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Green Win Through Dramatic Shootout to First Ever County Final

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19 February 2010 | bomber06


Hurst Green won through to their first ever Lancashire Amateur Cup Final after their third penalty shoot-out success in this years competition, Danny Taylor sending the Green Army faithful into raptures.

After meeting each other only a week ago, both teams lined up similarly with Greens only change being Stuart Malley returning to the middle of midfield in place of Danny Taylor. Canberra made a couple of changes with Blackburn coming in up front and keeper Mark Proctor coming in between the sticks. The pitch surprisingly passed a pitch inspection prior to kick off with the temperature perilously close to freezing point but on closer inspection was not a bad surface.

Canberra made most of the early running and almost took a lead straight from kick off as a long ball found Deane in the area but his cross was scrambled clear. Canberra clearly settled early and were passing the ball around with ease as Lishman, Howarth and Stoddart dominated midfield. Canberras Fielding looked the liveliest player as his several gut-busting runs was testing Greens wing back Tipton who picked up an early booking in the process. Thankfully, none of the crosses into Greens box were dangerous and Green defended well for most of the first half. But Canberra took advantage of this territorial advantage as they opened the scoring. Blackburn was fouled just outside the box and LISHMAN curled in a free kick which Addicott will have been disappointed not to have kept out. The goal was the least that Canberra deserved but served as a wake-up call for Green who then endeavoured to get back into the game. Dave Young had a couple of opportunities to deliver testing crosses from the right hand side but none met their target. However Hurst Green did equalise with their first real chance. The Canberra defence seemed to hesitate for a split second which allowed BRUNSKILL to muscle his way into the box and fire into the corner to level things up. Green spent the last few minutes of the half defending their eighteen yard box and Canberra once again made all the running.

Hurst Green will have maybe been thankful to have got in at half time level and this was repeated by manager Seedall during the break. After a fairly quiet beginning to the second half messrs Williams and Taylor were introduced, Williams was to be the focal point of many Green attacks. With Canberra looking a little leg weary from their first half exploits, Green took a stranglehold of the match and it wasnt long before striker Tony Williams had his first chance. A Leighton through ball found Williams bearing down on goal only for his shot to go narrowly wide. Williams later had a carbon copy of this chance but was foiled by a last ditch tackle from Canberras Bennett. Green were dominant with Malley, Leighton and Chippendale all having shots which flew over. At the other end, Aspinwall, Walker and Bamber seemed comfortable dealing with Canberras long balls as they desperately looked for a way out of their half. Green, however, seemed their worst enemy as they began to give away needless free kicks on the edge of their box which, fortunately for Hurst Green, Lishman didnt take full advantage of. Olly Johnson came on towards the end of normal time for Dave Young to give Green a little more attacking intent down the right hand side.

With the sides locked at 1-1 the teams went into extra time of which was played fairly tentatively with sides tiring on a heavy pitch. Green were desperately unlucky not to take the lead midway through the first period as a great pass from Leighton found Williams whose shot cannoned back off a post. The rest of extra time passed without any other major incident and penalties arrived. Keeper Addicott was the hero once again as he saved Canberras first penalty however Tipton missed later to even things up. Into sudden death and Bennetts penalty struck a post with the winning penalty falling to Taylor who slammed home his spot kick to send Green through to a historical first ever Lancashire Amateur Cup Final.

The final will take place on Wednesday 7th April at the LFA County Ground, Leyland, 7pm kick off.

Greens next match is a home game on Saturday 20th February at home to Worsthorne, 2.15pm kick off.

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