Pier seal League Cup glory after shootout success

West Pier celebrate winning the League Cup
West Pier celebrate winning the League Cup

West Pier held their nerve from the spot as they beat Newlands 4-3 on penalties to lift the League Cup after the sides drew 1-1 after extra-time.

Newlands were the brighter side in the first half, with Pier looking for a more direct approach.

Gaz Thomas' header struck the post from Martin Cooper's free-kick, before Newlands replied and twice keeper Scott Wardman was called into action to thwart Ryan Rivis.

Pier improved after the break, a neat move should've brought them the opener, but Neil Thomas blazed over the bar when well-placed.

Shortly after the holders should've broken the deadlock, this time Will Jenkinson firing well over the bar from close range.

The game was becoming more open and Newlands' keeper Sean Pinder did well to smartly save Niall Gibb's drive, before Geoff Nock's side raced down the other end of the pitch and Wardman again had to deny Rivis.

Gaz Thomas' first-time volley from the edge of the box then clipped the outside of the post, but with neither side unable to find a way through, the game went to extra-time.

Tempers started to flare as Newlands' Ricky Nock thundered into a series of robust challenges in front of the Pier bench and an altercation ensued.

Pier grabbed what they believed was the winner when sub Jamie Bradshaw drove straight through the Newlands defence and forced a save from Pinder, but the ball fell kindly for Jimmy Beadle to tap into an empty net and make it 1-0.

But there was more drama to come.

Newlands drove at Pier and linesman Kev Crick flagged to alert referee Stan Jackson to a foul on the edge of the box.

Park sub Drew McCoubrey slammed the resulting free-kick low and hard past Wardman, who was left seething by the decision and was sent off in the dramatic aftermath for dissent.

After calm was restored, Sean Exley came off the bench and took on the gloves before the full-time whistle blew following the centre.

It was Pier who held their nerve from the spit, despite Exley seeing his penalty saved by Pinder.

Sub keeper Exley saved superbly from Jack Ramos down to his left before keeping out Rivis' tame effort straight down the middle of the goal to seal the victory for Andy Spivey's men.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Ricky Nock sealed the Steve Coulson memorial trophy, but he was pushed by teammate Kile Fields for the award, while Pier weren't at their best, Will Jenkinson grafted hard in the centre of the park and Jamie Bradshaw made an impact off the bench.