Northamptonshire Sunday Vase Final.
Tuesday 11th May '04
Golden Horse
2

C. Wixon
A. Kirby
Vs
2
Kings Heath United
    Josh Urquhart
Julian Anger

"The Heath became NFA Vase Winners after one of the most action packed and emotional cup finals in years. Olly Urquhart was the hero as he saved the decisive sudden death spot-kick, after brother Josh had dispatched his."


The game started off at a frantic pace, with Heath looking very un-settled. Gaffer Ivey had switched Glenn Billingham to sweeper, while Rob Page slotted in at left-back.
Once the game had settled down into a pattern, it was Heath who looked to have the upper hand (great reference to a poor sitcom). Golden Horse were only looking dangerous from the odd break and Nicky Blenco was doing a superb job in keeping tabs in the tricky Leroy Manning.
Olly Urquhart was called into action, and had to make a fine save to deny Charlie Wixen. Wixen breaking clear but firing his shot straight at Urquhart.
In a game that was so open, in contradictory fashion, clear-cut chances were few and far between. Heath's strike force of Marc Jeffery and Craig Sampson were working tirelessly but being frustrated by the Golden Horse defense.
As the half-time whistle blew, Ivey and his charges had plenty of reason to be confident for the second half.
This was justified as it was all Kings Heath. The football was flowing, and the back line were looking solid and Jeffers was still running at everything. The introduction of Bob Tansley had its usual calming influence, Tansley picking up where the injured Andy Blenco left-off, in orchestrating the play from the middle of the park. As tired legs entered the equation, Heath also lost Craig Sampson through injury. Thus enter Wayne Hamill into the fray.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 77th minute. A long Wayne Hamill throw caused havoc, the ever-reliable Nicky Blenco capped a superb performance by getting a flick on it, and Josh Urquhart was on-hand to smash the ball over the line. This sparked a huge roar from the pretty impressive crowd, and wild celebrations all-round the pitch!
It was short lived though, not long after the goal had gone in, Heath were down on their luck again as defender Lee Morin was carried off the pitch due to an injury. Wayne Lancaster was called into action with 8 minutes left on the clock in an unfamiliar full back position.
As the game was drawing to a close with 2 minutes left to play, Charlie Wixen broke Kings Heath hearts and equalled the scores with a cool finish from a defensive blunder. A clearly shaken and demoralized Heath stumbled into extra-time.
This proved to be a typical cagey affair, but Heath didn't help themselves by pressing the self-destruct button.
Mid-way through the first half of extra time, Wayne Lancaster brought down Leroy Manning and a penalty was awarded. Nicky Blenco received a yellow card as trouble flared after the incident.
The penalty was blasted past Urquhart and Golden Horse found themselves 2-1 up. This was how it looked the scores would stay, everyone could see Kings Heath looked drained, desperate to find another gear that just didn't seem to be there.
Wayne Hamill and Josh Urquhart provided relief and a continued threat from the flanks, but it still looked like the tank was empty, the whole team had given everything they had...
There was more drama to come though, in the 116th minute of the game, Olly Urquhart came up late for a corner and seemed to distract the Golden Horse defence. The ball swung in and with a joint effort from Julian Anger and Nicky Blenco, the ball was glanced into the corner of the net for the equaliser. 2-2!!!
Relieved and elated, the celebrations showed just how much it meant to these boys, as the clock ticked away the last few minutes, the game went to penalties...

Gaffer Ivey remained calm, and this rubbed off on the players.
Marc Jeffery stepped up first, and had the audacity to steer the ball into the bottom corner with the outside of his left foot.
Golden Horse keeper Paul Crick was next, and missed! Advantage Heath.
Next up was the coolness of Glenn Billingham, a side-footed inch perfect kick that crashed in off the stanction.
Ant Kirby then scored for Horse, Wayne Hamills kick was then saved by Paul Crick and after 3 pens the scored were 2-2.
Bobby Tansley and Matty Newton did the business, while Chris Kirby and Charlie Wixen did likewise for Horse.
After five penalties each, it was 4-4.
Julian Anger then took the shoot-out into sudden death, and scored.
Horses' Bob Jarvis also netted to restore parity.
The wise, old head on the young shoulders of Josh Urquhart was next up, and Urquhart smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Brother Olly Urquhart then became a hero... The next Horse penalty was kept out with a fantastic save down to his left, and that save meant that Kings Heath United had become the NFA County Cup Champions 2004/05.

MATCH STATISTICS:

GOLDEN HORSE  2  (aet)   2  KINGS HEATH UTD
C.Wixen 88        J.Urquhart 77
A.Kirby 97        J.Anger 116

Penalty takers...
  1. P.Crick        M.Jeffery
  2. A.Kirby        G.Billingham
  3. C.Kirby        W.Hamill
  4. C.Wixen        B.Tansley
  5. C.McAuley        M.Newton
  6. B.Jarvis        J.Anger
  7. P.Cranswick        J.Urquhart

Kings Heath United win the match 6-5 on penalties.

Kings Heath United (4-4-2):
O.Urquhart
R.Page, L.Morin (W.Lancaster), G.Billingham, N.Blenco
J.Urquhart, A.Blenco (B.Tansley), M.Newton, J.Anger
C.Sampson (W.Hamill), M.Jeffery
Venue: Compton Park, Cogenhoe
K.O.: 7:30pm
Match Report by Glenn Billingham
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