Dalton Dynamoes 2
North Gawber 0
(Under 15 Cup semi-final a.e.t)
PREVIOUSLY unbeaten Dalton Dynamoes left it very late to seal their place in the Under 15 Cup final.
Opponents North Gawber were determined to spoil Dalton’s league and cup double challenge and could have been beyond reach by the end of normal time – if they had made the best of several clear-cut chances.
Both sides produced some excellent football throughout but, although Dalton posed a constant threat, defenders Jake Bedford, Josh Vamplew and Jack Lally held their ground and the neither side were able to break the deadlock by half time.
The second half went much the same way but North Gawber squandered two glorious opportunities to settle the issue.
Having beaten two defenders and rounded the keeper, Jamie Thornton contrived to fire over from six yards, albeit from a tight angle.
Five minutes later, having flicked the ball past onrushing keeper Luke Connor, Thornton held his head in anguish as his shot flew the wrong side of an upright.
Dalton were clearly rocking at this point but Daniel Lockwood, Oliver Scott and Carl David began to regain control and by the end of normal time the game was still locked in stalemate.
Despite an all out Dalton assault with a series of crosses and corners, North Gawber looked to have weathered the storm but, with a penalty shoot-out just five minutes away, a moment of brilliance changed the outcome of the game.
Having tried everything in the book, Brandon Smith smashed a superb half volley from 20 yards which looped over the keeper and just under the North Gawber bar.
Having almost won the game earlier, North Gawber were not out of it yet and, once more took the game to the other end, but their efforts to find an equaliser so late in the game left them seriously exposed and, when a long pass found Joe Dunstan, the Dynamoes striker sealed the victory with a deft flick over keeper Harry Totty, who was trying to make the block.
Dalton now face a final meeting with Gildersome, who are also unbeaten but, being from the Third Division, will give Dalton a new challenge.
It promises to be an intriguing final.