Bingham-Cox Cup final delight for AFC Hatfield
PUBLISHED: 17:45 05 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:45 05 May 2015
AFC Hatfield became the first Hatfield team in 21 years to lift the Bingham-Cox Cup when they beat Sandridge Rovers Reserves 1-0 at St Albans City’s Clarence Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Bingham-Cox Cup is one of the oldest non-league cup competitions having been continually played for since 1892 apart from a break because of the First World War and two seasons when there was no competition.
After a tentative start by both sides, Sandridge created the first scoring opportunity when Stuart Love let fly from outside the penalty area but Hatfield keeper Ben Bateman was equal to it.
Chances were not plentiful for either side in the first period but five minutes later James Bailey had Hatfield’s first attempt on goal which was wide of the post.
Twenty minutes into the game Ben Ramsey missed a glorious opportunity to put Sandridge ahead but blazed over the bar.
AFC stepped it up in the second quarter of the game and nearly went one up when Akbar Gambari headed just wide and on the half-hour a through ball from Chris Harris to Ross Davidson saw the Hatfield full back charge forward and unleash a vicious strike which Sandridge keeper Luke Searing kept out.
An injury to Bateman in an accidental collision with a Sandridge player saw a delay in play, but he was alright to continue.
Hatfield got off to a great start to the second half.
Just four minutes in the ball bounced around the Sandridge penalty area following a long throw from Chris Harris and Bailey got the faintest of touches to send the ball into the net.
The second half continued to be an even affair, but Hatfield had two good chances to increase their lead on the hour but Stefan Saywell shot wide and a Bailey free-kick fell straight into the arms of keeper Searing.
Hatfield were forced to make two substitutions 20 minutes into the second half when a head injury to Gambari saw him replaced up front by Luke Webster and Mervyn Mauri came on for an injured Nathan Bowden.
Webster had a great opportunity to put the game beyond doubt but headed wide and a long shot from Paul Otim found its way on to the roof of the net.
Sandridge hit the bar with a free-kick near the end, but Hatfield saw out the game and won their first ever trophy since they were formed in 2008.
The Man of the Match award sponsored by The Galleria was given to centre back Henry Otomi.
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