Wisbech St Mary Reserves 0 - 0 March Town United Reserves (4-3 on pens) - St Mary win North Cambs Junior Cup
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech St Mary Reserves held their nerve in a penalty shoot-out to inflict heartbreak on March Town United Reserves in the North Cambs Junior Cup final at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium last night.
The Hares had the bulk of the chances in the 120 minutes but were thwarted by an outstanding performance by Wisbech St Mary Reserves keeper Dan Smith.
In the shoot out, March Reserves held the advantage when James Mortlock saved Curtis Knight’s effort. But Dayne Moore’s penalty was saved and David Jackson, needing to score to keep the Hares alive, hit the post - Wisbech St Mary Reserves won the shoot-out 4-3.
Wisbech St Mary Reserves were able to exercise the demons of last season’s cup final loss to Thorney.
Wisbech St Mary Reserves had the game’s first chance through Jake Baldry, who was denied by Mortlock’s legs.
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The next 20 minutes belonged to the Hares - Moore had several chances but could not find the net.
Wisbech St Mary gradually got a foothold in the game and had a big chance of their own - Chris McAree drilled the ball across the face of goal but Mattie Thrower, at the back post, could only divert the ball back to Mortlock.
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Midway through the second half, David Jackson rose highest to head Callum Young’s header on to the crossbar. Then Moore missed two more chances - slicing wide with his left foot then flashing a half volley past the post.
For Wisbech St Mary Reserves, Reagen Brown headed Mark Hardwick’s inviting cross straight at Mortlock.
March Reserves were twice denied by good saves from Smith in the first period of extra time - he bravely smothered Jackson’s shot then pulled off an impressive one-handed save to stop Sean White’s effort.
Late on in the second half of extra time, WIsbech St Mary Reserves had a golden opportunity to get a last-gasp winner - A free-kick was launched into the box, which was not dealt with. The ball fell to the onrushing Connor Young, but his volley was just wide.
Then came the lottery of penalties - Thrower, McAree, Baldry and Danny Emmington scored for Wisbech St Mary Reserves. Jason Cox, Young and David Blake held their nerve for March.
Wisbech St Mary Reserves manager Garry Haime said: “We played March earlier this season and they were considerably better tonight. We didn’t move the ball as well as we typically do and played to their strengths.
“Twelve months ago we lost in the final so we know how March are feeling. They are a good team and will be back.
“Our man of the match was Dan Smith, who made some outstanding saves. We’re made up (to win).”
March Reserves manager Rich Lorraine said: “We battled and showed lots of character but we just couldn’t put our chances away. On another day, they could have gone in.
“I want to thank every single player for the performance they put in.”
All is not lost for March - Jackson (2), Moore and Sean White scored in a 4-2 win over Whittlesford at the GER on Saturday, which has sealed their passage to the Junior Challenge Cup final. They will take on Burwell Swifts in Histon on April 22.
Lorriane said: “If we manage to pick up silverware, it will be a massive statement for the club and add to the feel-good factor of the new clubhouse and our first team’s fantastic season.”