Lethal finishing is key for Rimington

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READ United will be glad to see the back of Rimington after lethal finishing saw them into the quarter-finals of the Presidents Cup.

A Craig Sargeson brace and a late Matthew Eglin strike was enough for Terry Braithwaite’s men.

On a difficult pitch, the league champions started the brighter, and Oli McLean blazed wide with only Nick Galea to beat, the Read keeper gifting the ball to the Rimington captain, who should have scored.

A slaloming Andrew Arkwright run and shot whistled past the post as United looked to gain an early advantage.

The visitors took the lead as Sargeson capitalised on slack marking, glancing a header into the far corner from a long throw in.

Read should have had a penalty when Richard Wilson was floored by Kershaw after beating the Rimington stopper to the ball.

Luck is not a trait often enjoyed by United against their Ribble Valley counterparts, the referee waving away the host’s protests as half-time loomed.

Read were quickly out of the blocks after the break, a spell of sustained pressure culminating with a stooping Craig Taylor header expertly saved by Kershaw.

The dexterity of Rimington’s attack always worried Read, Galea beating away a Sargeson strike before the forward pounced on the rebound.

Driven forward by captain Matt Benfield, the hosts looked for a way back into the match.

Tim Rakshi rasped a free kick against the bar as Rimington had their hearts in their mouth.

United stopper Galea then spilled a routine ball to Matthew Eglin, as the striker was about to tap into an empty net the keeper made a miraculous recovery to claw away the danger.

However, moments later Eglin sealed the victory, racing onto a through ball to fire home, adding lustre to the scoreline.

Read joint-manager Nick Galea said: “I thought we battled well, it’s a different game if we get the penalty at 1-0. We have a few lads to come back and we have to look towards the league and survival now.”

Today, Read travel to Enfield, while Rimington are at Feniscowles and Pleasington. Both games kick off at 2-15 p.m.

On Wednesday, Rimington play their West Riding Cup semi-final at the County Ground in Leeds. The club have arranged a coach for spectators which will leave Clitheroe at around 5 p.m. If anyone is interested, contact Terry (428190).