Martyn Jenkinson’s late header grabbed a 1-0 win for Filey Town Reserves in Monday night’s keenly-contested Scarborough & District FA Junior Cup final against Newlands Park Reserves at a chilly Queensgate.
Just when it looked as if this very tight cup final was going to be decided by a penalty shoot-out, giant striker Jenkinson connected with an inch-perfect free-kick from the right flank by central midfielder David Brannan Jnr in the 79th minute to snatch victory for the Scarborough News Saturday League second division champions.
Filey’s player-boss Lee Cappleman, a former Newlands player, admitted after the final that his side had not been at their best.
“I cannot ask for a better first season as manager to win the title and a cup final.
“We had to graft for that win, I thought that our keeper Jonny Hunter and midfielder Tom Haxby stood out for us but all the lads did their bit.”
He added:“The first 30 minutes or so was very poor by us and they put plenty of effort in but we just started to get into the game just before half-time and I believe we were playing the better football in the second half.”
The early chances all fell to a Newlands Reserves side led by right-winger Sam Chambers, who had an outstanding first half-hour, causing the Town defence all sorts of problems with his pace and close ball-control.
Jonny Hunter had to make a fine save from an early Newlands free-kick, then Chambers and Stefan Moon both had efforts blocked by the Town keeper in the eighth minute.
Chambers then raced through again only two minutes later and his low shot was claimed by Hunter.
A Chris Mann free-kick was then kept out by Hunter in the 16th minute and less than 60 seconds later another Chambers effort was again saved by the keeper.
Midfielder James Tadman headed over when well-placed from a corner in the 28th minute, but shortly after this chance the champions began to get a foothold in the game and started to string a few passes together after a nervy opening 3o minutes.
But Newlands should have opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time when great skill from Drew McCoubrey saw him beat centre-back Max Gage to the ball and he headed for goal but took the ball too far wide and hit the side-netting from a tight angle just as the Newlands fans prepared to celebrate the opening goal.
The Newlands management team of Joe Hakings and Dougie McGregor must have feared the worst heading into the changing rooms at half-time, after creating so many chances but failing to finish them off.
Town made a strong start to the second half as striker Joe Gage’s shot was gathered at the second attempt by Newlands keeper Will Rowley.
Cappleman, who had been pushed up to a more attacking role after the interval, was then booked for a strong challenge in the 50th minute and a minute later Newlands centre-back Jordan Mintoft headed over from a free-kick.
Max Gage then followed Cappleman into George Roberts’ book for a high foot against Tadman, but McCoubrey’s free-kick was charged down and his second attempt was wide of the mark.
A fine run and pass from Joe Gage then set up fellow forward Jordan Powell, but he shot over the bar just after the hour mark.
Tadman then became the latest player to be booked for failing to retreat the full 10 yards for free-kick in the 71st minute.
Rowley then pulled off a fine save to deny Cappleman after he had raced through the Newlands defence, and with Jenkinson bearing down on goal for the rebound, left-back Hughie Brown made a great diving tackle to deny the striker.
With 11 minutes remaining, Brannan fired a cracking free-kick into the penalty area from the halfway line, tight to the touchline in front of the dug-outs, and Jenkinson headed in at the far post to finally beat Will Rowley.
Haxby could have made it 2-0 with a speculative 35-yard free-kick which the Newlands keeper did well to tip wide for a corner in the 83rd minute.
Newlands piled forward looking for a leveller but the Town defence finished the game a lot stronger than they started it and they managed to maintain their lead, the Filey player celebrating at the final whistle and the Newlands players trudged off regretting the missed chances of the opening 45 minutes.
Hunter was the pick of the Town players, as without his saves they would have been at least two or three goals down at the break and out of contention, while Haxby also played well after a shaky first half-hour.
For Newlands, youngster Sam Chambers started well but faded, and left-winger Brad Rowley had a very strong second half, showing some great touches and plenty of eagerness to put the tackles in.
Filey Town Reserves: Jonny Hunter, Nathan Robson, Max Gage, Ryan Baldry, Billy Coyne, Tom Haxby (captain), David Brannan Jnr, Lee Cappleman, Jordan Powell (Dan Kempson 81 mins), Martyn Jenkinson, Joe Gage. Sub not used: Scott Sheldon.
Newlands Reserves: Will Rowley, Chris Mann, Jordan Mintoft, Gary Lumbis, Hughie Brown, Sam Chambers, Stefan Moon, James Tadman, Brad Rowley, Drew McCoubrey, Stew Bates. Subs not used: Lewis Weller, Lewis Coultas, Gary Jordan.