Ken Simmons Memorial Cup Final
Old Danes Athletic won the Ken Simmons Memorial Cup for a second time after defeating Kings Langley 9-8 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra-time in front of a crowd of 130 at Gaywood Park on Sunday.
The shoot-out was only the ninth time it had been used to settle the destiny of a cup in the league’s 42-year history and the resulting 9-8 victory for Old Danes was a record, beating the previous highest of 8-7 in this competition a decade ago when Woodside beat LS Sports.
Old Danes had much of the early pressure with Joel Foskett and Chris White causing the Langley defence problems, but this was well marshalled by Paul Bullen. Slowly Langley worked their way into the match with the tricky Nelson De Santos causing Danes trouble down the left, and it was Langley who went ahead after 33 minutes when a long-range effort from Martin Sanservinro found its way past the unsighted Tom Callaghan.
Danes upped the pressure in the second half with White seeing a run and shot cannon back off the crossbar and away to safety. But it only proved to be a temporary let off when with 19 minutes left, James Burkes sent a low looping header into the roof of the net for the equaliser.
Although Langley always looked dangerous on the break, it was their opponents who looked the more likely to win the game. And they really should have done so with four minutes remaining when Foskett saw his header superbly saved by Adam Jones.
The first period of extra-time saw Langley regain some composure and have the better of the play with De Santos and Henney having good chances to restore the lead.
The second half was mostly all one-way traffic towards Jones in the Langley goal.
White turned in the box but could only lob the ball onto the roof of the net, while in the final minute the same player saw his mazy run and dribble tipped away by Jones. From the resulting whipped-in corner, Ferran Bettaler was just inches away from connecting with the ball and clinching victory.
But there was still time for a final Langley attack two minutes into stoppage time as centre-back Bullen was pushed forward and saw his effort from the edge of the area fly just past the post with Callaghan beaten.
Each team had scored their first eight kicks before Old Danes' Callum Johns, who had been reluctant to take a penalty, saw his effort saved by Jones. This gave Jack Newman the chance of winning the cup for Langley but Callaghan saved his low shot.
Burkes slotted home his kick, meaning it was the then the turn of Langley keeper Jones who saw penalty saved by opposite number Callaghan to give Old Danes the trophy in a game neither side really deserved to lose.
Old Danes Athletic: Callaghan, Wilson, McCann (Spooner 45), Janusz (Battaler 80), Burkes, Foskett (Janusz 101), Johns, Mussi (McCann 83), Bennett (Spooner 36 (Oliver 43, (Rossister 83)), (Oliver 90))), Crockford (Gross 97), White.
Kings Langley: Jones, Seaward (Newman 110), Sanservino, Lynch, Bullen, Henwood, De Santos (S. Lovell 45), Cummings (De Santos 79), Henney, Carter (Minton 105), Minton (Newman 61(Cummings 105)). Not Used: Pinching, B.Lovell.
Title-chasing Tudor Arms narrowly beat mid-table Bovingdon 3-2.
Matt McMahon put Bovingdon ahead before goals from James Roope and Ben Collins gave Tudor the upper hand at the break.
Bovingdon then equalised through Luke Furlong, but with time running out Arms scored a vital winner through Jack Robertson.
Hertfordshire Lions had a good morning as they opened up a five-point gap at the top of the table after a 5-1 victory over FC Revolution.
Carl Briggs scored a double, supported by goals from Mitchell Holt, Tom Carroll and George Benedetti. Adam Rawlings got the Revolution consolation.
Brookside lost ground at the top as they suffered a surprise 2-0 home defeat against mid-table Colne Valley Reserves.
Both of the goals came in a five-minute spell in the last 20 minutes from Luke Clark and Lewis Cole.
Dynamo Croxley beat Cassiobury Revolution in the first game of their double header thanks to a goal from James Graham, but the second game saw Revolution win 2-0 through George Mundy and Jack Wheeler.
The other double header again ended honours even between Woodlands United and WD Athletic.
Woodlands won the first game 2-0 with goals from Floyd Tate and James Brophy while Athletic were victorious in the second match 4-1.
Alex Halifax, Pat Turner, Chris Lumm and Kasum Jayasinghe got the goals with Brophy netting a second of the morning for Woodlands.
Inter beat Watford Labour Club 5-3 thanks to a Dan Kenna scored hat-trick and further goals from Chris Stead and Liam Watts. Labour replied through Charles Linsley, Peter Hurwood and Robert Linsley.