Baston win PFA Challenge Cup final in penalty drama
Baston won the PFA Challenge Cup final in dramatic circumstances on Friday night, beating Moulton Harrox Reserves 7-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw between the PDFL Division One rivals in regular time.
Victory in the penalty shoot out was secured by club legend Greg Rawlinson. On as a substitute the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer netted the winning penalty in a thrilling finale to the cup competition at Chestnut Avenue.
After the victory Baston goalkeeper Liam Davies retired after the game after 10 years service and 177 appearances.
An experienced Moulton side had edged the first-half and deservedly took the lead in just the fourth minute through Benjamin Allen.
Scott Collins came close to levelling the scores just two minutes later, he got free at the near post but his shot was deflected for a corner by a Moulton defender.
Baston continued to push for an equaliser but were struggling to get into the 18-yard box.
Moulton midfielder Danny Cairns looked a shooting threat from distance and fired a shot just over the cross bar in the 36th minute.
Davies was having a busy and bruising final game between the sticks, he was clattered when he bravely collected a ball from the head of Moulton’s Ben Wiggins. But he got up to see Baston through to half time and then start the second half.
After the break it was Cairns who was looking the man most likely for Moulton, firing a low shot from 18 yards just wide of the upright.
Moulton were becoming increasingly dominant and Louis Steadman had a great chance to score a header at the back post but he fired his effort straight at the thankful Davies.
Collins broke down-field but could not find the target with his shot and then keeper Davies made a game changing save, preventing Ben Allen from scoring a one-on-one chance in the 62nd minute to keep Baston in touch.
Baston slowly started to get on top and equalised when Danny Pick got the last touch after Dan Flood had flicked on a Troy Waters corner just three minutes later.
Troy Waters missed a late chance to win the game, but Baston, who also won their semi-final on penalties, had their hands on the cup a few minutes later.
Steadman opened the scoring for Moulton with a shot low and to the right. Aaron Mourton replied for the Goats, going the other way. Dan Dougal again gave Harrox the advantage and Matt Medler levelled for 2-2. Cairns was successful with his penalty as was Waters with a shot to the left.
Tom Coote was the first to blink, firing over the bar for Moulton and allowing Dan Flood to give Baston a 4-3 advantage. With survival in the shoot-out on his shoulders Wayne Wilding delivered to make it 4-4. Kyle Kirkland ran up to the ball with a chance to seal it then and there for Baston but just to add to the drama he pushed his shot wide to take it to sudden death.
With the pressure ampted up to new levels Jordan Bailey-Smith cracked, hitting the post with his penalty but his keeper Wilding saved the next effort from Jimmy Younghusband. Dave Wilson scored for Moulton, cooly in the top corner, and Almen, rather less cooly, just beat Wilding to make it 5-5. Allen found the mark and Collins just slipped the ball past the Moulton keeper who got his fingers to the shot but could not keep it out.
With penalty takers running out defender Wayne Congreve was next up for Moulton and he push his effort wide. One of Baston’s greatest servants Rawlinson converted the last spot kick off the day to spark the Goats’ celebrations.
Baston FC: Liam Davies, James Ward, Dan Flood, Wayne Hobbs, Michael Almen, Jacob Parkin, Aaron Mourton, Scott Collins, Danny Pick, Troy Waters, Jimmy Younghusband
Substitutes: Craig Bullivant, Greg Rawlinson, Stu Couzens, Matt Medler, Kyle Kirkland.
Moulton Harrox Reserves: Wayne Wilding, Wayne Congreve, Charlie Dhanji, Jordan Bailey-Smith, Chris Hall, Danny Cairns, Tom Coote, Louis Steadman, Ben Allen, Ben Wiggins, Dec Earth
Substitute: Dave Wilson, Ash Burton, Dan Dougal, Lee Hudson, Simon Dougal.
Referee: Stewart Francais