FOOTBALL: Four sent off but Saints on the spot again to keep trophy

The winning penalty
The winning penalty
  • Spalding Inter-Services Trophy final - Tydd St Mary 1 Long Sutton Athletic 1 (after extra-time; Tydd won 7-6 on penalties)
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An action-packed final saw four red cards and a sudden-death penalty shoot-out.

Tydd St Mary retained the Spalding Inter-Services Trophy as Joshua Slator slotted home from the spot.

Paul Newcombe is sent off

Paul Newcombe is sent off

This was always going to be a tasty derby – but both teams finished the game with just nine men and Long Sutton Athletic also had their assistant-manager sent off.

Division Two side Tydd St Mary were the underdogs but they started brightly.

Three free-kicks from Paul Newcombe were dealt with by Sutton and the Magpies then came into the game with a good spell of pressure.

The first flashpoint of the match came on 20 minutes. Long Sutton were defending a set-piece when Tydd’s Karl Smith went for a loose ball in the penalty box with a strong challenge on goalkeeper Carl Taylor.

This win shows everyone just how far we have come as club over these past five or six years.

Dan Monaghan

Taylor reacted badly, hit Smith with a punch and was duly dismissed by referee Simon Bell. Smith was also cautioned for the tackle.

The Saints should have taken advantage of the extra man but the Magpies created good chances.

The next flashpoint came with just two minutes left of the first half when Smith was deemed to have unfairly body-checked Matt Oliver and was given his second yellow card.

Some good saves at both ends and solid defending saw the stalemate extend into extra-time.

Celebrations for Tydd St Mary

Celebrations for Tydd St Mary

With 275 fans inside Carter’s Park, Sutton took the lead within two minutes of the re-start when skipper Billy Oliver gave David Cooper no chance.

The next flashpoint came in the 10th minute of extra-time when a strong challenge by Newcombe on Matt Cawthorn saw him receive a straight red. Cawthorn retaliated and was dismissed.

Long Sutton assistant-boss Kevin Rumsey was sent to the stands for verbally abusing the referee.

The second period of extra-time saw Sutton trying to extend their lead.

The first flashpoint of the game

The first flashpoint of the game

But the Saints levelled with three minutes remaining when Daniel Piccaver’s flick-on was collected by Tim Lowe who rounded the keeper to slam in.

The lottery of the penalty shoot-out was won by Tydd St Mary 7-6 and their man of the match Slator scored the decisive kick.

Eight penalties were taken by each team and Cooper saved two as the Saints retained the trophy with their second penalty shoot-out in successive years.

Tydd joint manager Dan Monaghan said: “This win shows everyone just how far we have come as club over these past five or six years.

“We have built, and continue to keep building, a good squad and are looking to keep moving forward in the right direction.”

Joint boss Carl Wilson added: “A great credit goes to these lads. They were, to a man, brilliant.

Captain Will Kirkham lifts the trophy

Captain Will Kirkham lifts the trophy

“I would like to mention one other person at the club who often goes unseen in the background.

“Paul Clarke, who is the first-team coach, has been invaluable to us these past two years and we couldn’t have done a lot of this without him.

“Also, the support for us was tremendous. Thanks to everyone that made the effort. It was much appreciated.”

The Saints now move on to the small task of getting promoted into Division One.

Cawthorn said: “We are highly disappointed with the result as we thought that we deserved more.

“However, it wasn’t our best performance by a long shot.

“We expected Tydd to come out all guns blazing but we dealt with everything they threw at us comfortably.

“Losing on penalties was cruel but that’s the makings of a final.

“The neutrals love the underdogs and a final to be decided on penalties.

“With four red cards and numerous bookings, I think that was a little drastic considering it wasn’t a bad tempered game.

“Credit to Tydd and we appreciate all the supporters turning out.”

Tydd St Mary

Tydd St Mary