WITTON eased into the semi finals after a victory that was easier than they envisaged against Cheshire League high-fliers Barnton.

Manager Brian Pritchard picked a strong side, and it was quickly apparent the Villagers would be unlikely to repeat their impressive pre-season success against Albion.

Anthony Sheehan put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Aaron Tyrer had hauled down Chris Luby when the striker was quicker than him to Matthew Purcell’s pass.

Barnton defender Robert Gorry twice cleared off the line, first to block Luby’s shot on the turn and then to nod away Ben Harrison’s header from a Purcell corner.

When Neville Thompson steered in Purcell’s cross before the break to score his first goal for the club, the game was up.

Michael Powell, left unmarked, headed in Sheehan’s arced free kick on the hour before substitute Mike Moseley speared an emphatic finish past the visitors’ net-minder shortly after his introduction.

Tyrer then spilled Purcell’s corner, gifting to Ben Harrison a tap-in for Witton’s fifth goal.

The visitors’ best chance arrived when Harrison was off the field receiving treatment for an injury, substitute Joe Jennings darting into space vacated by Albion’s captain.

However, with only goalkeeper Stuart Plant to beat, his finish was wayward.

Witton join holders Winsford United and Congleton Town in the semi finals, with Northwich Victoria scheduled to host Rudheath next Tuesday in the remaining last eight encounter.