Pier punish Rovers in extra-time to lift League Trophy

West Pier Reserves beat Itis Itis Rovers 4-0 after extra-time to lift the League Trophy at Pickering Town's Mill Lane ground tonight, striker Zac Hansen smashing in a superb hat-trick.

Thursday, 26th April 2018, 10:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th April 2018, 11:06 pm
West Pier Reserves celebrate winning the League Trophy

Both sides created chances, with Rovers dominating the ball and Pier looking to hit them on the counter with Hansen and Rich Tolliday looking dangerous.

Pier went close twice in quick succession, first a header was cleared off the line before another hit the bar, while Rovers' player-boss Mikey Barker also rattled the Pier bar at the other end.

Player-boss Johnny McGough then went close to edging his side ahead, but Rovers keeper Callum Myers saved smartly.

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Rovers were unlucky not to go ahead when Sam Pickard smashed a sensational volley from 25 yards out goalwards, only to see it come back off the bar and away to safety and scores were deadlocked at 0-0 at half-time.

It was all Rovers in the early stages of the second half, but young Pier keeper Brad Atkinson was in fine form for McGough's side, saving a free-kick from Barker, a drive from Liam Vasey and Sean Bloom to maintain his clean sheet.

Atkinson wasn't the only keeper impressing, Myers making a stunning reaction save to deny Hansen a goal.

A superb last-ditch saving tackle from Neil Forsyth, who impressed throughout for Division Two champions Rovers, saved a certain goal for Pier on a rare raid forward.

Rovers kept pressing the issue, but Pier's experienced defence manfully headed, blocked and cleared their lines to keep them at bay, including a last-gasp block on the line to deny Rovers what would've been a dramatic win.

The sides were still locked at the 90-minute mark and the game went to extra-time.

Super-sub Dave Wedge got the decisive first goal as he slammed in a bullet header at the back post after Mikey Anderson's deep free-kick to the back post.

Two more saves from Atkinson kept Rovers at bay before Pier grabbed a second goal to stun Rovers.

Tolliday, who was dangerous all night on Pier's right flank, beat his man on the half-way line and whipped a superb ball across to Hansen, who wriggled free of his marker and smashed into the bottom corner to double his side's advantage.

Hansen was now brimming with confidence and after half-time, he showed his clinical edge as he outmuscled his marker and lashed a ferocious strike into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

The striker then showed his strength and finishing prowess again moments later, barging his way past his marker and slamming past the helpless Myers in the Rovers net to seal a stunning 4-0 success for Johnny McGough's side.

SN Man of the Match: Zac Hansen - turned the game on its head with his hat-trick in extra-time. Closely run by keeper Atkinson, Tolliday and Rovers' Forsyth, who was solid at the back for his side.