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Purewal and Connor shine as West seal place in last four of League Cup

West Auckland Town 3-0 Tow Law Town

Mitre Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup Quarter-Final.

Amar Purewal’s brace and Paul Connor’s first-half header saw West Auckland advance to the semi-finals of the Mitre Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup after a 3-0 victory over Division Two side Tow Law Town.

Purewal opened the scoring on 41 minutes with a cushioned header which was soon doubled on the stroke of half-time by Connor after two assists from right-back Denver Morris.

On 55 minutes, Purewal added his third goal in the competition with a composed finish following a neat pass from Alex Francis to send West into the last four and keep themselves in the hunt for the cup double.

The two sides last met in July in pre-season at the Ironworks Ground with West coming back from a goal behind to claim a 3-1 win.

Gary Forrest named four changes to the side which beat Hebburn Town in the FA Vase Round of 16 with Denver Morris, Steven Snaith, Arran Wearmouth and veteran striker Connor replacing Liam Hegarty, Lewis Dodds, David Dowson and Adam Burnicle.

In mild conditions, the first notable chance of the game didn’t arrive until the 18th minute when West were awarded a free-kick after Wearmouth was fouled, Francis stepped up and delivered an in-swinging cross towards the back post which was headed wide by Ross Colquhoun.

On 31 minutes, Tom Price created a decent opportunity to open the scoring after finding space in behind Tow Law’s defence following a quick free-kick from Francis, before hitting a left-footed shot which was blocked at the near post from Decklan Greenwood.

Four minutes before half-time, West broke the Lawyers’ resilient defence with a well worked move, a right-footed cross from Morris was guided home by Purewal, who’s header left Greenwood rooted to the spot.

With seconds remaining before the interval, Forrest’s side doubled their lead in a carbon copy of the first goal as Morris once again on the right-hand side floated in a lofted pass into Connor and the experienced forward made no mistake placing his header into the far corner to send West into a two-goal cushion.

10 minutes after the restart, West inflicted more misery to Stephen Murray’s side as Francis’ fancy footwork paved the way for Purewal to make it 3-0 as the in-form striker recreated the magic he shown in the Vase to rifle the ball into the top corner and extend West’s lead.

Tow Law struggled to get a foothold in the game and barely threatened Shane Bland’s goal, who was set for a third successive clean sheet in the League Cup, and it almost got worse when Hegarty was played in by Wearmouth only to be kept out following a good save from Greenwood.

West applied more pressure in search for a fourth, but the Lawyers’ prevented further damage with some vital interceptions.

Next up – West make the trip to Hebburn Town once again on Saturday afternoon in Northern League Division One action (15:00).

West Auckland – Bland, Morris, Colquhoun, Hunter, Price, Portas (Dodds, 57), Snaith (c), Francis (Hegarty, 65), Purewal, Wearmouth, Connor (Cobain, 57)

Subs not used – Coulson

Goals – Purewal (41, 55), Connor (45)

Tow Law – Greenwood, Knowles, Oldfield, Collinson, Kirkup (c), McArdle, Milburn, Mitchell, Lowery, Watson(Curran, 84), Curry (Fowler, 27)

Subs not used – Fisher, Foden, Smith

Referee – Asa McDonough

Attendance – 84

Report by Harry Crowe

Photo by Andy Mitchell.

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