Croatia in semi

CROATIA TRIUMPHS: Croatia's Drago Garma takes control of the ball in Monday's clash with Steel United.
CROATIA TRIUMPHS: Croatia's Drago Garma takes control of the ball in Monday's clash with Steel United.

A gallant Croatia playing most of the game with 10 men had a 1-0 win over Steel United at Croatia Park on Monday to book a place in the Bill Paterson Association Cup semi final.

Defender Nick Todd received a second yellow card after only 15 minutes played to put the home side down to 10 but had early chances to score with the best being a King chance after he cut back onto his right foot but was unable to steer it on target.

The last 25 minutes of the half belonged to Steel with Watt, Jacob Todd and Paterson all having good chances to score but loose finishing and Tudhope inspired keep them at bay.

In the second half, Steel had a lot of the ball but Croatia looked dangerous on the counter attack.

After 20 minutes Faulds, who was on his own, darted into the box and was brought down for a penalty in which Ben Longin Cooly dispatched for a 1-0 lead. Croatia then sat deep and defended in numbers frustrating Steel time and time again until the final whistle to book a meeting with Wanderers in the semi final.

In the reserves, Steel went straight into the semi final as Croatia had to forfeit due to lack of numbers.

This weekend

It's the semi finals of the Bill Paterson Association Cup with the first match being Wanderers hosting Croatia at Swandel Park on Saturday.

Like Westlands and Lions, it's been 20 days since Wanderers last played a competitive match and should be freshened up and ready to go. Coach Paterson has a near full strength side to choose from and have had plenty of time to enjoy their league success to now turn their attention to trying to complete a first ever treble for the club.

Both Shannon and Ratzlaf have been under an injury cloud of late but are expected to play. It was a coaching masterclass by Morris last week against Steel.

After going down to 10 men early he got his troops to sit deep and try frustrate Steel knowing he had players up front that would still create chances and the gamble payed off.

Sam Sullivan and Alex Longin didn't play in that game and may be involved here but Todd will serve a suspension that will hurt their defence. The extra game my work in Croatia's favour here but Wanderers will again be favourites.

Sunday's game sees Westland United tackling Lions at Jenkins Park in what should be a cracking affair. The last time these two teams met it was a 3-2 victory for Westlands in a see-saw match that had everything.

Payne and Mitchell should be back and available after missing the 3-3 draw with Croatia three weeks ago with coach Andy Mitchell having a talented squad to choose from. Westlands have had a great year and will want some silverware to show for it as they strive to make the final.

Lions have improved immensely in the second half of the season pushing Wanderers and Westlands recently in games with coach Murphy finally having a settled squad. Doubt though hangs over forward Matt Nielsen as he battles a neck problem that's plagued him in recent weeks and maybe 50/50 at best to start.

This looks to be a ripping game and Lions have enough quality to pull off an upset but Westlands midfield might be too strong here and the Red Devils should get up.