Borough Arms 10 Cadoxton Barry 9
11:30am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Sport
BOROUGH ARMS 10 CADOXTON BARRY 9 (aet and penalties)
SUPPORTERS’ Cup holders CB surrendered the trophy in dramatic fashion despite good use of their secret weapon.
Boro, with several veterans in their ranks, started tentatively: CB, with the usual half-dozen changes and last-minute pullouts, were also slow out of the traps.
Geraint ‘Ozzie’ Osbourne lit the touch paper in the eighth minute with a bullet header from a long throw, a not-so-secret weapon used to good effect throughout the game. CB were even slower than usual to click into their normal smooth-passing style, and ‘keeper Warner saved at the feet of an opponent after 25 minutes.
He parried a shot in the next minute, with Lee Clarke completing the clearance off the line.
Then came the first equaliser of the day - there were eight more to come - Scott ‘Ato’ Christoforato with a neat finish after a corner had been partially cleared; offside protests correctly waved away. CB striker Luke Bjegovic, in borrowed boots, used his own head to net two minutes before the break, Karl Steel being the provider. Although CB deserved the lead, Boro forced them to struggle to preserve the lead for the remaining couple of minutes of the half, with Warner punching clear under pressure.
‘Ato’ fired inches wide as CB started the second half going all out for the killer goal, and Boro broke away and should have scored. They had, by now, introduced another not-so-secret weapon, the late-arriving Mark Doleman. His expertly struck first-time shot levelled the scores after 10 minutes. Within seconds, it was Warner to the rescue again, with a quite magnificent save from another header; the long throw again causing chaos.
CB looked to have lost their way as tails-up Boro were bullying them out of it. Then it all changed. Bjegovic charged down a ‘keeper’s clearance and ‘Ato’ was coolness personified as he slotted past two defenders on the line. At last, CB started to play some expansive, attractive football, with confidence high against a side containing a few older players who would surely tire. Doleman was still around, of course, and he strode through unopposed to make it 3-3. Both teams went all out for the winner and it looked all over for Boro when their ‘keeper needlessly pulled down Bjegovic. ‘Ato’ duly netted. There were only two minutes left on the clock. CB rode the storm for them, but, 10 seconds from the end of two minutes of added time, they gave the ball away cheaply and a certain familiar striker made them pay, completing his hat-trick despite a clamour of offside appeals.
Doleman started extra-time just as he had finished the match, dribbling past three defenders in the first minute to leave CB 29 minutes to grab another equaliser.
The chance came, and a golden chance at that, when Bjegovic was chopped down again. Up stepped ‘Ato,’ but he hit the ball yards over. Eighteen minutes left, with CB subs Newland and manager ‘Panto’ urging the team on.
Karl Steel picked up the ball out wide, Frank sprinted past the full-back demanding a pass. The defender was momentarily caught in two minds, Steel made up his, letting fly and, from fully 40 yards, found the roof of the net.
Penalties it was to be.
Boro netted first before Frank, sent the ‘keeper the wrong way.
Boro missed one, their ‘keeper made an easy save and their sixth penalty saw Warner dive fulllength for a match-winning save .
. . as long as ‘Ato’ could add to his three goals. He could not, shooting once more into the clouds, and the fairytale ended when the Boro ‘keeper made another easy save.