Grindleton Reserves 1
(Grindleton win 5-3 on penalties)
A faultless display of penalty taking by Grindleton saw Broomhill fall at the last hurdle in their quest for silverware in their inaugural season.
The Craven League Division Three Cup final at Sandylands ended all square after David Rhodes netted an 88th-minute equaliser for the Keighley side.
But after the first seven penalties had been scored, Joe Park’s shot was saved and Grindleton rattled in their fifth to take the cup 5-3 in the shoot-out.
That capped an amazing night of football, which had everything for the busy sidelines of supporters to cheer about.
The opening 20 minutes was 50/50 with both sides having chances.
Jake Yaxley had to be at his best to fingertip a shot round a post in the early stages.
Park had a stand-out performance from left back and his experience playing in big games with Steeton and Long Lee settled the nerves early on.
A well-worked move from Broomhill finished off with his through ball to Simon Harris was parried away by the Grindleton stopper Dave McGrath.
The biggest chance of the first-half fell to Joe Slater who battled through the defence only to be denied by the woodwork. Another fantastic move which was crafted by Chris Holroyd playing a big role in centre midfield.
Then, minutes later, Harris had another shot stopped by McGrath. Andrew Tanner flicked a long ball back to Harris who couldn’t find the corner and the keeper smothered the ball.
As the cup final occasion intensified so did the tackles and referee Willie Naylor had a job on his hands – but the game went into half-time 0-0.
The second half continued to show signs of a goal and it was Grindleton who had the closest effort early in the half as Danny Ski rifled a shot just past Yaxley’s goal.
On the hour mark, with the game completely end-to-end, the opening goal came out of nowhere. A ball was fired up from a Grindleton free-kick and met the head of Nathan Ball on the edge of the box and, with Yaxley committed, it only took a slight connection to make it 1-0.
Manager Stuart Kinnear looked to make changes and the introduction of Ben Fairburn – who hadn’t featured since Christmas – really made a difference for the Badgers.
Fairburn made an immediate impact and came close to scoring but again McGrath couldn’t be beaten.
Broomhill also saw referee Naylor wave away a penalty appeal when Aaron Whitaker was pulled down in the box. But, as Kinnear piled men forward for the last five minutes, the Badgers’ persistence paid off.
A ball fell to David Rhodes, who has been the forefront of Broomhill’s defence all season, from 25 yards out he saw his shot blocked but the ball fell back into his path and he arced it superbly round McGrath to make it 1-1.
The last two minutes saw both teams go gung-ho, searching for the winner but it wasn’t to be and the match went to penalties, with Grindleton prevailing.
Read Broomhill’s report in full on their website, here.