Pier suffer penalty heartache against Falcons in county final

West Pier, who lost in their NRCFA Saturday Challenge Cup final against Thirsk Falcons on penalties at Stokesley
West Pier, who lost in their NRCFA Saturday Challenge Cup final against Thirsk Falcons on penalties at Stokesley

Andrew Spivey’s West Pier side suffered a devastating penalty shoot-out defeat against Thirsk Falcons after drawing 2-2 in their NRCFA Saturday Challenge Cup Final at Stokesley this evening.

THIRSK FALCONS 2 (Stu Rose 2) WEST PIER 2 (Paul Provins, Gary Thomas)

West Pier suffered defeat in their NRCFA Saturday Challenge Cup this evening after Thirsk Falcons held their nerve from the spot to seal a 4-2 shoot-out success.

Against a side who were big favourites going into the clash following three visits to the showpiece final in the last four seasons, Pier started brightly and almost took the lead when Mikey Barker found space on the edge of the area, but he saw his precise left-footed effort bounce clear off the bar.

Pier didn’t have to wait much longer to strike first when Paul Provins ghosted in behind the Falcons defence from a long Mikey Barker throw-in and headed in unmarked.

Although Pier were still on top, Falcons looked very dangerous on the counter-attack with strikers Stu Rose and Daniel McCalmont looking very threatening.

And it was Rose who levelled matters up when he latched onto a through-ball and took his shot early, smashing into the bottom corner past Jon Hyde in the Pier goal to make it 1-1.

Rose, who was clearly the danger man for Falcons, put his side in front for the first time in the contest when he latched onto a ball over the top and finished neatly past Hyde for 2-1.

But their lead didn’t last long as Pier almost immediately pegged them back, Gary Thomas delicately chipping Falcons stopper Mark Karvounis.

Both sides had further chances to net before the break, but neither could find the target and the score remained at 2-2 at the interval.

Falcons were immediately on the front foot after the break, pressing higher up the pitch and giving Pier little time to get the ball down.

Pier struggled for the opening 20 minutes of the second half with Falcons dominating and they should have fallen behind again when the ball fell to Ryan McKendry, but the Falcons man fluffed his lines and Pier were given a huge let off.

Neither side really looked to have that incisive edge as Pier skipper Sam Hyde kept a close eye on Falcons’ danger man Rose, and the final whistle resulted in the game heading straight to the penalty spot.

Thirsk scored their first pen, and they led when Provins’ effort was comfortably saved by Karvounis.

Falcons netted their second, and it looked to be game over when Karvounis produced a stunning fingertip save to somehow push James Wardle’s pen onto the post.

Jon Hyde had other ideas and guessed right, saving Thirsk’s next effort, before late sub Mark Oldroyd fired in to make it 2-1.

Thirsk bagged their next kick, as did Pier’s Gary Thomas, who slammed his spot kick into the roof of the net, meaning Rose had to score to give Falcons the silverware, which he did.

WEST PIER: Hyde, Wardle, Hyde, Sheader, Tucker (A Sheader), Cooper (Oldroyd), Thomas, Crawford (Jenkinson), M Barker, T Barker, Provins. Unused subs: Hartnett, K Spivey