Two penalty shoot-outs, one resignation and one chance of redemption as Brampton and Warboys set up Hunts Intermediate Cup final clash
- Credit: Archant
Brampton boss Wayne Ambler insists he has ‘unfinished business’ after guiding his team to a second successive Hunts Intermediate Cup final.
Ambler’s men advanced to the county showpiece with a penalty shoot-out triumph against Kershaw Premier Division rivals Eaton Socon last Saturday.
Goalkeeper Nick Parker pulled off two fine saves as they prevailed 3-2 from the spot following a 1-1 deadlock to earn a March 16 final date against Warboys Town, who edged out Eynesbury Rovers Under 21s on penalties in the other semi.
Ambler said: “It’s a horrible feeling to lose a cup final, but there was no disgrace in being beaten by a good Stilton team last season.
“Coming through the semi-final as underdogs to earn another crack at lifting the trophy was brilliant.
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“We have unfinished business in the final, but we will expect another very tough game against a Warboys side we know nothing about.”
Brampton’s semi-final exploded into life early in the second half as Scott Kingsbury’s free-kick, which bounced through a crowded box and into the net, left them trailing.
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But the Eaton Socon goalscorer quickly went from hero to villain.
Kingsbury received two cautions in a matter of seconds while protesting the decision of referee Andy Hitchcox to award Brampton a penalty following a Lewis Gordine-Francis challenge on Ellis Ogle.
Gareth Owens duly tucked away the spot-kick, but the 10-men of Socon stood strong to send the tie into a shoot-out where Brampton eventually prevailed.
Owens, Danny Cain and Sam Miles all converted their penalties while Socon’s first effort crashed back off the bar and their third attempt was saved by Parker.
Socon did score their second and fourth penalties before Harvey Millier fluffed his attempt to send Brampton through, but Parker clinched victory with his second save seconds later.
Warboys’ passage was just as dramatic as manager Ryan Asher-Powell stepped down due to work commitments after they triumphed 4-2 on penalties against Eynesbury Under 21s.
Michael Cafferkey fired the clincher from the spot after goalkeeper Luke Green had saved one Rovers penalty in the shoot-out and another in the first half.
Martin Lloyd will take over at Warboys for the rest of the season.
Penalties were not needed as AFC Barley Mow set-up an all-local final in the Hunts Lower Junior Cup.
Player-boss Sean Sweeney struck twice as his side breezed to a 6-2 success at Stanground Sports Reserves in a delayed semi-final clash last Saturday. Top-scorer Josh Turner also bagged a brace with Jack Cleghorn and Adam Armstrong completing the scoring.
They will now meet Fenstanton in the final on March 9.