Crawley Green 2 Kings Langley 1
THERE was heartbreak for Kings Langley in the Molten Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 Cup final as Crawley Green hit a 96th-minute winner to snatch the trophy.
With the scores locked at 1-1 and with extra-time looming, Crawley Green were awarded a free-kick on the left wing, and Chris Gibson guided home the delivery to grab the victory to the dismay of the Kings Langley players and fans.
Two days of continuous rain and high winds on the night meant that the final was never going to be a feast of football, and Kings struggled for creativity after Sam Warrell was ruled out following the warm up.
Crawley started well and their early pressure culminated in two top-class saves from Kings keeper Ross Hampton – in between which Jimmy Armstrong netted while offside.
Kings then put themselves in the driving seat when Craig Lynskey’s low cross was turned in by Armstrong, and although a full-blooded Courtney Massey shot produced another flying save from Hampton, the Langley side looked to be in control until the hour mark.
With 64 minutes on the clock, however, the momentum swung in Green’s favour as they bagged the equaliser.
The lively Massey eluded a tackle, cut inside, and finally beat Hampton after the keeper’s initial block fell kindly for him.
Lynskey broke clear for a one-on-one soon afterwards, but he was flagged offside and denied the chance of regaining the lead for Kings.
And with the game heading for exta-time, disaster struck for Kings as Gibson bagged the late winner to ensure the trophy would be on its way to Crawley Green.