Breightmet United pay the penalty in final

Bradshaw Juniors triumph

Bradshaw Juniors triumph

First published in Sport

Breightmet Utd U18s  3
Bradshaw U18s 3
(Bradshaw win 5-4 on penalties)

BRADSHAW Juniors lifted the Bolton Bury and District Football League under-18s Chairman’s cup by defeating league champions Breightmet United on penalties at the Reebok Stadium.

With the game tied at 3-3, Luke Dawson scored the winning spot kick to give his side a 5-3 shootout victory.

Curtis Harbord gave Breightmet the lead with a stunning volley from the right that nestled in the bottom corner after only 12 minutes.

Their lead was doubled on 42 minutes when Brandon Magne-Kingston headed in Dominic Taylor’s cross from the right.

On the stroke of half-time Bradshaw clawed one back. Nathan Heath directed Alex Buchannon’s corner goalwards and Sam James was on hand to head the ball home from two-yards.

Ten minutes after the restart the lively Buchannon cut in from the left and curled a shot across goal into the bottom corner to complete the comeback.

Bradshaw captain Dawson turned the game on its head when he calmly slotted the ball past Ashley Whittle in a one-on-one situation.

Whittle kept his side in with a fighting chance with a number of fine saves to keep out Ali Papworth and Buchannon.

And this lifeline was taken when Scott Lock headed in the equaliser deep into added time to send the game to penalties.

But it was Bradshaw who had the last word, as skipper Dawson found the top corner with the decisive kick to clinch the cup.

Bradshaw Juniors manager Neil Pilling explained the emotional roller-coaster that he went through during the game: “I think I had to restart my heart about three times,” he said.

“We had one lapse in concentration and we let them back in but the excitement of the penalties was brilliant.

“The lads played really well and Breightmet were a credit and you can tell why they are champions. Very well done to Simon’s team they made a real good spectacle of it and every credit to Breightmet.”

Breightmet manager Simon Wilcox said: “They are a great set of lads that I have had for a long time now and I’m a proud manager and I’ll be going home a happy man.

“We weren’t at our best. I can take a lot of heart from being 3-2 down and to come back in the last minute is superb. “We are the best team in the league but we were just not at our best today.

“If it went to extra-time I think we would have had the momentum and gone on to win it, but I’m not disappointed at all.”

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