Ripon City manager Paul Vincent hopes Saturday’s cup victory over rivals Boroughbridge can push histroops to play for their places.
City reached the League Cup semi-final on Saturday after beating ‘Bridge 2-0 at Mallorie Park (full report p.93).
With the return to West Yorkshire Premier league action on Saturday at lowly Carlton Athletic, Vincent wants his players to fight for a starting place so they can be involved later in the season.
He said: “We are playing for places in finals and semi-finals.
“There’s an incentive there for them to do well.
“They are down the bottom so they are going to be battling. It is a case of lifting the lads for a mundane game.
“It’s good that we have got something to keep playing for so the season doesn’t just peter out.
“We want a top five finish and the lads won’t take it lightly.”
A 100-strong crowd turned out at Mallorie Park to cheer on both sides but the game started in cagey fashion.
Vincent’s side took the lead when a well-worked short corner routine found Tom Leeming in space and the striker nodded home.
‘Bridge tried hard to peg the match back level but replacement Joe Knowlson doubled City’s lead with his first touch.
The away side carved out more opportunities as they sent players forward and ‘Bridge striker Paul Eagling’s header was tipped onto the post before another was cleared on the line.
Vincent praised his players for their professional performance and said they had controlled the game.
He said: “It’s a local derby so it’s always going to be cagey. But I think we had that little bit more quality when it mattered.
“We controlled the game better and passed the ball.
“We looked dangerous every time we got the ball behind them. The substitution paid off so was pleasing. It doesn’t always happen like that.
“You put the lads on the pitch and they have got to come up with the results and they have been superb all season.
“They deserve the clean sheet and they deserve the semi-final.”
Ripon will face either West Yorkshire Premier top of the table Bardsey or First Division side Wyke Wanderers on Tuesday for a place in the final.
Vincent added: “Whoever we get there it is going to be a tough game.”
lRipon City and Boroughbridge will duke it out in the Whitworth Cup final at Harrogate Town FC on Tuesday, May 7, kick-off 7.45pm.