Hopflower through to the semi-finals

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IT was back to business on Saturday for Manor Pharmacy Matlock and District League teams after the Christmas and New Year break.

There are some exciting league fixtures coming up over the next few weeks but Saturday’s matches saw a number of teams in Derbyshire Cup action.

Two of the league’s teams reached the semi-final stage with fantastic hard-fought wins. Hopflower took on another Matlock League side and came out victorious with an 8-1 win against Chesterfield Town Reserves and there was a 2-1 win for Woodthorpe Rovers over Midland Regional Alliance side Wirksworth Ivanhoe.

League action saw Miners Arms of Alfreton start their new year with a fixture against Darley Dale and, with a number of key players missing, the home side was taking nothing for granted against opponents who were sitting bottom of the league.

The game started quite slowly, as expected after the Christmas break. However, within the first ten minutes, Sam Puttock scored his first goal of 2012 in excellent style to fire the home side in front.

The Miners continued to bombard the visitors but could not seem to find the target, with a number of shots going over the bar.

Darley Dale pushed on but in doing so gave the Miners the chance to convert their second, again with Sam Puttock scoring, his second of the game.

Nevertheless, Darley’s front man ran onto what was a sure penalty but, given he stayed on his feet and got his shot away, the referee waved play on.

Shortly after that, the goalkeeper Gareth Wragg stopped two goalbound efforts from the visitors, at which point the half-time whistle blew.

Moving onto the second half, the Miners scored their third through captain Ross Melis who seemed to get his second wind after a slow start to the game.

Darley fought back, scoring their first through a defensive error and a fightback looked on the cards when Darley slotted home their second three minutes later, but Miners Arms reshaped and Sam Puttock popped up to score his second hat-trick of the season, giving Miners Arms all three points and a good start to the new year.

Other results in Division One saw Chesterfield Town beat All Inn 2-1, and Shirebrook beat an injury-hit Shirland side 5-2.

In Division Two, Wirksworth Albion saw off Tansley with a 2-0 win and Derbyshire Cup quarter-final action saw Riddings Rovers beaten 4-1 along with Laburnum Saints who went down 5-1.

This week’s fixtures are: Manor Pharmacy Cup Quarter-Final: Shirland MW v Woodthorpe Rovers, Laburnum v All Inn, Darley Dale v Shirebrook, Hopflower v Chesterfield Town.

Matlock Cup: Riddings Rovers v Wirksworth Albion, Codnor Miners v Chesterfield Town Reserves, Tansley v Hurst Farm Utd, Cromford Reserves v AFC South Wingfield.

Solar Press League Two: Black Hippo v Matlock Sports