Oakhill Lions complete cup double
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Oakhill Lions completed a cup double after beating Haroldeans in a five-goal thriller to lift the Feldman Cup at Boundary Park.
In a match pitting together the newly-crowned MJSL champions and the cup holders, the Oaks enjoyed the lionshare of possession with Haroldeans content to soak up pressure and play on the counter-attack in an enthralling contest.
The tone was set as early as the third minute when Oakhill’s Dan Cohen was presented with an early chance but scuffed his shot wide.
The Liverpudlians rallied and Josh Rubin gave the Oakhill keeper something to think about with a near post effort.
After 15 minutes, Jake Gilbert outpaced the Haroldeans defence only to see his shot dragged into the side-netting. However, Rubin was not to be denied as he opened the scoring with a low shot that was struck well enough although the Oakhill keeper will be disappointed at not keeping the ball out.
Oakhill managed to prize out another opening after 35 minutes with Cohen just sliding the ball past the post. Five mins later Gilbert stepped up to take a penalty after a Haroldeans defender was deemed to have blocked a goal-bound shot with his hand. Usually clinical in front of goal, it appeared that the occasion had clearly got to him as his weak shot was well saved by Cross to preserve the lead but only for a further three minutes when Alex Kaye turned his defender and curled the ball into the bottom corner to equalise.
After the interval, Haroldeans gained more of a footing in the game and looked the most likely to score with Oakhill defending deeper than in the first period. On the hour Paul Harris met a cross with a spectacular volley from 12 yards out that bent and dipped but just went over the angle of the woodwork.
The game seem to get a second wind triggered by a superb 25-yard strike by Rubin who powered a shot into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.
Oakhill then came back strongly and the last 10 minutes of the 90 saw Gilbert as a constant threat with two shots brilliantly turned around the post by Cross.
It looked like Haroldeans had done enough but there was a sting in the tail as with less than three minutes on the clock, the huge following that the students had brought went crazy as a low drive from Gilbert nestled in the back of the net to force extra time.
Most believed this was probably a fair reflection on the football played thus far and penalties looked a likely outcome.
However, with tiredness and fatigue growing, it was going to take a piece of inspiration to break the new deadlock, and true to form it came in the form of a cross and back header from Gilbert who flicked the ball goalwards with Kaye stooping in ahead of the Haroldeans defence to nod Oakhill into dreamland.
Managers Livingston and Dwek lifted the Feldman Trophy to the delight of their fans and completed a wonderful Cup double. Haroldeans will consider themselves a little unlucky but later collected their Premier Division Trophy and medals to soften the blow.