BILLINGE progressed to the quarter finals of the JB Parker Premier Division Challenge Cup after a dominant first-half performance at Poynton on Saturday.

The Storks had to endure a little pressure in the second half but in the end won more convincingly than the 2-1 scoreline would suggest.

A surprise selection from manager Geoff Parr saw centre-back Chris Cottington starting on the right wing. This proved to be an astute move as he provided two early chances, Billinge dominating in the early exchanges.

The Storks' endeavour was soon rewarded as neat build-up play between Bradshaw and Cottington saw the latter feed captain Steve Wolhuter who finished neatly from the edge of the area.

On 34 minutes Billinge doubled the advantage when a crunching tackle from Richie Allen saw him regain possession and feed Cottington, who thumped the ball into the back of the net.

With Wolhuter running the show in an advanced midfield position Billinge finished the half strongly but couldn’t add to the 2-0 scoreline.

Poynton showed enough in the first half to suggest this game wasn’t wrapped up and the second period saw the visitors trouble Storks goalkeeper, Derbyshire, on more than one occasion.

There were further efforts from Cottington and Allen before Poynton halved the deficit on 64 minutes when a ball into the box was deflected into the path of Nick Challinor who finished from five yards.

To Billinge’s credit they remained calm in defence and slowly got back into the game and finished the final quarter on top.

The result sets up a mouth-watering quarter final at Barrows Farm against local rivals Ashton Town on February 10.

Up next in the league are Congleton Vale Rovers at home on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.