ECB 3 Birkenhead United 5 AET played 16/07/2016 at Bays City Park

One of the best Chatham Cup ties seen for some time. Deadlocked 1-1 at the end of normal time, an incredible six goals were scored in the extra time period with the final strike coming in the last minute.


Conditions weren’t the best, a bitterly cold day, frequently interrupted by rain squalls, made life unpleasant for players and spectators. But both teams tried to play football and the game surged from end to end.


Birkenhead had the first strike after four minutes with Alex Carr saving from Godwin Darkwa. Three minutes later, Andrew Mobberley got on the end of a Judd Baker cross, only to put is shot wide.


Tommy Damon headed off the line to deny Birkenhead, but the visitors opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Godwin Darkwa was first to a cross from Tom Boss and steered the ball past Carr. The same player had a great chance to double the score several minutes later after Carr had beaten away an Ethan Galbraith cross, but his strike was wide.


Birkenhead were dominating possession and just past the half hour Damon again headed off the line from a corner but neither team was able to breach the other’s defence and halftime came with Birkenhead leading.


The second half was end to end. A Birkenehead corner was cleared off the line and Baker headed wide from a Bays corner.


After much back and forth, Bays were awarded a free kick.  Dylan Stansfield put the ball right into the goalmouth and Jordan Carter got the ball over the line to Blevel the score.


It was all on. Roussin Nkoy shot wide, Dan Morgan saw his free kick headed wide, Stansfield headed wide from a corner, Carr saved a Galbraith strike and Joe  Bresnahan headed against the crossbar from a corner in the final minutes.


So it went to extra time and the floodgates opened. In the 96th minute, David Parkinson scrambled the ball home from a corner kick. Two minutes later another Birkenhead foray saw Bresnahan clear the ball off the line only for Galbraith to get the ball and hammer it into the net. Two minutes later, Birkenhead won a free kick and Tom Davis ghosted in unmarked to slide the ball home.


Down 4-1, Bays hit back when Stansfield broke through the Birkenhead defence, giving Damian Hirst no chance.


Teams changed ends for the final fifteen minutes and the battle continued as the clock wound down. Five minutes to go, a Bays attack and Baker stabbed the ball

over the line to make it 4-3.


Birkenhead supporters were worried as Bays surged forward looking for equaliser to send the game to penalties. With just a minute of normal time remaining and Bays surging forward for that elusive goal, Birkenhead managed to clear the ball, it found Nkoy, unmarked, and he was able  to place the ball beyond an advancing Carr, making the game safe for Birkenhead.


Disappointment for Bays, but a great game, with credit to both teams for their efforts.


Team:  Carr, Carter, Kolston, Bresnahan, White, Damon (Peat  100), McKeown, McMinn (Archer 109),  Mobberley (Kadiya 65), Stansfield, Baker


Goals:  Carter 67, Stansfield 103, Baker 115


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