Crawley Green Reserves suffer penalty woe in cup final

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Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup Final: Sundon Park Rangers 2 Crawley Green Reserves 2 (Sundon won 6-5 on penalties)

Crawley Green Reserves were beaten on penalties by Sundon Park Rangers in the Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup Final clash held at Ampthill Town FC on Wednesday night.

Green had snatched a last minute equaliser as they game ended 2-2, but Sundon edged the shoot-out 6-5 to lift the trophy.

Rangers kicked with a strong wind at their back in the first half and dominated the opening half hour.

Laurence Mapp had a shot blocked by Crawley’s Glen Freeman and Aiden Dawson quickly followed with a shot that went wide.

As Sundon’s pressure increased, Shaka Anderson was denied by Charlie Yates in the Crawley goal, while Anderson broke through again but lobbed the ball over the bar under pressure from Yates.

Crawley responded with a header from Adam Marsh which was saved by Brett Smith in the Rangers goal, before against the run of play, they took the lead after 26 minute as Jake Alderson and Adam Marsh combined to cross into the box where it was turned into his own net by Steve Farkas.

The goal settled Green and they quickly followed with efforts from Charlie Betts, Reece Green and Alderson which were all kept out by Smith, while Rob Newman’s shot was saved and Jamie Sawyer headed wide.

However, on the stroke of half time Crawley allowed Rangers back into the game when Betts got caught in possession on the left and Nash Bennett stormed into the area to make it 1-1.

In the second period, Betts almost sliced a clearance into his own net before Matthew Conway was denied by Yates, while Rangers’ Pearce Tracey had to be stretched off due to injury.

Crawley responded with efforts from Green and Betts but Rangers always looked dangerous on the break, with Anderson’s effort saved.

However, in the 88th minute Rangers looked to have won the game when despite looking suspiciously offside, Conway broke away to beat Yates and make it 2-1.

Green immediately responded though with a piledriver from Alderson which was turned round by Smith.

From the corner Rangers needlessly conceded a penalty for handball and Newman stepped up to make it 2-2 and take the game to penalties.

Both side scored their opening five efforts as Jordan Bates, Calum Yates, Sawyer, Betts and Newman netted for Crawley, with Anderson, Aiden Dawson, Brian Fraser, Nash Bennett, and Mapp replying for Rangers.

At 5-5 Crawley’s Marsh planted his penalty over the bar as Eddy Lewis stepped forward to drive the ball past Yates to win the Cup for Sundon.