Hucknall Town’s bid to add the league cup to their champions’ crown was thwarted in an amazing thriller against Pinxton on Sunday.
Town came back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to force the final into extra-time, which ended 4-4. But they were pipped in a dramatic penalty-shootout, 5-4, by a plucky Pinxton side who had earlier been reduced to ten men by a red card for defender Liam Green.
Pinxton’s hero was man-of-the-match striker Kieran Debrouwer, who fired a hat-trick.
Andy Graves’s Yellows were hot favourites to lift the cup, especially after completing the double over their opponents during the season en route to the Central Midlands League, South Division title.
But Pinxton had finished a respectable third after also knocking Town out of the Phoenix Trophies Floodlit Cup in another goal-packed tie, 4-3, and they stunned the champions by racing into a two-goal lead inside the opening 12 minutes of the final, which was held at Alfreton Town’s ground.
It was 3-1 at half-time, despite a goal from Yellows’ best player on the day, Jamie Crawford, but Town stormed back in the second period thanks to strikes from Oliver Brown and substitute Adam Nelson.
Another sub, Ethan Greenidge, was on the scoresheet in extra-time when Town again came from behind. But amid nailbiting tension, Pinxton edged the shootout.
TOWN LINE-UP -- Jablonski/ Maxwell, Jenkins, Leak, Philips, Sims, Crawford, Danso, Brian, Newton, Brown. Subs: Greenidge, Nelson, Smith, Randal, Gatland.