FC TOWN completed a domestic double on Sunday following a nail-biting penalty shoot out against a very good Green Patrol side in the final of the Memorial Cup.
Town who had already beaten Premier Division sides Shamrock, FC Rangers, Hedgehog and North Mymms on the way to the final were red-hot favourites to beat second division champions Green Patrol, and they started the match with a swagger completely dominating the opening stages.
And it came as no surprise when they took the lead after just eight minutes. Olly Arnold’s searching cross found the head of Jack Earnshaw who powered his header into the top corner.
Green Patrol were rocking as their defence struggled to deal with a succession of crosses.
And Town doubled their lead in the 25th minute when DJ Broux was upended in the box and he stepped up to fire home the resultant penalty.
Town were now in complete control with keeper Luke Crane a virtual spectator.
Green Patrol then had to thank their keeper for pulling off two outstanding saves from James Upson and Bruce Tahon as Town went for the jugular.
But Green Patrol were given an unlikely lifeline a minute before half-time when Town failed to clear a corner and as the ball was clipped back into the area a Green Patrol forward found himself unmarked at the far post to head home.
This seemed to inspire Green Patrol as they looked a different outfit in the second half taking the game to Town and causing them some anxious moments.
But Town still managed to carve out good chances to wrap the game up with Earnshaw and Broux both going close, and just when it looked as though Town were going to hang on for the win Green Patrol snatched the equaliser with 10 minutes to go following slack marking in the Town defence to send the game into extra-time.
Town keeper Crane then had to be withdrawn following an ankle injury and Sean Sawyer donned the gloves.
Patrol were now visibly tiring as Town began to get back on top and at times their goal led a charmed life.
Following a bursting run from Upson, Steve Miller had the simplest of chances to win the game, but his close range shot was too soft allowing the Green Patrol keeper to make a stunning save.
Upson then beat the keeper to a 50-50 ball but with the goal gaping a Green Patrol defender made a brilliant clearance to keep their hopes alive and send the game into a penalty shoot out.
Green Patrol took first blood and when Sawyer missed his spot-kick the tide turned in Green Patrol’s favour.
But Sawyer made amends with two penalty saves as the penalties went to sudden death.
Grant Macaree saw his penalty crash down from the underside of the bar to cross the line to level things up and then nerves got the better of the Green Patrol player who blasted his kick over the bar.
Bruce Tahon then stepped up and kept his nerve to slot home the winning penalty to give Town the double in their first season with the County Cup Final still to come this Sunday.