One trophy out of a possible three will make this season a success for Beeston St Anthony’s, so says their manager Mark Halmshaw.
Having already qualified for two major finals, the Leeds side sidestepped a potential banana skin with a 4-0 win over third-tier Altofts on Saturday to qualify for the last four of the League Cup.
“I said at the start that just one trophy would mean we’ve had a good season,” Halmshaw said.
“We had such a good year last year and to get another trophy under our belt will be a huge achievement, and it just so happens that we’ve now got the opportunity to win three.”
Beeston took the chance to rest a handful of players against Altofts in a match they had control of from the first minute.
“We kept a few players back, not in a disrespectful way, but in that we’ve got an awful lot of games coming up in a short space of time and we know how important it is to keep everyone fit and fresh going forward.
“We took the opportunity to play some of the younger lads and they did brilliantly.”
Sean Jevons opened the scoring inside seven minutes for the Premier Division side, who had two strikes from top goalscorer James Allan to thank for a 3-0 half-time lead.
Substitute Sam Morrell scored late on to put gloss on what was a cruise to victory.
“We expected them to be good and they were a good test for us,” said Halmshaw.
“That division is a tough one and they were very organised.
“We thoroughly deserved to win but at the same time we knew we’d been in a game.”
Despite their incredible cup form, Beeston haven’t been able to carry that into the league, which was typified by last Wednesday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with the likely-to-be-relegated Wetherby Athletic.
“We just haven’t had any consistency,” mused Halmshaw.
“In all honesty, the squad isn’t quite balanced enough and when people have had a dip in form, we haven’t had the depth in personnel to come in and make the difference.”
Halmshaw’s men sit sixth in a division they dominated last season on the way to a historic treble.
“We’re getting it right in the big games, but in the bread-and-butter games in the league, we’re letting ourselves down.”
Alongside their League Cup run, Beeston are looking forward to a home Northern Counties Senior Cup final after beating Lancashire side Milnthorpe Corinthians last month. What more? An appearance at Elland Road against Real Moor in May.
“The boys are looking forward to those games,” said Halmshaw. “It’s what you play for.
“Playing at Elland Road will be special and it’s a good reward for a lot of hard work this season. “Like I said at the start of the season, one trophy will be a success.
“All our focus has gone on winning that first pot, and if we win that it’ll make winning the other ones a whole lot easier.”
Beeston have been joined in the semis by leading lights Carlton Athletic, who came from behind to beat second-tier Aberford Albion 3-1. Goals in the last 15 minutes from Liam Moore, Anees Younis and Jospeh Kenny did the damage for the away side, who, like Beeston, took the chance to rest key players.
The other sides to have qualified are Horbury Town and Sherburn White Rose, who beat Ilkley Town and Robin Hood Athletic respectively in their cup outings.
James Smith and Liam Bojang struck for Horbury in a 2-0 win, whilst a brace for Adam Whittaker and a Brett Smith goal saw Sherburn through 3-1.
Beeston will host Horbury Town on Monday April 24, whilst Carlton will travel to Sherburn the next day.
In the weekend’s league fixtures, Brighouse Old Boys won out in the battle of the basement with a 5-3 win over Wetherby Athletic, who remain eight points from safety.
In the upper echelons of the table, a Lyam Gill strike saw Shelley beat Field 1-0 and goals from Grant Bligh and Nicholas Hewitt were enough for Pool to edge out Leeds City 2-1.
Elsewhere, Headingley hammered Oxenhope 4-1 thanks to goals from Oliver Salt, Ashley Austin, Jon McKinley and Richard Booth.
It wasn’t Headingley’s only win of the week, as they shocked Leeds City 2-1 on Wednesday.
Midweek also saw wins for Knaresborough Town, who cruised past Brighouse Old Boys 3-1, and for Hunslet Club, who beat Horbury Town 2-1.