BARNTON FC have a cup final to look forward to.

By beating higher-ranked tenants 1874 Northwich at Townfield last night, they progressed to the Mid-Cheshire District Senior Cup final where they will face either Northwich Victoria or Winsford United.

Goals from Ross Avies and Matty Waller were enough to ensure that the Villagers reached their first cup final since 2016 with a 2-0 win – one manager Liam Page says was fully merited.

“We deserved that, we didn’t let them settle and we made it difficult," he said after the game.

"Every single player played a big part tonight and put in a huge effort.

“It’s nice to reach a final – the focus is always on the league but we’ve now got something to look forward too and the players deserve it.”

The opening passage of the game was very scrappy with both teams struggling to retain possession and build up any real dangerous periods of play, and the opening goal came from an 1874 defensive error.

Avies was rewarded for pressing the backline and took advantage of a lapse to coolly finish past Tony Aghayere to give his side the lead.

Shortly after the goal, Barnton were dealt a blow when the lively Avies was forced off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Kenyatta Bernal.

74 finished the first half on top, going close with a free kick and Callum Gardner saw his effort blocked inside the area, before Paul Turner and Lee Knight went close with efforts before the break.

The visitors almost levelled the game within minutes of the restart but an outstanding block from Alex Jones denied Ashley Woods a certain goal.

But it was another defensive lapse that cost 1874 as Waller was on hand to finish into an empty net to double the Villagers' lead.

In response, 74 turned to their bench with Joe Woolley and Matt Russell coming on as the visitors looked for a way back into the contest.

As the game wore on the pressure from 74 continued to build but they were unable to find a way past a dogged and determined Villagers backline.

Goalkeeper Arran Lyons was called into action late on and he produced a number of fantastic saves to deny first Callum Nicholas and then Gardner with his feet.

As the pressure continued to build, Lyons then pulled off perhaps his best save of the evening as he tipped over a dangerous header from Woods.