Stratton left to feel Blue after Town snatch victory
5:30am Tuesday 13th May 2014 in By Christopher Panks
Two poachers efforts were the difference as Hungerford Town beat Stratton Blue 2-1 in the U17/18 cup final.
Aidan Maycock opened the scoring after 15 minutes and the advantage was doubled through Keiran Unwin with 10 minutes to go.
Scott Reynolds, who had had an effort ruled out for offside, scored a goal in quick response, but it proved to be only a consolation.
The match started at a frantic pace and Stratton could have been ahead inside the first minute as Gavin Haselar's shot was deflected for a corner which was headed onto the roof of Michael Elliot’s goal.
In the third minute, Elliot was beaten by Conor Smith’s powerful long range effort the cracked the underside of the bar and bounced the wrong side of the goal line from the midfielder’s perspective.
But Hungerford played a big part in the first half too, Harrison Lowe’s shots from distance twice had Stratton keeper Chapple nervously scrambling, and also forced a good save before the half time whistle.
After 10 minutes, Tom Stevens played in Maycock, who forced a good save from Chapple before Stevens’ follow up was deflected wide by Alex Harding.
On the quarter hour mark, Hungerford were ahead though, as Maycock rode two tackles on his way into the area and coolly slotted home from 10 yards.
After half an hour, Lowe’s athletic volley missed both Maycock's craning head and the target to keep the score 1-0 At the break.
Seconds after the restart, a lucky bounce fell to Archie Day in the box, but the onrushing Elliot did just enough to divert him away from goal as the striker attempted to round him.
Five minutes later, Maycock had the opportunity to double his tally, but his finish was wayward when through on goal.
Reynolds then thought he had levelled the match when he raced onto a through ball and beat Elliot, but the linesman’s flag was raised.
With 10 minutes remaining, Unwin bundled the ball over the line following a game of pinball in the Stratton box.
When Reynolds’ goal was scored in the immediate aftermath, it ensured a tense finish, but Hungerford held on for the victory.
Stratton manager Cliff Thrussell said: “I’m extremely proud of the boys to get this far.
“We’re a division two team with the majority of our players aged only 16.
“We’re also the first Stratton team to make a final in about 10 years, so they’ve done themselves proud.”