Bohemians enjoyed a thrilling cup victory over heavy favourites Wark with a deserved victory on a beautiful evening at Haydon Bridge in front of a large partisan crowd at Haydon Bridge. This is only the third major cup the club has won since 1894! In the 1960’s the Northern Amateur and Northern Amateur League Cup had been secured.
I arrived near half time to hear the exciting and welcome news that fittingly the team’s longest serving player, record scorer; Danny Sherwood had fired the Bohs ahead. Within seconds of my arrival Dan Corcoron swung in a spectacular free kick from wide on the right to leave Wark’s nervous keeper floundering, this was a start of a crazy 10 minutes which resulted in four more goals and a sending off. Minutes later Man of the Match Craig Ewart exploited further indecision in the Wark defence to finish clinically and give Bohs an amazing 3-0 lead, unfortunately within second Wark were given a foothold back in the game when a rash challenge by the otherwise outstanding Paul Menton conceded a free kick in a dangerous area which was headed in from close range. A Wark player then was dismissed for swearing at the referee to put Bohs firmly back in the driving seat but Wark kept battling and 10 second s before half time were awarded a penalty when the ball took an unfortunate bounce and hit the helpless Matthew Buckley high on the arm, this was clinically dispatched.
The next goal was going to be crucial and Wark came out firing in the second half displaying the quality and desire that has made then runaway leaders of the league all season. At times it looked as if Bohs were down to 10 as Wark dominated possession but Bohs always looked dangerous on the break with Sherwood and Ewart in particular, as Wark flung men forward. As well as Wark played and as much of the ball they had they created few clear chances due to the tremendous defending and resilience of the spirited Bohemian team. It would be unfair to pick out one individual as every man ran himself into the ground for the club. The back three of club captain Shaun Cavanagh, Thomas Webb and sweeper Buckley were absolutely magnificent throughout blocking everything that was thrown at them. Tom Cullen marked the dangerous winger out of the game; John Elliott in the other wing back position used the ball intelligently before being replaced by the energetic Andy Parkinson. Paul Menton and Brendan Mallie competed superbly in the centre of midfield while Corcoron proved an invaluable link between the midfield and strikers. Bohs grabbed some breathing space when Ewart stole in at the near post to score from a short corner. Wark continued to batter the Bohs goal, winning countless corners but bar one effort that flew in a top scorer were continually frustrated by a wall of red and white. Wark kept going to the end but Bohs were more than a match for everything that was thrown at them, tellingly I can only remember Pearson having one real save to make the whole second half such were the efforts of the men in front of them.
The final whistle went to the delight of all red and white and the minority of the crowd. I know I am very biased but in my opinion Bohemians thoroughly deserved to win, we defended like lions and created more chances. Praise to every player and the management team, in particular Phil Kyle who has worked tirelessly for the club all season. I was delighted that all his hard work has been rewarded with this tremendous cup victory. Special thanks to Joe Hogdon for coming down from Scotland to be on the bench too.
All the very best
Bohemians (3 4 1 2)R Pearson, T Webb, M Buckley, S Cavanagh,J Elliott (A Parkinson), P Menton (capt), B Mallie, T Cullan, D Corcoron 1, C Ewart 2, D Sherwood 1 subs not used J Hogdon and M Menton
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