Middlewich Town 1-1 Dukinfield Town 

(after extra time, Dukinfield win 7-6 on penalties)

ROSS Speight hailed Middlewich Town’s players as ambassadors for the Cheshire League following their agonising exit from the Cheshire FA Amateur Cup at the weekend.

The Witches pushed higher-ranked Dukinfield all the way in front of a bumper crowed at Seddon Street before bowing out after a penalty shoot-out.

They had hoped to reach the semi-finals for the first time.

“We did the league proud,” said the co-manager.

“It’s bitterly disappointing to lose like that, but every single player was a credit to our club and in turn the league.

“They’ve produced some outstanding performances in the competition this season, winning tricky ties to get this far, and looked at home at an excellent standard.”

Town had to recover from the blow of conceding first in the ninth minute.

However they drew level when Michael Whitehead steered in a volley.

Debutant Tom Rutter, borrowed from neighbours 1874 Northwich, then prompted the visitors’ custodian to make a smart save.

From the resulting corner, Dean Burgess’ header was smuggled off the goal-line.

The visitors threatened too, and Sam McKay was alert to clear the danger when they looked certain to take the lead again in the second-half.

At the other end, Jamie Petrie’s low cross was intercepted by a defender after he had made progress on the right.

Neither side could find a way through in extra time before the Manchester League Premier Division outfit prevailed on spot-kicks.

Their reward is a trip to Vauxhall Motors, conquerors of Congleton Vale, in the last four.

Speight added: “To have more than 150 people watching a game at this level is fantastic.

“It was great to see so many people connected to the club supporting the first-team, and we’d love to repay them by winning a piece of silverware.”

Middlewich can improve their chances of doing exactly that if they prevail in a JA Walton Challenge Cup encounter with Orford on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.

Town | Masters (GK), Jack McKay, Sam McKay, Basford, Burgess, Barnes, Whitehead, Adamczyk, Gorton, Petrie, Rutter Substitutes Lunn, Hopkins, Twite, Clawson, Devaney

Referee Jamie Kilgannon

Attendance 164