Herald Cup final
East Allington Utd 3,
Waldon Athletic 2
East Allington Utd won the prestigious Herald Cup for the second year in a row – a remarkable achievement for the village club.
In an epic encounter, they edged out their premier division rivals Waldon Athletic.
Allington started on the front foot and had an early goal disallowed before Simon Hannaford put them 1-0 up. Forcing a defender into an error, he pounced on the loose ball before finishing calmly past the keeper.
Dan Bowles nearly made it 2-0 after he did well to beat the keeper to a cross, his header going agonisingly wide.
This shook Waldon up and they started to have their best spell of the game. After half an hour they equalised with a well-struck low shot from the edge of the area.
Instead of letting their heads drop, Allington responded superbly, and minutes before half-time they took the lead again: excellent work from Fred Massey saw him slide a perfect pass into the path of Hannaford, who showed his class with an exquisite dinked finish that left the keeper and a defender on the floor. 2-1 at half-time.
Thirty seconds into the second half and Waldon were awarded a penalty – luckily for Allington it was blasted over the bar.
The game continued at a very competitive level, with both sides asking questions of each other, but Allington were up against it again when just after the hour mark Andy Davis was harshly sent off after receiving his second yellow card.
Despite this, Allington kept their shape well and the workrate and desire shown by every player was immense as they frustrated and kept out any Waldon attacks.
With five minutes left, that man Hannaford completed his hat-trick with another brilliant finish to put Allington 3-1 up. Waldon responded again and with almost the last kick of the game made it 3-2 with a rocket of a shot.
However, Allington held on for an epic win to retain the Herald Cup.
All 14 players who played on the night ran their socks off for the cause and fully deserved the victory and celebrations after.
The players and management would like to thank the huge amount of support they got on the night – it certainly helped the lads get over the line.
They would also like to thank Start Point Finance and the
Dog Lodge for sponsoring this year’s kits.
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