Doodson Sport League Challenge Cup Final
North Ferriby United 1 Curzon Ashton 1
NFU won 2-1 on penalties after extra time
ANTONI Pecora was the hero for North Ferriby United as the Villagers retained the Doodson Sport Cup after extra time and penalties.
Pecora saved four of Curzon's five penalties before 17-year-old substitute Rhuanduca Ombeni confidenty stroked home the winning penalty to give Ferriby a 2-1 win in one of the most dramatic shoot-outs seen in football.
The first six penalties were all excellently saved by Pecora and Curzon's Joshua Ollerenshaw. Ryan Williams and Ombeni scored their penalties to secure a dramatic win for Ferriby who became only the third side to retain the trophy.
Ferriby were slow out of the blocks as Curzon Ashton looked to spoil the Villagers' hopes of their league and cup treble.
Billy Heath's side were caught by a sucker punch from the game's first corner. From the right hand side, Samuel Walker's perfect delivery was dispatched powerfully by Kristian Dennis before goalkeeper Antoni Pecora could react.
It wasn't the start Ferriby had hoped for as manager Billy Heath kept faith with the members of his squad that got the Villagers to their second successive Doodson Cup final. In fact, Heath made seven changes to the side that started the 3-1 win at Marine on Saturday to keep their place at the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Another Walker corner caused mayhem in the Ferriby defence with Chris McDonagh's header almost dipping under the bar at the back post.
It took Ferriby 20 minutes to assert themselves in the game and it was their all-time leading goalscorer who dug them out of the hole they found themselves in.
Bradshaw collected a low pass from Ryan Williams and with nothing else and with his back to the Curzon goal, he flicked the ball up for an overhead kick that left Joshua Ollerenshaw rooted to his line. It was another moment of brilliance from Bradshaw and just what Ferriby needed.
Danny Clarke saw a goal-bound shot deflected for a corner that Ryan Williams fired to the far post. Mark Gray rose to head back toward Bradshaw but this time his overhead kick looped just over the bar.
Bradshaw went close again following a smart move between Russ Fry and Williams.
Curzon again troubled Ferriby's defence with Dennis setting up McDonagh for a shooting opportunity which he blazed over the bar.
It was a let off for the Villagers who lost Paul Foot a minute before the interval with a hamstring injury.
Curzon had the better of the opening exchanges after half-time with McDonagh going close before Mark Gray glanced a header narrowly wide.
Danny Clarke fired high over the bar from six yards out. Ryan Williams tried his luck with a superb 25 yard volley only to see Ollerenshaw save well.
Ferriby felt they should have had a penalty after 65 minutes. Ferriby raced on to a through-ball and appeared to be brought down by Ollerenshaw as he went round the keeper. The referee thought otherwise much to Bradshaw's chagrin.
Scott Metcalfe fired a 25-yard drive just wide as Curzon responded. Bradshaw then curled a 22 yard-free-kick just past the top corner.
With extra time looming, Dennis missed the best chance to end the game in regulation time but he curled his shot wide of Pecora.
Extra time began with Jason Stokes and Bradshaw going close for The Villagers.
Clarke came close to giving Ferriby the lead but his volley dipped too late and clipped the top of the bar.
Dennis missed the final chance of the game for Curzon to avoid a penalty shoot-out when he fired wide when through on goal in the 119th minute.
After the first six penalties were all saved, Ferriby eventually won the shoot-out 2-1 to make sure the Doodson Cup remained in their trophy cabinet for another 12 months.
Ferriby deserved the win. They played the better football for much of the game despite playing a much-changed line-up that took some time to settle. Curzon may reflect on their missed chances but other than breaks on the long ball and crosses from set-pieces they rarely threatened Ferriby.
Heath was delighted with his team's win, "It's great to have retained the trophy. Once again, we've shown that we have young players who are capable of performing at first team level. It was a good team performance and we played the better football on the night."
All being well, another two trophies will be joining it there with the East Riding FA Senior Cup and the Evo-Stik Premier Division title.
NFU: Antoni Pecora, Louis Bruce, Steve Ridley,Russell Fry (Liam King 76), Paul Foot (Sam Belcher 45), Mark Gray, Jason Stokes, Louis Kirk, Danny Clarke, Gary Bradshaw (Ruhandulca Ombeni (105). Subs not used: Tim Taylor, Adam Nicklin
Curzon Ashton: Joshua Ollerenshaw, Simon Woodford, Scott Metcalfe, Jonathan Hunt, Andrew Watson, Paul booth, Samuel walker, Chris McDonagh, Kristian dennis, matthew Kay. Non-playing subs: Matthew Purcell, Lee Blackshaw, Simon Lakeland, Connor Hampson, Matthew Green