This year’s Bill Paterson Association Cup Final will be fought out by the Uniteds in Steel and Westland at Swandel Park on Saturday. Steel got there with a comfortable 7-2 win over Lions with Thompson scoring a hat-trick and recent golden boot winner Joslyn grabbing a brace with Perez and captain Green rounding out the scorers.
It could be a historic year for the green machine in their 50th anniversary as they look to secure the treble, something they last achieved in 2000. Eddie Wales missed the semi-final and will be hoping to break into the squad this week as Steel go into this one with a full strength side.
Not only do Steel have some excellent players they are a big, intimidating side that are hard to knock off the ball and they take full advantage of any set pieces. Steel have a great record come finals time, winning two out of the last four association cups being 2012 and 2015 to go with their league cup success earlier this season
Possible squad: Welgraven, M. Ledington, Corney, Brooks, Fay, A.Ledington, Green, Wales, Joslyn, Thompson, Bambridge, Perez, Myers, Malcolm.
Westlands made the final with a tough encounter with Croatia that ended in a 4-1 victory in extra time. With the game locked at 1-1, Westlands kicked clear with goals to Brown (2) Robinson and Edmondson to make three consecutive Bill Paterson Cup finals .
It was an emotional win for the Red Devils as they paid tribute to club man Brian Kilpatrick who sadly passed away last week, his family has been a big part of Westlands for a long time.
It's been 31 years since Westlands have had their hands on this trophy when the likes of Harry Couper, Ricky Finnigan and Peter Robinson graced the field and with Peter's son Mark playing in this current side that would make a great story.
Westland have great strength through the middle with Barr, Edmondson, Rhodes and Papoulis and with the likes of Brown and Robinson chipping in with goals, they'll go into this with the confidence their best can match it with the league champions
If there's one trophy they want in their cabinet it's this one and would give them some consolation for season 2016.
Possible squad: Hodgson, Shannon, Anderson, Barr, S.Dunbar, Jasper, Rhodes, Robinson , Edmondon, Brown, Papoulis, Yendall, Giddings, Hoffman,D.Dunbar and Dunk.
What the coaches have to say:
Steel coach Jackson: "It will be a hard game and I think Westlands will be up for it. They've got some handy players we have to shutdown, especially Pappy (Papoulis) , you can't give him a sniff. We played some really good stuff in the wet last week , we should be full strength and Swandel Park suits us I reckon. It would be great to achieve the treble in our 50th year."
Westlands coach Edmondson: "This is a good opportunity for us to play champions, a bit of redemption for the league cup defeat earlier in the year. Playing Steel you have to cut out the supply, you can't give the likes of Aaron Ledington time on the ball because he'll hurt you. We are playing our best soccer at the moment and we've really tightened up at the back. I don't think playing the extra time will be an issue for us but Steel have had the extra day as well to recover so that many be an advantage to them.”
This should be a great game, both sides like to attack at every opportunity which should make for end to end action. I'm not making a prediction here, just get out and support local soccer.
Goodluck to both teams.
In the reserves, Champions Croatia will tackle Wanderers with both sides in good form going into the clash. Wanderers defeated Croatia the last time these teams met but Croatia was undermanned that day but the Blues do have the advantage of playing at home so this should be a fascinating game.
This game starts at 12.30pm in case of extra time.