Football / Non-League Notebook: Atherton lose Parker

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The Independent Online
ATHERTON Laburnum Rovers, the champions and leaders of the Carling North West Counties League, will have little to fear when they travel to Diss Town in the first leg of the FA Vase semi-finals tomorrow, after keeping a clean sheet in 330 minutes of action against Aldershot Town, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Aldershot had been tipped to go all the way to Wembley, but they came unstuck against the Manchester team in the quarter-finals. A 0-0 draw in front of a crowd of 4,246 at the Recreation Ground was followed by a scoreless replay at Crilly Park. The second replay back in Hampshire last week was watched by 4,439, and once again Atherton LR stood firm, winning 2-0 with goals from Lee Unsworth and Dave Liptrot.

For the rest of their Vase run, however, Atherton LR will have to make do without their top scorer. Sean Parker, who hit six of his side's eight goals en route to the sixth round, broke a leg in three places in the first replay against the Shots. Diss, their opponents from the Jewson Eastern League, were also not expected to reach the last four: they beat Tiverton, the 1993 beaten Vase finalists, in the last round.

The other semi-final sees Taunton Town, of the Great Mills League, at home in the first leg to Boston, from the Hereward United Counties League. The return leg in Lincolnshire will be played on Sunday 27 March (3pm) to avoid a clash with a Boston United home game tomorrow week, when the other second-leg tie, at Atherton LR, takes place.