Gallagher guides Edgehill to League Cup success
Two goals from skipper Joe Gallagher helped Edgehill battle back from a 2-0 deficit and beat West Pier 3-2 in tonight's League Cup final at Pickering Town.
It took Andy Spivey's West Pier side only three minutes to take the lead, Jamie Bradshaw breaking down the left and squaring to Gary Thomas, who was left in acres of space in the box to fire in.
Both sides had shouts for penalties waved away by referee Jimmy Sutherland, who was kept busy throughout a competitive 90 minutes, but neither side created any clear cut chances to add to the scoreline and Pier led 1-0 at the break.
Edgehill started the second half brightly and Luke Jones went close to equalising on two occasions.
First, his effort from the edge of the box was deflected goalwards and Wardman palmed away smartly, before he spurned a glorious opportunity when clean through on goal, lifting his effort against the bar.
They were made to pay for their spurned chances when, against the run of play, Neil Thomas stole the ball from an Edgehill defender and fired a dipping effort into the bottom corner to double Pier's lead.
Both sides tired and look jaded after a hectic schedule in recent weeks, with the game becoming heated and Pier Will Jenkinson and Gallagher both receiving yellow cards after a bout of handbags.
It was skipper Gallagher who gave Edgehill hope minutes later when he headed in from close range to half his side's deficit.
Edgehill were now on top and pushing hard for an equaliser, Gallagher's drive across the six-yard-box evading everyone in the box before Jones missed another decent chance, firing his effort over the bar.
It was therefore no surprise when they equalised, Gallagher wriggling free and firing a low effort on goal that keeper Wardman managed to partially block, but he was unable to stop the ball rolling into the net to make it 2-2.
Pier were again left seething at referee Sutherland when they appealed for a penalty for hand ball and he yet again waved away their protests.
They were left even more rueful with just five minutes left on the clock when a long throw into the box somehow bounced over their defence and sub Aaron Jenking was left unmarked at the back stick to find the bottom corner and seal a dramatic turnaround for his side.
Niall Gibb had one last chance to send the game into extra-time in the dying moments, but his free-kick curled wide of Martin Cappleman's goal and Edgehill hung on to seal League Cup success.
The Steve Coulson Memorial Man of the Match Award was presented to Edgehill winger Jackson Jowett after the game.