Hale Leys United cruised into the final of the South Midlands League Division Two Cup after a stunning 9-1 victory in a one-sided semi-final with Grendon Rangers.
An injury-hit Hale side, who were missing star men Daniel Parsons, Riccardo Whittle, Marcus Hussey and Jack Bowers, wasted no time in taking the game to the visitors and opened the scoring when a speculative cross sailed over the Grendon goalkeeper and into the net.
The home side monopolised possession and peppered the away goal with Alex Woodfine’s penalty making it 2-0 at the break after Nathan Graham had been fouled in the box.
Hale then put on a show for the 64-strong crowd in the second half as two goals in quick succession saw Woodfine complete his hat-trick and increase the lead to four.
Grendon showed some spirit and pulled a goal back after a lapse in concentration from the hosts, but immediately Hale were back on the attack with Tom Brindley scoring twice in a matter of minutes, his second goal an exquisite lob over the helpless Rangers keeper.
The home side inflicted more pain on Grendon with substitute Sean Coles making it 7-1 within seconds of coming on before he smashed home a second goal from 12 yards and the scoring was rounded off when captain Steven Garbutt deflected home Graham’s effort.
A delighted Paul Alleyne said afterwards: “The squad responded to what was asked of them.
“We have been frustrated in recent weeks with the lack of football and this could have affected us, however I told the boys to show that they wanted it and respond to the loss against New Bradwell and I believe the scoreline says it all.
“We had limited options today but the boys are all still quality players and they showed it - I couldn’t have asked for anymore from them.
“Man of the Match was a difficult choice today but hat-trick man Alex showed what a great player he can be when he plays like that.”
Hale will face Old Bradwell United in the final.
Alleyne added: “We made the final last year and lost to Kent but I think this year we will be ready as we haven’t won this cup before.
“I also want to thank the 60-strong crowd that came down to support us - it’s always appreciated and I’m glad that we delivered a very watchable game for all those who came out.”
Alleyne is now keen for his side to kick-on in the league, adding: “We have a hard run of fixtures now as postponed games have been slotted in midweek so we will be tested on that front too.
“It’ll be a tough few weeks ahead as our lead at the top of the table now only stands at 10 points so we need to keep our focus.”