;

15/08/04 – Round 1 – Exempt

05/09/04 – Round 2 – Quilligans 6 – 0 The Mortgage Shop (Prem)

10/10/04 – Round 3 – Quilligans FC 10 – 0 The Old England FC (2A)

07/11/04 – Round 4 – Fleetwood Town (Prem) 0 – 2 Quilligans

12/12/04 – Q-Finals – The Ship, Fleetwood (2B) 2 – 6 Quilligans

Quilligans FC (Blue shirts) in action against the Ship at Broadwaters in the Quarter Finals.

Since 1993 Quilligans have won the Gledhill Cup six times and finished runners up on three occasions.  To get to the semi-final they've had to knock out two fellow Prem sides along the way including a 2 – 0 win away at Fleetwood Town.  That represents Fleetwood's only domestic defeat of the season so far.  Quilligans are presently nine points clear at the top of the premier Division looking difficult to catch.  Their only league defeat came at home to Highfield Social,  That 1 – 0 reverse ended an unbeaten home league record stretching back five years.

Their only other domestic defeat came recently against Fleetwood Town in the Premier Division Cup, a result that ended in some managerial upheaval.  Since losing to Highfield they've won eleven straight games in the league and if they win against St Annes Ex Service at home on Sunday and make it twelve they'll then hold the season's best run of consecutive straight wins this season ahead of 3B's the Subway FC.

The last couple of league wins have been far from easy with the team having to come from behind to win, a sure sign of commitment and determination.  Seventy-three league goals in thirteen games and ten clean sheets in all competitions make Quilligans very dangerous and difficult opponents.  Can they go on to win the double this season and re-establish themselves after last season's Fleetwood double in the major competitions ?  The next couple of months will provide the answer.

If all goes to plan will be covering both semi-finals bringing you photo's and a match summary within hours of the final whistle.  If you're in a position to go and see the matches I strongly recommend you do so.  Reaching the Gledhill Final and getting to play on Bloomfield Road provides a memory that lasts long into old age.  Two big semi- finals to look forward to.  So much to lose and so much to gain.  May the best teams on the day win.

                           Red Rose Catering     Quilligans Cafe    The Reform Health Club    

                           Poulton Le Fylde       Quilligans FC      Reform Health Club FC    

Sportspy 2004/05

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