JW Hunt Cup Final
Thursday 21st May 2015
Stone Old Alleynians 1-4 Tividale FC
(Played at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC)
Old Stone Overturned
Tividale successfully defended their JW Hunt Cup title with what on paper looked like a convincing win at the Molineux home of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. But the facts and for those who where there this was nothing of the sort.
Yes Tividale as would have been expected from a team 3 divisions higher than their opponents had the majority of possession but Stone defended brilliantly and were just 7 minutes from winning the game.
The first real chance of the game came to Tividale skipper Richard Huckfield who headed wide from a corner. Stone then caused Tividale problems with a corner of their own but after a bit of a scramble Tividale managed to get it clear. Apart from that scare Tividale were well on top and it looked as though Stone were going to have to do a lot of defending over the 90 minutes.
On 23 minutes and completely against the run of play Stone went ahead. In a rare break a Danny Heard shot was deflected past a stranded Tividale keeper Charlie Price via the foot of Tividale’s Sam Williams. The goal now meant that Stone now had something to defend as now a clean sheet would give them the trophy.
Tividale carried on with the giant share of the possession but they never actually forced the Stone keeper Lewis Paglia into a save. On 28 minutes Tividale striker Karl Edwards headed a Leigh Downing corner over the bar then on 37 minutes Williams fired wide. Heard then had half a chance to double the lead when he nearly made use of a wayward Tividale pass but Tividale defender Luke Paskin stepped across to snuff out the danger. Tividale ended the half with a Ryan Winwood shot that flashed past the post.
Half Time: Stone Old Alleynians 1-0 Tividale FC
Tividale were immediately on the front foot when on 50 minutes another Downing cross was headed over again by Edwards. 5 minutes later Paglia looked to have brought down Downing in the box but referee Mr. Reade had already blown for offside. Edwards again had a chance when he made himself some room on the hour but he was crowded out.
Nigel Penney replaced Leigh Downing on 63 minutes and on 65 minutes Zac Foster beat Stone full back Dale Taylor but his cross clipped the crossbar. Two minutes later Foster let rip with a wonderful effort from near on 30 yards that Paglia at full stretch tipped over the bar.
Tividale manager Ian Long then used his last throw of the dice with a double substitution on 71 minutes, Mark Smith and Jordan Archer replacing Danny Ashton and Luke Paskin. Penney then fired a right wing cross that no one could get a touch to on 74 minutes.
As the game moved into the last 15 minutes Tividale tried to stick to the game plan and patiently wait for the breakthrough to come but Stone were having none of it and on a rare venture into the Tividale half Cam Sinclair tried a shot from the half way line that sailed well wide. Back at the other end Chris Field had a shot blocked on 79 minutes. A minute later Edwards had yet another header cleared off the line by Grant Bingham.
The breakthrough finally came on 83 minutes when a Edwards header was pushed away by Paglia but it went back out to Edwards who forced the ball over the line. 2 minutes later Williams must have thought he had won it for the second year in succession when his shot was heading for the top corner but Paglia tipped it over. As Tividale pressed for the winner they nearly let the opposition in with some sloppy defending but a tired Luke Askey could not get the ball under control and the chance was gone. Williams then had another chance in injury time but again he shot wide.
So Stone had held out and deservedly earned the extra 30 minutes. The problem was that their efforts over the 90 minutes was visibly taking it’s toll.
Full Time: Stone Old Alleynians 1-1 Tividale FC
7 minutes into extra time came what was possibly the move of the game when Winwood and Edwards exchanged passes but Winwood saw his curling shot come back off the cross bar. 10 minutes into the added period Tividale hit the front. A Field cross from the right was met perfectly by Edwards and his header gave Paglia no chance. 4 minutes later Huckfield headed wide.
As the game moved into the second period of extra time Stone were now struggling to stay in the game and substitutes Penney and Archer were now punching holes through there defence and on 110 minutes Tividale ended it as a contest when Archer headed home at the near post. Tividale added a fourth when on 117 minutes Archer put on the after burners to outpace three Stone defenders and then placed the ball over the advancing Paglia.
After Extra Time: Stone Old Alleynians 1-4 Tividale FC
Tividale FC:- 1 Charlie Price, 2 Chris Field, 3 Zach Foster, 4 David Bellis, 5 Richard Huckfield, 6 Luke Paskin (12 Mark Smith 71), 7 Daniel Ashton (15 Jordan Archer 71), 8. Sam Williams, 9 Karl Edwards, 10 Leigh Downing (14 Nigel Penney 63) , 11 Ryan Winwood
Subs not used: 13 Jack Hayfield, 16 Michael Wardle