This Bolton at Home Champions League Final saw the best that the Sunday League has to offer with a bumper crowd of nearly 400 spectators eagerly watching at Moss Park, the home of Breightmet United FC. D Havilland FC and Tempest Arms managed to serve up a feast of football which kept the crowd on their toes throughout the 90 minutes, Tempest Arms drew first blood when Jay Smith coolly slotted home after 20 minutes following a sustained period of possession and pressure which saw D Havilland chasing shadows. Tempest then went close soon after and nearly extended the lead when a beautiful curling shot from outside the penalty area ricocheted off D Havilland’s bar. D Havilland weathered the storm and struck back with a beautifully taken goal from Jordan Podge Dean, he controlled a pass from the flanks and struck a sweet strike into the bottom right to snatch the equalizer against the run of play.

D Havilland seemed to find some newly found belief and began to knock the ball around and keep possession building up some momentum, 5 minutes before half time Jon Stephenson picked up a loose ball near the penalty stop and drilled home an unstoppable drive to propel D Havilland into the lead turning this cup tie on its head. Both teams went close before half time leaving many of the watching fans breathless and begging for more. The teams went in at half time with D Havilland 2-1 ahead.

The half time team talk seemed to work for Tempest as they came out of the traps with renewed vigour and for the 1st 15 minutes of the 2nd half shots rained down on D Havilland’s goal their superb keeper Lewis Hynes made a few fantastic saves to keep Tempest at bay but the inevitable equalizer was registered by Heath Ainscough whose right footed volley from the left edge of the penalty area was like an Exocet missile nestling into the right top corner of the net. Both teams then attacked feverishly whilst some typically Sunday League tackles earmarked this battle for supremacy between 2 excellent sides. Tempest’s central midfield powerhouse Kris Powers tragically came off after 65 minutes with a nasty looking gash from his knee down to his shin and from then onwards the momentum began to tilt towards D Havilland.

D Havilland snatched the 3rd goal to go 3-2 up when Craig Sloane was fed a sweet pass inside from Jon Stephenson and he dispatched his shot into the bottom corner. This blood and thunder tie had now taken another twist and on a very humid day on a big pitch Tempest looked like they were running out of steam. D Havilland were now stroking the ball around with aplomb and the Tempest players struggled to assert their authority on the game once more, Tom Halligan struck the fatal blow with a rasping drive after the ball had been cleared from a corner which gave Tempest’s keeper Tom Butler no chance after 75 minutes

D Havilland effectively put the tie to bed when an emphatic strike from man of the match Jon Stephenson sent the D Havilland supporters into raptures of delight 10 minutes from time to ease the pressure and give Malcolm Cubbins his first managerial Trophy at this level. Tempest showed great pride and determination as they refused to be bowed and they stormed D Havilland’s goal which resulted in a last gasp effort for Heath Ainscough’s second strike in the 85 minute, D Havilland now 5-3 up managed to keep enough possession and saw out this game until the final whistle. The fans were served up a treat today, this was Sunday Football at its best and after the sad events at Bolton Wanderers FC this season, this game was something to cheer up the town’s people. The supporters at this match had managed to contribute to a significant collection towards the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust as the people of Bolton demonstrated that they will gladly contribute towards the work that Bolton Wanderers FC have done with grassroots football over the many years. This Cup Final will go down as one of the most exciting matches of our history and it showcased all that was good about honest amateur football in the town of Bolton, supporters on both sides went home happy as they had seen an amazing contest and great entertainment.