13th May 2018 - Charles Hewitt Memorial League Cup Final
|AFC Pegasus||4 - 2|
Referee : John Watson
Assistants : Errol Souter & Dan Webb
4th Official : Lewis Farthing
Heavy overnight rain had freshened up the Lawford pitch for the Charles Hewitt Memorial League Cup Final between the Premier Division winners and the Division 3 runners-up
It was to be Queens Arms that started the brighter of the two teams with Jarrod Palmer having his early flicked header tipped over the bar for a corner. Minutes later their controlled possession was to give Queens the lead when Billy Wales
delivered a left footed cross/shot which found the back of the net via the inside the far post. AFC Pegasus 0 - 1 Queens Arms
Queens continued to press by trying use the pace of Ben Perryman down the middle but Pegasus defended well and fought back. Grant Higgins volley was to be their best effort before in the 17th minute Pegasus equalised when a headed down cross into the box set up Ryan Dale
to volley the ball over the stranded Forrest Maddock. AFC Pegasus 1 - 1 Queens Arms
Grant Higgins almost gave his team the lead on the 25th minute with a good touch on the edge of the box to beat his man, but saw his shot go wide of the goal. Queens fought back and it was that man again, Billy Wales, who had a good shot blocked by Higgins to force a corner, from which Dan Baldwin headed over. A quick and short goal kick caught Queens napping and Samir Rahiti launched a long diagonal ball to Jake Plane
who beat his defender for pace to make it 2-1 to Pegasus in the 37th minute with a strong shot past Maddock. AFC Pegasus 2 - 1 Queens Arms
The already exciting first half was not done yet though because Queens were to level within minutes when a late Pegasus challenge some 25 yards out set up the left boot of Billy Wales
to deliver a brilliant free kick into the back of the Pegasus net. AFC Pegasus 2 - 2 Queens Arms
This was probably one of the best opening 45 minutes seen by a neutral at a cup final in recent years with some quality football being played by both teams> Half Time : AFC Pegasus 2 - 2 Queens Arms
Pegasus made changes after the break with Chay Hammerton and Max Booth adding to the attacking line. This brought about a sustained period of possession and only rare chances for Queens to re-take the lead who had an inspirational performance from keeper Maddock to thank for keeping the scores level.
One very good double save from Max Booth and Eldon Craig was followed up by several more from Dale, Booth and Craig with a header which was tipped wonderfully over the bar. Josh Dillon also shot across Maddock but wide during this sustained period of Pegasus pressure.
In the 75th minute, maybe the pressure told on Queens because in the aftermath of a heavy Craig challenge by the touchline, recent substitute James Baldwin was to be dismissed to leave his team with ten men for the remainder of the game. Pegasus continued to press for the winner but could not find a way past Maddock. In the final minute of normal time, Max Booth was clipped as he ran into the penalty area. After the official consulted a spot kick was awarded but with victory in sight, Josh Dillon saw his effort well saved by Maddock and the rebound clipped onto and over the cross bar by Eldon Craig. Full Time : AFC Pegasus 2 - 2 Queens Arms
Thirty minutes of extra time were probably not what the ten Queens men wanted but they continued their immense hard work around the pitch to frustrate their opponents until the last minute of the opening fifteen, when a Rahiti corner from the right found the head of Max Booth
in a great position to give Pegasus the lead at the break. AFC Pegasus 3 - 2 Queens Arms
Both teams rang the changes in the final period of extra time. It was almost constant pressure from Pegasus and this eventually brought them a fourth goal after the ball was not properly secured by Queens, setting up Luke Payne
to place a right footed curler past the helpless Maddock. AFC Pegasus 4 - 2 Queens Arms
Queens Arms tried to finish on a high and fought back. Ben Harrison showed a delightful touch on the edge of the Pegasus area but shot wide and Billy Wales was denied his hat trick in the final minutes when Matty Grove tipped over his free kick. Extra Time Full Time : AFC Pegasus 4 - 2 Queens Arms
Pegasus the worthy winners for the third season in a row, but this was a very good and keenly contested cup final between two good teams who should be commended for the level of football they delivered on the day.
Many thanks to Lawford FC for the use of their facilities and
Mrs Elsie Hewitt for attending the final and presenting the trophies.
Match report & photos : Jon Burns
League Mrs Elsie Hewitt with the Match Officials : Referee John Watson (second right), his assistants (from left) Lewis Farthing, Dan Webb & Errol Souter.
Man of The Match : Queens Arms' Forrest Maddock receives his trophy from Mrs Elsie Hewitt.
Charles Hewitt Memorial League Cup Runners-up 2017/18 : Queens Arms
Charles Hewitt Memorial League Cup Winners 2017/18 : AFC Pegasus