Toolstation NCEL League Cup Final
ar Bramall Lane, home of Sheffield United FC
Bridlington Town (0) 1
Jake Day 85
Penistone Church (2) 4
Scott Whittington 28
Brett Lovell 41
Andrew Ring 56
Daniel Barlow 68
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 485
Brid had picked up half a dozen of their cup final team up outside the Queens in Maltby en route to Bramall Lane.
Given their lack of sharpness at times tonight, a cynical onlooker might have questioned whether they had partaken in a few pre-match beverages while they were there, to steady their nerves.
Newly promoted Church, who stepped up the the NCEL Premier Division despite finishing sixth in the table, courtesy of two against the odds away wins in the play offs at AFC Emley and Grimsby Borough, made a mockery of their underdogs tag tonight as they swept to victory against a Seasiders side who didn't really demonstrate anything like the kind of form that saw them finish the season in third place, behind Pickering Town and the promoted champions Cleethorpes Town.
Curtis Woodhouse's side initially started the game in a lively fashion, but their defeat wasn't down to the fact that they faded and were off the pace as the game went on, because Penistone stuck doggedly to their task and thoroughly deserved this win, as they swept into a four nil win, orchestrated by their manager Ian Richards.
Brett Agnew almost put Bridlington ahead, when his shot cannoned back off of the upright, while Joel Sutton was also showing his teeth too the Church defence, but having absorbed some early pressure, Penistone quickly adapted to a shape that would both snub out Brid's threat, while putting the clear favourites on the back foot and set about taking the game to them.
Nick Baxter got nowhere near Danny Barlow's free kick, as the former Shaw Lane player hit the post.
Scott Whittington opened the scoring, having outpaced Alex Knaggs before placing the ball past Baxter and Brett Lovell planted a firm header underneath the Brid crossbar to double the Church's lead before half time, from a Penistone corner.
I would tell you who took the corner, if I could have made out his shirt number. Because although Bramall Lane is a fine stadium and a very prestigious venue for the NCEL to stage their league cup final at, from my perch right at the back of the South Stand, the view was akin to watching a Subbuteo match through your next door neighbours net curtains at time.
HT: Brid 0 v Church 2
Brid picked up slightly straight from the restart, but Adam Rhodes denied Sutton and the Seasiders saw the game slipping further away from them, when Whittington muscled his way into the right hand side of their area, before laying the ball sideways to Andy Ring, whose shot on the turn mad it three nil.
In the sixty eighth minute, Barlow squeezed the ball in from a tight angle and Brid were on the canvas.
Out for the count.
Penistone had already done the required amount of damage to win the cup now and the late goal by Jake Day was never likely to spark any kind of revival or comeback back as his team were well beaten on the night, by a side whose form has peaked at exactly the right time, with three famous victories in a row, that even the most ardent and optimistic members of their noisy band of supporters would've even dared to have dream of.
FT: Bridlington Town 1 v Penistone Church 4
Congratulations to Penistone Church on their achievements this season, they'll make a great addition to the NCEL Premier Division next year.