Photos by Clive Lawrence: www.clivelawrencephotography.co.uk
ASHTON ATHLETIC 2-1 RADCLIFFE BOROUGH
Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy final
Tuesday 4th April, Macron Stadium
Goals: Jack Hindle (58), Danny Smith (69), Lee Vaughan (90+)
Congratulations to Ashton Athletic, who beat Radcliffe Borough 2-1 to lift the Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy final for the first time in their history!
The underdogs from the Hallmark Security League Premier Division came from behind and defeated their Evo-Stik Division One North opponents via a stoppage-time winner.
Below you'll find a full match report, video interviews with both managers and a bumper Match Story made up of all the social media posts from the evening.
Report by Christopher Stott
History was made last night as a stoppage-time winner from substitute Lee Vaughan saw Ashton Athletic triumph in their first Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy final appearance.
A defensive error by Radcliffe proved to be crucial as goalkeeper Martin Pearson’s long kick forward fell to Vaughan, who fired into the top corner to send the Ashton fans into raptures!
It was a game that was tightly contested throughout, with both sides having spells of dominance. The first half was low on clear cut chances, but those that did come were mainly created by Radcliffe.
Jack Hindle stung the palms of Pearson in the Ashton goal early on, before Daniel Burns couldn’t meet a teasing delivery when it seemed any touch would lead to a goal.
Ashton had spells of possession in the Radcliffe half without causing any problems for Borough ‘keeper Ciaran O’Loughlin.
His opposite number Pearson was called upon once more before the break as Elliot Rokka’s drive from the edge of the area was helped over the crossbar.
After half time, it was more of the same in the early stages as both sides looked to assert their dominance. They shared a chance each with Rokka and Luke Holden coming close.
But it was Radcliffe who eventually opened the scoring just before the hour mark.
A short corner was well-worked to free Timmy Raheem about five yards outside the box. His low driven effort could only be parried by Pearson, and Hindle pounced to give Borough the lead.
The Yellows responded well to going a goal behind and soon came close to drawing level; Matthew Farnworth floated in a superb cross towards the back post, and Daniel Regan met it but couldn’t divert it home with his head.
But this didn’t stop Ashton, and they soon got what their play deserved.
Marcus Cusani picked the ball up on the half turn and slipped in Joel Brownhill just inside the area. The number 9 then fed Daniel Smith in the centre of the goal who, under pressure, controlled the ball with his right foot and coolly slotted it into the far corner with his left.
Both sides pushed for a decisive goal to edge the contest in their favour as five minutes from time, Hindle dipped a wicked free kick just over the top of the bar for Radcliffe, brushing the netting on its way.
But then came the most dramatic of winning goals.
Pearson’s punt down field in the 91st minute was flicked on by an Ashton head which wrong footed Radcliffe’s Darren Torpey.
This allowed Vaughan, who had only been on the field a little over 10 minutes, to sneak in and score arguably the biggest goal in his club’s history.
ASHTON ATHLETIC: Pearson, Cringle, Holden, Wilson, Bailey (Cusani, 55), Webster (Farnworth, 51), Watson (c), Brownhill (Vaughan, 80), Smith, Regan
Subs not used: Jones, Collins
RADCLIFFE BOROUGH: O'Loughlin, Ahmed, Fitton (Zhekov, 76), Nalatche (c), Kpohomou, Torpey, Burns (Ready, 76), Raheem, Reilly, Hindle, Rokka
Subs not used: Eiselt, Mbolokele, Hallam
Social Media Match Story