Football: League rivals go head-to-head in trophy semi-final
POTTERIES League Division Two is guaranteed a side in the Staffs FA Sunday Challenge Trophy final as John Marston and AFC Thistleberry aim to emulate Shamblers Reserves.
Mel Heath's young Shamblers side were on their way to promotion from the PDSL basement tier when they won this county competition last season.
Now mid-table duo John Marston and Thistleberry will meet in the semi-final after overcoming Gardeners Retreat and Longton Area respectively.
Blurton-based John Marston came from 3-1 behind to win their quarter-final thanks to goals from Aaron Bailey (2) and Adam Hobley and a late winner from Josh Brayford.
Thistleberry, from Trentham Fields, won 5-3 with Matt Adams (2), Ashley Leese, John Glasby and Ben Biddulph doing the damage.
"We've played Thistleberry in the league and lost 4-3 at their place so it should be tight again," said John Marston's Ray Bell.
"We've never won anything in the five years we've been going and lost a lot of players from last season. We're looking forward to this."
Baddeley Green won 5-3 at Butt Lane White Star as they look to defend their League Cup title.
Ben Blowers, Sean Hancock, Gareth Humphries, Mike Machin and Alex Wright found the net to send Green into the fourth round. Niall Green hit a hat-trick in reply for Butt Lane.
Windmill Werrington also progressed, beating Knutton Matthey 3-0 with goals from Dan Durber, Dave Turner and Sean Key.