The SAL reached the semi-finals of the FA Inter-League Cup for the third time in five attempts today with a convincing 4-0 win against the Herts Senior County League at Colney Heath.
The hosts were runners-up in the previous tournament so this was expected to be a tough test but the SAL proved to be more than a match for Herts. Sutcliffe and Classen formed a brick wall in the centre of defence while veteran striker Alex Ewin, who scored in the final when the SAL were victorious in 2008, along with Barber, Sinclair and Taylor, caused the Herts defence problems from the start.
The SAL pressed in the opening exchanges but didn't manage to break through, allowing Herts to fight back. However, on 31 minutes Ewin showed that he hasn't lost that special touch to put the SAL in the lead. The margin was doubled before the break with Alan Taylor converted from close range to give the SAL a buffer just before the break.
In the second half the SAL were playing up the slope but as the game wore on they looked more and more assured and Taylor got his second to extend the lead in 69th minute with a right foot shot after an SAL breakaway. The game was sealed in the 76th minute when Chris Sinclair turned the ball home.
Manager Bob Leeds was delighted with the performance and has good reason to look forward to the semi-final draw which will be announced after 6 February when the last quarter-final takes place. In today's other tie the West Yorkshire League progressed through a 1-0 win against the Cambridgeshire County League. The semi-final must be played by 5 March.