Badshot Lea finally secure the Aldershot Senior Cup after defeating Fleet Twon on penalties
In a game which sprang to life in extra time Badshot Lea held their nerve in the penalty shoot out to record a famous win.
Fleet Town started the better of the two sides as they took the game to Badshot Lea. The pitch was well watered before the game by Aldershot Town groundsman Andy Nunn and the conditions were perfect.
Liam Stone in the Badshot Lea goal was the busier of the two keepers in the early exchanges. There was a memorable double save but the linesman then flagged for offside. The Badshot Lea midfield five although containing their opponents weren't getting up to support Agyeman and Cousins up front.
After 20 minutes it looked like Badshot Lea were going to take the lead when a through ball saw a race between Peglar in the Fleet goal and Agyeman. Now a 100% sharp Agyeman would have won this race but he saw his shot blocked and sent behind for a corner.This seemed to give Badshot Lea some confidence as they started to get a foothold in the match for the first time.On 25 minutes An excellent through ball saw Marcus Cousins run through and this time he got to the ball before Peglar, he went round him and from a tight angle he pulled his shot wide of the far upright. It was however Fleet Town that took the lead after 34 minutes. Some good work by Wheeler on the left crossed to Dyer who headed past Stone to give Fleet a 1-0 lead. Dave Ford made a change at half time bringing on Adam Prentice for the injured Agyeman who hadn't fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Prentice gave the Badshot Lea forward line a different look as he matched himself up to the physical side of the Fleet defence.Badshot Lea were enjoying more possession in the 2nd half but again too often they weren't getting forward from midfield to support their forwards. As the game reached it's final stages Dave Ford then changed two of his midfield taking off Jamie Hoppitt and Ben Petty and replacing them with Joe Johnson and Neal Bartlett. Joe Johnson was starting to give Badshot Lea a bit more natural width as they searched for the illusive equaliser that would of taken the game into extra time. Just when it looked like time had run out and the 4th official and put up the two minute added time Badshot Lea forced a corner from a deflected shot. They sent everyone up including keeper Liam Stone. The delivery was perfect from Neal Bartlett and Darren Blake rose to head home to send the Badshot Lea fans into delirium.Almost from the restart the referee blew his whistle and ended the 90 minutes. Cramp starting to kick in as yet again the wide pitch at Aldershot was taking more casualties. On a 100 minutes, in the first period of extra time, Badshot Lea got themselves in front. Good work from Joe Johnson down the left saw him feed the ball into Keith Emmerson in the Fleet area, with his back to goal and two defenders around him he back heeled the ball into the path of Cousins who first time squared it to Prentice who side footed into the net to give his side a 2-1 lead.
The second period of extra time saw Fleet come back into it a bit more and they were certainly enjoying more pressure. On 115 minutes Fleet Town got themselves level.From a Darren Campbell cross Darren Wheeler headed home to bring the scores level at 2-2.Badshot Lea are made of stern stuff and like so many of their teams previously one thing that Dave Ford has instilled in them is this never say die attitude. From the kick off the ball was fed out to the left wing to Joe Johnson and he ran at the the right back cutting across him and into the Fleet area, he drilled a low cross between two defenders and the lively Cousins was on hand to score at the far post. They had 4 minutes to hold on to this lead. They chose to try and sit on their lead which is always dangerous. Fleet were awarde a throw on the left hand side which was to be taken by Vockins. He through it into the Badshot Lea box where Dyer somehow got his head to it and managed to loop his header up and over keeper Stone. The referee almost immediately blew his whistle to end the extra time. It was now down to penalties and who could hold their nerves or would it be Peglar or Stone that make a vital save.
Both sides missed one a piece in the first 3 penalties. It was left to Liam Stone who saved well and Badshot Lea triumphed by 4-3 in the shoot out.
This competition has become a bit of an obsession amongst the ranks of Badshot Lea who probably felt they were never going to win this but it was left to Jason Short (captain for the night) and Michael Ruffles (the injured club captain) to lift the trophy and send the home side and supporters home happy.
An excellent achievement from Dave Ford and his team and with a trophy and a 6th place league finish it can be seen as a good season and an improvement on last season.