Curzon Ashton 1-1 (1-2 on pens) North Ferriby United
By James Grayson (Twitter - @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Goalkeeper Antoni Pecora wrote his name into North Ferriby United folklore after saving four penalties as his side retained the Doodson Sport Cup following a penalty shootout.
Ferriby, who are top of the Evo Stik Premier Division, drew 1-1 with Division One North side Curzon Ashton after extra-time before a 2-1 victory on penalties.
Kristian Dennis had headed Curzon ahead inside the opening two minutes before North Ferriby striker Gary Bradshaw equalised.
Ferriby were then the better team as Curzon were happy to sit back and try and catch the Hull-based side on the counter attack – Dennis wasted two glorious chances in both normal and extra time.
With Ferriby approaching the biggest week in their history, Billy Heath (pictured above) chose to make seven changes from his starting eleven that beat Marine 3-1 on Saturday.
Ferriby need to win both their final two league games to secure promotion to the Conference North so Heath chose to play safe and rest his star players.
And within two minutes of the start, it looked like the Doodson Sport Cup was out of reach.
A corner from the right was met by top scorer Dennis and his powerful header found the net.
Curzon applied further pressure, but were unable to double their advantage and on 20 minutes, Ferriby levelled.
Long-serving striker Bradshaw was allowed time to control the ball in the box – a fatal mistake. The forward went for the overhead kick and delightfully the ball landed in the net.
In the second half, Ryan Williams went close for Ferriby. Dennis broke through on the counter attack for Curzon, but blazed wide.
Curzon, who made no substitutions, seemed tired as the game wore on, but Ferriby couldn’t break through so the game went to penalties.
And even then, the game looked like it was going to go on all night. The first six penalties were saved – Ferriby goalkeeper Pecora (pictured above) and Curzon stopper Josh Ollerenshaw saving three each.
Scott Metcalfe broke the deadlock for Curzon before Williams levelled. McDonagh’s spot kick was then saved so Rhuanduca Ombeni had the chance to win the cup for Ferriby – which he did with ease.
Curzon Ashton: Ollerenshaw, Woodford, Metcalfe, Hunt, A Watson, R Watson, Booth, Walker, McDonagh, Dennis, Kay. Subs unused: Purcell, Blackshaw, Lakeland, Hampson, Green.
North Ferriby United: Pecora, Bruce, Ridley, Fry (King 75), Foot (Belcher 45), Gray, Stokes, Kirk, Clarke, Bradshaw (Ombeni 105), Williams.
Referee: Jonathan Hunt (Liverpool)
Man of the match: Ryan Williams (North Ferriby United)