Wagman late show clinch treble double for Brady
A last-ditch effort from hotshot Mark Wagman saw Brady Maccabi A complete a third consecutive league and cup double as they came from behind to beat Faithfold 2-1 at Underhill.
Going into the final of the Henry Swerner MMFL Cup, sponsored by Tux'n'Tails, recently crowned league champions Brady were seeking their third double in four years. They came into the game as clear favourites, so it came as something of a surprise when Clive Nathan finished off a fine Faithfold move at the far post to give the Hoops the lead.
Faithfold continued to frustrate Brady for the remainder of the first half, with goalkeeper Paul Gerlenter making two fine saves.
The Greens went into the interval very satisfied at having seen off the Brady challenge against the additional burden of Underhill's infamous slope.
They began the second period in the same determined and disciplined manner as they had finished the first, with Lee Rich and Mitch Klein doing a fine job at the heart of the Faithfold defence.
Nevertheless, as the half developed, Brady began to create chances, notably to Wagman and Jonathan Cohen, but as they went begging, one could sense an increasing frustration amongst the Brady players.
The breakthrough finally came when Adam Gishen took advantage of a rare defensive mix-up to equalise from close range, and it seemed that this would open the floodgates.
However, Faithfold continued to play good controlled football, and the game opened up into a compelling contest, with wave after wave of Brady attacked being repelled, and Faithfold mounting their own attacks with increasing confidence.
With penalties only a couple of minutes away, and already well into injury time, Brady mounted one final surge down the left and when Wagman drove in the resulting cross, Faithfold's hearts were broken and Brady's players and fans celebrated.
The match had both been preceded by a minutes' applause for the late Peter Moss, who was killed by the Marrakesh terrorist bomb just two weeks ago, and his son, Gideon, presented the Peter Moss Player of the Match Award to Adam Gishen.
Brady manager Dan Collins said: "I'm immensely proud of my squad for completing the double again. They have had a fantastic season and my thanks goes to all the squad for listening and accepting my decisions without any complaints.
"My congratulations must go to Faithfold for once again playing so well in the final and pushing us so hard. It was a pulsating cup tie, befitting a final and a great advert for Masters Football.
"I really do feel for Faithfold as for the second year running we didn't score the winner until right at the end of the game.
"I had even put on subs ready to take the penalties as I was sure it was going that way."
Faithfold's James Bloom said: "The final was a very hard fought, close encounter and our game-plan almost paid off.
"Once Brady equalised we managed to repel their attacks well and had a couple of great chances of our own. To say it was disappointing to lose deep into added time would be an understatement."
"Both Lee Rich and I are so proud of the spirit and determination the boys showed in the final. We gave 100 per cent at all times and could not have done more to try and win.
"We give Brady our congratulations and look forward to a bit more luck next time."