Wharton Arms beat Northumberland Athletic in penalty shoot-out

Wharton Arms Bedlington won the Morpeth Sunday League George Cave Memorial Cup at HMP Acklington on Sunday.

In a hard fought final, Wharton overcame Northumberland Athletic 4-3 on penalties after the game finished 0-0 after 120 minutes.

The match, sponsored by Sodexo Justice Services, was played on a pitch well worthy of hosting a cup final in glorious weather and, in spite of the venue, a decent size crowd.

The opening exchanges were well contested with referee Paul Keogh having to calm things down on one occasion.

Scoring opportunities were few and far between until halfway through the first half when Northumberland Athletic were awarded a penalty and it looked as though the deadlock would be broken.

But this was not the case as Liam Douglas pulled off a good save to keep the game scoreless.

Not long afterwards Athletic hit the bar and were just about on top, although just after this their goalkeeper Dan Staples pulled off a good save and the half ended all square at 0-0

The second half was quite a scrappy affair, but there were still some chances created.

Staples made a cracking double save and Wharton hit the bar, while there were goal line clearances at both ends.

At the end of normal time the teams were still locked in a stalemate, and 30 minutes of extra time passed but with neither side being able to break the deadlock and the game went to a penalty shoot-out.

Wharton were 3-2 ahead after the first five spot kicks were successful, but then Athletic missed their third penalty.

However, Staples then saved the Wharton’s fourth and Athletic scored to make it 3-3.

Both teams missed their fifth penalties and it went to ‘sudden death’ with both teams missing their sixth attempts.

Wharton then scored their seventh and Athletic missed theirs to give Wharton the win 4-3 on penalties.

Northumberland Athletic have finished runners-up in two finals this season.

Thanks went to the four match officials who did a great job and donated their fees to the Goerge Cave Cup Fund, as have all the Morpeth Sunday League cup final officials this season.

The season is now over with Amble Tavern having won the first division and Bedlington Barrington finishing runners-up.

The second division has been won by North End Trap with East Chevington runners-up. However, both of these clubs are leaving the league along with Amble Dock, Ashington Conchie, The Elephant and Morpeth Riverside.

Thanks also went to all the referees who have helped through the season, and whose essential contribution was appreciated.

Also thanks also to Blitz Beauty Salons, Nu-Heat North East Limited, Sodexo Justice Services and Sportsguard Insurance Services who sponsored the four cup finals this season.