AFC Leavesden bounced back from their heartbreak of losing the Herts FA Junior Cup on penalties just 72 hours earlier with a 1-0 win against Hews in Wednesday’s Watford Sunday League Junior Cup final.

Hews, from a division below their opponents, gave a strong account of themselves with a well organised performance, but Leavesden will hope this is the first part of a double as they remain locked in a three-way title race at the top of Division Three.

The first half saw Leavesden have more of the ball, with Ozzie Ogbebor and Callum Galvin causing problems down the flanks, and Tom Bourke, who put in a man of the match performance in midfield supplying, creating plenty of problems with his set-piece deliveries.

It took Hews until midway through the first half to have their first attempt on goal with Nathan Pooley seeing his shot blocked by the advancing Daniel Samways.

Two good Leavesden chances soon followed as Mike Porter and Lucas Halligan both went close. Alex Willerton then fired a long-range effort narrowly over the bar, which was followed by a string of Hews corners as they exerted their first real period of sustained pressure.

The game opened up more after the break with both sides going close, but the destiny of the cup was decided by a penalty nine minutes into the second half when Halligan was adjudged to have been fouled just inside the area. Halligan stepped up himself to fire the kick high to Jack Davies’ right and into the roof of the net.

Davies then made an awful mess of a back pass which ended in an indirect free-kick inside the area which Galvin fired over.

Hews brought on Joe Manfedini for the last 18 minutes and his pace started to cause the Leavesden defence some anxious moments, and the substitute was to spurn his side’s best chance of forcing extra-time.

With three minutes remaining Manfedini rounded Samways, but with the goal gaping he couldn’t make a clean contact with his second touch, and the ball was hacked clear from almost on the goal line by a covering defender and the recovering Samways.

It was Hews’ final chance and to add to the misery they had Andrew Noonan sent off for a second yellow card two minutes into added-on time.

AFC Leavesden: Samways, Ford (Peters 72), Adae-Mensah (Allen 74), Bourke, Woolnough, Clifford, Ogbedor (Gibril 61), Porter (Powell 72), Halligan, Murphy (Riddick 61), Galvin.

Hews: Davies, Gilmaney, Noonan, Brown, Kilbane, Beumont (Kelly 45), Pooley, Doran (Herbert 78), Willerton (Manfedini 72), Dunn, Finn. Subs not used: Heard, Preston.