AFC Aldermaston are looking forward to a cup final after beating Chalfont Wasps 2-1 in the semi-finals of the Berks and Bucks Intermediate Cup on Saturday.
Hosts Chalfont play their football a level above Terry Rooney’s side but it was the visitors who made the better start, with the home goalkeeper making a terrific treble save to deny Michael Porter, Kai Parton-Edey and Porter again 10 minutes in.
Aldermaston grabbed the lead on 20 minutes as centre-back Martin King’s strong run ended with a foul in the penalty area and Parton-Edey converted the spot-kick.
The visitors remained a goal up at the break but Chalfont levelled on 50 minutes following a mistake by midfielder Andy Barfoot.
The hosts then enjoyed a good spell, but Aldermaston hit back, with Matt Wilkes hitting the post shortly before Porter restored the lead, slotting home from Carmel Tomma’s through-ball.
Chalfont piled on the pressure and seemed to have a way back into the match on 83 minutes, when a foul from Alex Sylvester gave them a penalty. However, Ben Smith pushed the spot-kick around the post and Aldermaston held out to reach the Berks and Bucks Intermediate Cup final for the first time in the club’s history.
Manager Rooney said: “I am over the moon for the lads and we are really looking forward to the final – but we have got to focus on the league now and get some points on the board.”
Three days before their cup triumph, Aldermaston went down to a 4-1 defeat at home to Winchester Castle in the Hampshire Premier League.
The hosts went ahead after 10 minutes, Porter heading in a corner from close range, but a poor back-pass from Karl Hanks gifted Winchester an equaliser just before half-time.
Parton-Edey and Porter both missed chances to put Aldermaston back ahead but it was Winchester who scored next, netting from a corner on 70 minutes.
The visitors went on to add two more in the closing stages, home goalkeeper Kevin Butcher being credited with two own-goals from corners.
Next up for Aldermaston is a home game against Liss Athletic on Saturday, while they will host Colden Common next Wednesday. That game was due to be played this week, but has had to be cancelled as the visitors have a cup tie to play.
Rooney added: “It’s all about confidence for us. If we are confident then we can beat anyone on our day so there is no reason why we cannot get three points from either game.”