Derby cup final settled by penalty-shootout drama

STALEMATE  -- Bulwell's John Manders and Linby defender Matt Peberday tussle during the cup final
STALEMATE -- Bulwell's John Manders and Linby defender Matt Peberday tussle during the cup final

THE EAGERLY-anticipated league-cup final between derby rivals Bulwell and Linby Colliery Welfare went right down to the wire with the destination of the trophy decided by the lottery of a penalty shootout.

And it was Bulwell who came out on top — winning 5-3 after an immaculate set of spot-kicks — to add the Notts Senior League (NSL) Senior Cup to the NSL Senior Division title.

The showpiece showdown at Arnold’s Eagle Valley Stadium on Tuesday night was set up to be an entertaining affair between two outfits who had amassed 249 goals between them this season.

But as is seemingly always the way, footballing irony took charge and the match finished in a 0-0 stalemate after normal time and 30 minutes of extra time.

Defences were on top throughout in front of a big crowd and the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock was when Linby’s top scorer, Matt Murphy, rattled the bar from the edge of the box with ten minutes of normal time remaining.

So it was down to which team would hold their nerve best in the penalty shootout.

That proved to be Bulwell as Jamie Moore, Jamie Walker, Jamie Carter, Connor Carter and Robbie England all beat Linby ‘keeper Scott Miles.

The fateful moment came for Linby when Murphy’s penalty was saved by Bulwell goalie Jamie Wheat, who pulled off a good stop diving to his left.

It proved crucial, despite successful finishes from Matt Peberday, Simon Marlow and Mark Jago.

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