Market Weighton secured the Junior Country Cup with a 1-0 win against Bridlington Rovers at the Roy West Centre. The game looked like it was heading to penalties, before Johnny Lofthouse’s 89th minute finish secured the prestigious trophy for Market Weighton.
It was the eventual winners who started the brightest as Luke Ashby had to be sharp off his line to stop a through pass aimed for the runs of Rob Strudwick and Lucas Stephenson. Bridlington then hit the woodwork as Josh Samanjoul picked out the run of Joel Rollinson, but the striker’s effort crashed off the crossbar before going behind.
Both teams then had opportunities from set-pieces as Dane Wreghitt curled his free-kick wide, while Rollinson saw his shot blocked on the line as he latched onto a long Bridlington free-kick. Ryan Curtis then tested Ashby from range as the keeper flicked the winger’s shot past the post, before he was called into action from the resulting corner to deny Market Weighton in a goalmouth scramble.
In the other goal, Martin Pearson tipped Rollinson’s drive onto the bar, before captain Ryan Swift dragged his volley wide. Bridlington created a host of chances within a five minute period as Rollinson saw his tame effort held by Pearson, while Josh Wright drilled his shot wide. Tom Sharp then saw his effort held by Pearson, before Tom Fanshaw was on hand to deny Wreghitt at the other end.
From the resulting corner for Market Weighton, Mike Drewery saw his header saved well by Ashby. Market Weighton had a flurry of chances before the half-time interval as Stephenson flicked his effort wide, before the midfielder saw his lobbed effort go narrowly wide past the post. Stephenson then wasted a glorious headed opportunity as he headed wide from Alex Lisney’s cross, before an onrushing Ashby saved from Wreghitt as it ended goalless at half-time.
In the second-half, Ashby was on hand to deny Stephenson from a tight angle, before Bridlington’s Wright saw his shot blocked by Drewery. It was end-to-end action as Lofthouse saw his shot blocked Mike Smithers, before Pearson held Cam Connelly’s cross-shot. Strudwick’s corner then caused a another goalmouth scramble for Market Weighton and Ashby was on hand again to deny them, before the Bridlington keeper denied Strudwick from close-range.
As chances were wasted by both teams in the latter stages, with the most notable being Connelly firing a guilt-edged chance over from the edge of the area for Bridlington, it looked like the final was going to be decided from the penalty spot. However, Market Weighton broke the deadlock in the 89th minute as Ashby spilled a cross from John Firmage and Lofthouse was on hand to poke the loose ball into the net to cue wild celebrations in the Market Weighton dugout.
They could have even doubled their lead deep in stoppage-time as Stephenson saw his effort saved by the feet of Ashby, before Lofthouse was denied by the Bridlington keeper as Market Weighton secured the Junior Country Cup.
Market Weighton: 1. Martin Pearson (GK), 2. John Firmage, 4. Ed Houlton, 3. Mike Drewery, 13. Alex Lisney, 7. Rob Strudwick, 10. Dan Broomfield, 11. Ryan Curtis, 6. Dane Wreghitt, 8. Lucas Stephenson, 12. Macauley Bielby Moss. Substitutes (Not Numbered): Liam Walker, Josh Walker, Steve Cayton, Jonny Lofthouse, Andy Gatenby.
Bridlington Rovers: 1. Luke Ashby (GK), 5. James Cockerill, 4. Mike Smithers, 3. Tom Fanshaw, 12. Callum Cheetham (16. Ashley Double 82’), 18. Tom Sharp, 7. Ryan Swift (C), 14. Josh Pilmour (6. Nicholas Allanach 75’), 8. Josh Wright, 11. Josh Samanjoul (10. Cam Connelly 66’), 9. Joel Rollinson. Substitutes (Not Used): 29. Shane Wilkes, 2. Terry Whatling.
Match Officials: Phil Cartlich (Referee), Tony Dyble & Joe Kidd (Assistant Referee’s), Malcolm High (Fourth Official)
Market Weighton Manager Dan Broomfield:
“Having last season lost in the final of this cup, we were determined to give it our all to end up on the winning side this time. Bridlington Rovers had the best of the early stages of the match and hit the woodwork twice, but didn't seem to get the luck and Market Weighton grew in confidence as the game went on.
“The match was very hard fought from start to finish and looked almost destined to go to penalties with Bridlington's goalkeeper pulling off some great stops to keep the game in the balance, but a stroke of luck with minutes to go in the game left Jonny Lofthouse with a clear shot at goal, which he duly finished. There was some great battling performances from both teams and the game was played in a great spirit throughout.
“Big thanks to all involved for ensuring this cup final could reach its conclusion in such unprecedented circumstances.”
Bridlington Rovers Joint Manager Nick Sunley:
“Coming into the game not knowing anything about our opponents was always going to create an exciting game. It was two teams that battled hard for every ball, with little to separate them. Market Weighton were always a threat in from set-pieces and could and probably should have scored on a few occasions, where as I thought we could of snatched a goal in the first-half after our poor start to the game.
“Second-half was an end-to-end game. We missed a great chance to go one up, but we put it over the bar and Market Weighton did what they did all night on set-plays by putting us under pressure and they scored from an error which happens in football.
“From myself and all associated with Bridlington Rovers, we’d like to congratulate Market Weighton on winning the Junior Country Cup and we wish them well on their upcoming season. Furthermore, thanks must go to the East Riding FA for putting the game on these difficult times.”