With the sun finally shining over Parkgate, the large crowd in attendance witnessed an excellent and high quality Association Cup Final that saw Penistone Church Reserves crowned as the 2017/18 Champions. A fantastic and entertaining game that was only marred by the late injury to Tom Adams.
The game started at a great pace with both teams moving the ball with clear purpose. Within 2 minutes Penistone created a fantastic early opportunity as the ball was worked down the right and the resulting cross found the forward in space but failed to convert the chance. High Green created some good passages of play but still couldn't find a way through the Penistone defense. As the half progressed, Pensitone continued to find success in wide areas and combined well to put in some very effective balls into the box but still couldn't find the net. As the result of a great attack, High Green delivered an excellent corner into the heart of the Penistone Box which was met with a great leaping header from the High Green forward that beat the keeper but was cleared off the line. A great chance for High Green. As Penistone continued to work the ball in wide areas, a quick combination between the forward and winger with a great set saw the ball drilled low and powerful into the corner of the High Green goal. High Green 0-1 Penistone. A few minutes later and a deep free kick to Penistone was delivered well into the box but the header was wide of the post. Penistone started to control possession more and dictated the flow of the game as well as create chances but could not increase their lead. As the half moved into the last 10 minutes, High Green really stepped up their efforts and forced more opportunities. The first came from a great piece of build up play the led to the forward being released on goal and choosing to hit a powerful strike on goal early, only to be met with a great save from the Penistone number 1. A minute later and a break down the right saw the High Green forward drive into the box with the ball met with a big challenge that called for several appeals for a penalty but the referee deciding on a corner. The resulting corner again was delivered well but the header went straight into the keepers hands. A strong finish to the half from High Green and they really showed their value.
HALF TIME - HIGH GREEN VILLA 0-1 PENISTONE CHURCH RESERVES
Another quick start to the half with both teams showing their intent to score and both creating early opportunities. Penistone created a great chance early on as a quick counter attack down the right saw a powerful low drive force a great save from the High Green keeper. A chance then fell to High Green as they also developed a great attacking phase with the cross delivered well and the resulting ball fall to High Green but the shot flies past the post. As the half developed, the game settled and both teams held the ball well trying to look for chances. On the 70th minute a great through ball release the Penistone forward through 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper and was slotted home well only to be ruled off side by the referee. A few moments later and another break down the wing saw the Penistone wide right cut inside and slide the all across the face of goal and into the path of the forward to slot the ball into the corner. High Green Villa 0-2 Penistone Church Reserves. High Green continued to fight and press for a goal and a free kick on the 78th minute was delivered deep to far right of the goal only to be tipped over by the goalkeeper.
On the 88th minute, Penistone church released forward Tom Adams down the right and as the forward cut into the box a strong challenge from the High Green defense caused a serious injury. Unfortunately the injury to Tom was severe and the immediate reaction was to call for medical support. After delayed time and discussions with both teams, referee Luke Lazenby decided to blow the full time whistle.
FULL TIME - HIGH GREEN VILLA 0-2 PENISTONE CHURCH RESERVES
Although the injury clearly effected the mood of both teams, staff and fans, congratulations to Penistone Church Reserves on their cup win. Prior to the injury the game was excellent and played at a great level. Both teams demonstrated why they should have got the final and were a credit to their clubs.
From all at SHCFA, congratulations to Penistone Church on the win and we wish Tom a speedy recovery and hope to see him back playing soon.
Well played to High Green Villa and good luck in next seasons campaign.
A special mention also goes to the officials of the cup final. All officials managed the game very well and kept the flow throughout with excellent decisions being made.