MANAGER Steve Lloyd says there’s still work to do for the Cheshire League’s representative team after defensive heroics made them favourites to reach a final.

His side hold a slender lead over their Lancashire and Cheshire League counterparts after a single goal success in the North West Inter League Cup semi final first leg at Cheadle last night, Wednesday.

It was not without controversy though, for the visitors had three players sent off.

“It’s a brilliant result,” said Lloyd.

“The dismissals are bound to be a talking point, but the effort and commitment of the lads was first class.

“The job is half done, but what happened has made us even more determined to go on and win the trophy.”

His side was slow to start, but edged ahead when Eagle Sports front man Ged McAllister applied the finished touch to PJ Hudson’s assist midway through the first half.

Mike Knowles, of Denton Town, was dismissed shortly afterwards for a professional foul, with the resulting free kick clipping the crossbar.

Chris Quirk went close for Cheshire, as did McAllister after a counter attack.

Two more red cards followed in the opening exchanges of the second half, first for Eagle’s Richard Chinn as punishment for a tackle from behind then Hudson for dissent.

Cheshire played for more than 40 minutes, including stoppage time, with eight players but protected their lead.

They host the second leg next month.

Meanwhile Liverpool County Premier League meet Manchester League in the other last four tie.

Cheshire League Higgs (GK), Knowles, Ball, Shakeshaft, Chinn, Latham, Quirk (Alcock 24), Hope, McAllister (Moore 82), Warburton (Williams 55), Hudson. Subs not used McDermott (GK), Robinson.