Rovers lift cup after thriller
Thursday, 10th May 2001.
A WINNING goal from Haverhill Rovers striker Paul Jenkin just six minutes from the end of extra-time gave the King the silver.
When John King took over as owner of the Suffolk side in December, he dreamed of bringing trophies to Hamlet Croft, although even this eternal optimist might not have imagined it would have happened so soon. They beat Needham Market 2-1 to lift the trohpy.
Even Rovers boss Paul Goodman, in his first season in charge at the club, was so convinced this tie, held at Bury Town FC yesterday, was going to spot kicks, that just before his side scored he sent on midfielder James Duke from the bench, one of his five recognised penalty-takers.
"It was tremendous," said Goodman. "He (Jenkin) kept his head. He has played very well and so did Mark Brandt. To be fair, Needham played some good football and Dave Walton (Haverhill keeper) was in good form.
"It gives the lads a boost. It sends a signal out to everyone. You are judged on winning things and not just getting to finals. The lads deserve so much credit. They have worked so hard. They never shy away from a bit of hard work and it has paid off."
Haverhill got off to an incredible start when Brandt opened the scoring after two minutes. He fired a left-foot shot from 20 yards which went in off the bar.
However, Rovers were then thankful to Walton on 13 minutes as he brilliantly pushed Simon Fryatt's close range shot on to the bar.
Adrian Hunt tested the Needham keeper before ex-Sudbury stopper Walton was again in action, making an excellent save just a minute before half time from a Jason Bixby header.
After the break Neil Hammond's 20-yard shot was saved by the Needham keeper and at the other end Dean Folkard shot wide from a free-kick.
Needham equalised with 19 minutes left. A free-kick caused mayhem in the Rovers penalty area and Chris Smith flicked the ball in from 20 yards despite the desperate efforts of Walton, who pushed the ball into the net off the post.
But the Rovers keeper was once again the saviour on 75 minutes as he touched a fierce close-range header from Fryatt onto the woodwork.
Fryatt then had a header cleared off the line just minutes from time by Graham Jones as Haverhill continued to live dangerously.
With normal time running out Steve Miles volleyed wide of the Haverhill goal, while Jenkin could have snatched it, but side-footed a shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
As both sides tired, extra-time failed to produce many chances until Jenkin made amends for his earlier miss by slotting the ball home after a through ball from Brandt to send the travelling Haverhill fans in the 265 crowd into raptures.
Haverhill: Walton, A Hunt (Green 83), Hammond, Clarke, Brindley, M Hunt, Miles, Jones (Walker 90), Jenkin, Brandt, Cowling (Duke 111).
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