By Oliver Eaton

Marsden’s hopes of a league and cup double came one step closer when the Cuckoos progressed through to the Hancock Cup final following an emphatic 5-0 thrashing of Elland-based Ealandians.

Tom Brook’s early opener was the only difference in the first half before Joel Rushworth doubled the Cuckoos’ lead five minutes into the second half.

A flurry of goals throughout the second half from Brook again, Joshua Smith and Jimmy Ditchfield sealed the victory and progression into the Hancock Cup final.

Manager Luke Haigh was delighted but felt his side could have killed the game earlier.

He said: “During the first half we played okay, however we tried too many aimless long balls for my liking and we bypassed our midfield far too much. We created numerous chances to kill the game but went in at half time 1-0.”


Gallery of images by: Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE

From the start it was evident that Marsden looked more confident on the ball, creating several chances in the first 10 minutes but were denied by the Ealandians’ back line.

Brook opened the scoring from inside the box as he used his back to shield the ball before scoring on the turn.

Michael Tunnacliffe nearly doubled the lead direct from the corner as his in-swinging cross was deflected onto the post by a defender.

Marsden came close again with several long-range efforts, however these were matched by the Ealandians’ goalkeeper.

Haigh reflected on his half-time message and said: “We told them at the break to stop playing the occasion and just play our normal game.

“I told them to relax and get the ball moving with two to three touches max. They came out and did just that and the game was over by 70 minutes.”

As the second half progressed, it was evident that Marsden was the fitter side. Rushworth doubled Marsden’s lead around the 51st minute when he broke through the defensive line and directed the ball off the left post into the right side of the goal.

Brook got his brace following a recycled pass back into the box which Brook converted.

Marsden continued to attack Ealandians, who hadn’t created any chances for themselves during the half. Smith converted from the end of a precision cross to make it 4-0 before Ditchfield’s long-range shot trickled into the back of the net to make it five.

Looking ahead, Haigh said: “We have so many games to play in the league this April. That starts this Saturday at home to Littletown followed by three more games during that week!

“I believe seven wins out of our remaining 10 league games will capture us the league title, but we still have work to do.”


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