Reserves book Bingham Cox cup final
Knebworth battled back to win this epic cup tie in extra time against a stubborn Hatfield side. Corehard man of the match: Matt Pring
John Todd reports:
Knebworth won through to their second cup final of the season after coming from behind against a resilient Hatfield Town side on a cold and wet afternoon at Birchwood.
It was Hatfield that made the early breakthrough in this semi final tie, taking the lead in the 4th minute slotting the ball past Alfie Pettitt.
Knebworth settled more into the game playing some excellent possession football and were rewarded on 18 mins when Louis Gilbert pulled the ball back to Charlie Pratt who smashed the ball past the Hatfield keeper levelling the scores.
Gaining confidence as the half wore on, Gilbert, Pratt, Dunne and Oram all had chances to give the Ks the lead, but it took a fine save from Pettitt just before half time, to keep the scores level going into the interval.
In the second half, Hatfield re-took the lead against the run of play on 51 minutes. Knebworth were still seeing the majority of possession, although Hatfield were always dangerous on the break, but Holmes and McKechnie were dealing with any threat that came their way.
Knebworth should of pulled level in the 67th minute following a scramble in the Hatfield box, Owen Todd failed to convert an opportunity, shooting wide.
In the 75th minute, Hatfield extended their lead from one of their counter attacks when Will Oram was unfortunate to divert the ball into his own net after the ball had come off the woodwork from a Hatfield shot.
Hatfield must have thought they had one foot in the final, but it was Knebworth’s never say die attitude that saw them get back into the game.
Just two minutes later, Louis Gilbert pulled one goal back from an Owen Todd cross, then Marcus McKechnie playing as a second forward scored with five minutes remaining following good link up play from Matt Pring and Charlie Pratt. Pratt could have won the game in normal time, when in the final minute he fired over after closing down the Hatfield defender.
The game went into extra time, and Knebworth seemed to be the stronger of the two sides despite only having a bare eleven available. It was in the 104th minute that the Ks took the lead the tie for the first time when Pratt was in the right place to smash home a cross from Gilbert.
The impressive Matt Pring capped his Corehard man of the match performance, putting the game beyond doubt scoring with ten minutes remaining which saw the Ks deservedly through to their second cup final of the season.
The Bingham Cox cup final will be played at Colney Heath FC on Monday 7 May, kicking off at 10:30 against Lings Elite.