TWO sweet strikes from striker Courtney Allette earned Bay Athletic a 2-1 win in extra time in the Hoyle Cup final as they put paid to Aimbry FC’s dreams of a league and cup double.
In a tight and at times scrappy affair at the Galpharm Stadium, it was the finishing of Allette that proved decisive – though only the Bay striker will know how he did not walk away with the matchball after spurning a superb chance to complete his hat trick.
There was little to choose between the sides in the first 45 minutes, though Aimbry striker Jordan Ellis took too long to settle and his shot was blocked as he had the best chance of the opening 20 minutes.
However, on 22 minutes it was the Works League table-toppers who went ahead with Craig Reid firing home for Aimbry from the penalty spot after Bay’s McKennedy Taylor had needlessly handled the ball in the area.
Bay were level within two minutes when Allette latched on to a through ball and he lashed in the reply in some style.
The second half saw the tide turn Aimbry’s way and Bay keeper Chris Hickman did well to deny John Tarazi as he charged into the penalty area, and then excelled again to turn away a powerful header from Lee Orton.
But Bay weathered the storm and in the dying minutes could have wrapped up victory when an Allette raid led to Aimbry keeper Chris Dennis rushing a clearance, but Craig Burns’ attempt to find an open goal from distance bounced inches wide of the target.
The extra time period belonged to Bay as they steadily built pressure as their rivals began to fade.
Allette and Chris Adams both went close in the first added period, but on 107 minutes Allette dealt the killer blow as he latched on to Burns’ through ball and again lashed a shot into the roof of the net.
Six minutes later Adams played in Allette but, with only the keeper to beat, the striker spurned his hat trick chance by pulling his shot wide from eight yards.
With two minutes remaining the striker escaped again and was set to run in on goal only for Chris Green to bring him down – the Athletic player was fortunate that the card he was shown was yellow rather than the red that the challenge seemed to beg for.
Aimbry FC: Dennis, Thorpe, Wood, Dave Ginty, Whitehead, Orton (A Kelly 97 mins), Fox (Dan Ginty 70 mins), Tarazi, Ellis, Reid, T Kelly (Beevers 112 mins). Sub (not used): Earnshaw.
Bay Athletic: Hickman, Tindall (Humphreys 116 mins), D Burns, Green, Preiditis, Adams, Taylor (Bisywiesengo 59 mins), C Burns, Chadwick, Allette, Duffy (Dean 68 mins). Subs (not used): Chance, Wood.
Referee: John Connelly