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Marcus Edwards penalty seals cup final joy for Eccleshill United
Harrogate Town 0, Eccleshill United 1
The Eagles were soaring over Valley Parade as they upset the odds to beat Conference North high-fliers Harrogate Town to lift the West Riding County Cup.
Eccleshill were straight into the game and tested Town’s keeper early on with a shot from distance. That was proof that the underdogs were not about to roll over and have their tummy tickled just for a day out at a big Football League venue.
Both sides got the ball down and were prepared to play their football on the ground, belying the fact that there was a four-division gap between the clubs.
Eagles forward Drake Trease almost intercepted a square pass along the Town back line as Simon Weaver’s men tried to play themselves into the game. But Harrogate were also pressing forward and forcing openings that meant keeper Brendan Roslund was busy.
The tense final was goalless at the break but a close contest followed a similar pattern in the second half. Chances were created at both ends but the most likely route to either goal seemed to be via a set-piece.
The tie took a turn in Eccleshill’s favour after both sides had used all three of their substitutes. Town’s former Bradford Park Avenue striker Chris Hall, who had come on from the bench, suffered a serious-looking injury and had to be stretchered off, leaving the favourites playing with ten men for the last quarter hour.
Even then Harrogate created half-chances that tested Roslund but in the final minute a ball into the Town area appeared to strike a hand and the referee had no reservations about his decision.
He pointed to the spot and Eagles top scorer Marcus Edwards drilled home the penalty.
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