Underdogs ICA Sports emerged victorious from a high-class, nail-biting penalty shoot out to lift the PFA Senior Cup at the ABAX Stadium last night (May 15).
Sixteen successful penalties in a row came to an end when Pinchbeck’s Luke Gardner sent his effort wide of goal. ICA ‘keeper Adam Mills watched that shot sail by a post and then stood up to win the cup for his side with a nerveless penalty.
And it was no more than ICA deserved after creating the better chances in a lively 0-0 draw in 90 minutes.
That was something both managers agreed on. ICA boss Hamish Curtis, a former Posh player who never performed competitively at London Road as a professional, said: “The players were superb from start to finish. My captain Lewis Glover didn’t put a foot wrong, but they all deserve tonight.”
And Pinchbeck manager Ian Dunn added: “We looked tired, but fair play to ICA as they turned up for the game from the start and played very well.”
It wasn’t the farewell to the Peterborough League Pinchbeck expected as they sought their second cup final success in four days, but maybe heavy legs caught up with them on the big Posh pitch. The South Lincs side are expected to receive confirmation of promotion from the Peterborough Premier Division later this month.
ICA had lost three times to this opposition previously this season, but there was never any sign of an inferiority complex.
The city side played the better football and carved out the better chances. Evergreen striker Andy Wayte pushed the first decent opportunity wide of a post and fleet-footed winger Josh Smith, a constant thorn in Pinchbeck’s left side, struck a post with a terrific curling effort, moments after testing Pinchbeck ‘keeper Ben Martin at his near post.
Harley Williams planted a free kick on the roof of the net, but this gifted midfielder also supplied the miss of the night when heading over from six yards in first-half injury time.
Tony Edwards and Liam Ogden came closest for Pinchbeck who improved in the second-half without doing enough to secure the victory. In a frantic final 15 minutes Tyler Wright’s volley appeared to strike goalkeeper Mills in the face, while top scorer Ollie Maltby also spurned a couple of half chances.
But this was to be ICA’s night from the spot with Mills chaired around the pitch by delighted team-mates after securing the win, a second PFA Senior Cup success in four seasons for the club.
ICA Sports: Adam Mills, Dave Kilby, Billy Bennett, Simon Gerrard, Lewis Glover, Stephen Wells, Kane Gilbert, Vadas Macianskis, Nathan Glover, Thomas Curtis, Harley Williams, Conor Pridmore, Josh Smith, Andrew Wayte, Daniel Elvestad, Doran Pjtra.
Pinchbeck: Ben Martin, Brad Murrell, Luke Gardner, James Gordon, Jack Smith, Tom Brooks, Tony Edwards, Nick Bishop, Ollie Maltby, Tyler Wright, Liam Ogden, Callum Lawe, Connor Eyes, Fabio Ramos, Tom Sargeant, Ian Dunn.