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Hall overcome M.K;the weather & penalty shoot out to book their first H.A.Holmes League cup final since 1988
Eventually beat a gallant M.K.United 5-4 on penalties after their H.A.Holmes League Cup semi final had ended 2-2 after extra time.Hall got off to a flier after good work from Vinny Ruggerio down the right, saw Steven Forsyth turn in his cross at the near post after just two minutes.Hall had started the brighter, and on eight minutes had doubled their lead through Ryan Porter after a succession of Hall chances had caused panic in the M.K penalty area.It was Porter's first goal for the club and what a time to get it.Hall continued to have the better of the half but the warning signs appeared ten minutes before the break with Hall becoming sloppy in possession giving M.K.encouragement that all was not lost.Half time 2-0.
The management heeded the warning at the break that the game was far from won ,but alas the message went unheeded.M.K pulled a goal back within ten minutes of the re-start to set the game on a knife edge.Hall dug deep in defending well,plenty of effort but the momentum had gone.Hall had their moments but it was M.K.who were making most of the running and it was no surprised when they equalised to force extra time.Hall had to replace both full backs Sam Mellor and Johnny Rix with injuries in the worsening heavy conditions, with Darren O'Grady and Jamie Gallant in the latter stages.Score at 90 mins. 2-2
In extra time both sides cancelled each other out,both struggling with not only determined opponents but with atrocious weather conditions.A third blizzard of the afternoon was particularly heavy during the extra 20 minutes.Score at 110 mins.2-2.
The penalty shoot out saw all Hall players convert their penalties(Rob Leggett,Richard Jepps,Sam Betts,Steven Forsyth and Vinny Ruggerio),with Hall keeper Karl Betts becoming the hero with three magnificent saves( although two were re-taken and converted, Betts having deemed to be off his line),but it was the ONE he got right that made the difference to make Hall victorious in the shoot out 5-4.
Not one of Hall's better performances overall, but all 13 players involved played their part on a day when only the result mattered.Special mention of Karl Betts in the shoot out showing what a fine shot stopper he is,but Hall MOM Rob Leggett who was magnificent at the back.
Final - Wednesday 5th April kick off 7.30pm at the Wellesley v Freethorpe/White Horse.