HEYWOOD Irish Centre snatched a last-minute victory in the Rollinson Cup final, beating Lindley WMC 3-2 at Laund Hill.
Division II Lindley battled back from two goals down but substitute Darren Henighan scored late on to kill their hopes of pulling off a cup final upset.
Lindley had their chances, especially Brighton Mugadza who hit the crossbar with a first-half penalty.
Left-back John Higgins put Division I Heywood ahead at the end of the first-half, when he steered the ball into an empty goal after the cross evaded everyone in the penalty area.
It was harsh on Lindley, but they were to go two down on the hour when they failed to clear Steve Perrin’s free-kick and Nick Jaggar turned it in.
Referee Brian Whitaker awarded Lindley another penalty after Marlon Adams burst through the defence only to be felled by goalkeeper Kevin Ashe. Lindley manager Martin Byrne was incensed Whitaker didn’t send Ashe off, as he was the last line of defence.
Mugadza handed over penalty-taking duties to Graham McLachlan who made no mistake.
Lindley’s equaliser came when Mugadza’s pass freed McLachlan on the right who crossed for Freddie McGillvary to head home.
The match seemed to be heading towards extra-time, until Henighan sent his shot past goalkeeper Richard Cowie’s to give Heywood victory in the cup for only the second time in their history.
Lindley will have a chance for revenge when these two sides meet again in the District Sunday FA Cup final.
Lindley WMC – Cowie, Heath, Stocker (Mitchell 56), Buckley, C.Green, Mugadza, B.Green, McLachlan, Adams (Carr 71), Jones (Meadows 69), McGilvary. Subs (not used) Allette, Smith. Goals – McLachlan (pen) 63, McGilvary 67
Heywood Irish Centre – Ashe, Brown, Higgins, Williams, N.Jaggar, M.Jaggar (Henighan 75), Perrin, Quinn, A.Flynn, Tattersley, Bell. Subs (not used) D.Keady, JP Flynn, C.Keady, Waller. Goals – Higgins 44, N.Jaggar 60, Henighan 89
Referee – Brian Whitaker.