3:06pm Wednesday 16th April 2014
East Gwent Senior League
Benevolent Cup semi-finals
TWO second-half penalties slotted home by Josh Downing gained revenge for Underwood over Severn Tunnel A at Rogiet.
The teams had clashed a few days earlier in a Centenary Cup quarter-final at the same venue, Tunnel emerging 2-1 winners.
On Saturday, this time in a Benevolent Cup semi-final, the two teams were a well-matched and on a pitch badly in need of a cut especially on the wings, the main action took place through the middle.
Tunnel keeper Neil Hughes made a couple of good saves towards the end of the first half but soon after the restart Kyle Brown gave the visitors the lead, hammering the ball home from 25 yards.
Then came the first of two penalties both given away by Tunnel defender Stephen Lane. As Dave Jackson attempted to stab the ball past Hughes, Lane appeared to haul him back. Lane said Jackson tripped over his own foot but referee Mark Pring pointed to the spot and Downing despatched the ball.
Tunnel reduced the arrears and might have had a penalty of their own when Tom Atkins was fouled, the referee decided the offence occurred outside the box. That was the last of Atkins however and although Tunnel pushed for an equaliser, they failed to produce one.
Lane earned a second yellow card – although he agreed later it should have been a straight red, when he fouled Downing when he was through on goal, the Underwood ace having treatment on the injury before sending Hughes the wrong way from the spot.
Underwood will meet Undy, who beat Tintern Abbey 4-2 in the other semi, in the final on Friday, April 25, at Caldicot Town’s ground.
Undy manager Ben Garner admitted his team would be the underdogs but believed his men deserve the opportunity to play in a final after a great improvement over the last few games.
“We are playing a lot better and the Abbey result was a good illustration of how hard we work," he said. "We are playing better football and the lads deserved to win a place in the final."
Undy’s goals came from Richard Regulski, Tom Moore, Andrew Tucker and Lee Harris.
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