Back to news

League News

Genclik Retain Bodkin Cup

  • 16/05/22
  • By Ryan Mills
Football image

Ashford Genclik 4-2 Brewmaster High Halden

Ashford Genclik survived a late Brewmaster fightback to comfortably run out 4-2 winners and retain the Bodkin Challenge Cup at Homelands Stadium on Sunday in a hugely entertaining clash between the two Premier Division heavyweights. Genclik deservedly led 2-0 at half time before adding a third goal early in the second period to strengthen their grip on the tie, but Brewmaster struck twice either side of an injury time Klaidi Krasniqi goal for Genclik to set up a thrilling finish as the game finished on a high with three goals in just three minutes.

A large crowd were in attendance to see Genclik win back-to-back titles having beaten Market Hotel in last season’s finale, and it was Bobby-Joe Taylor’s side that created the first chance when James Haylock-Ashdown’s looping cross into the box was bravely punched clear by Brews goalkeeper Darren Bailey but only as far as Genclik skipper Dion Orris who set Luke Burdon for a shot, but his powerful effort missed the target.

At the other end Brews winger Harry Linch was a constant threat down the left-hand side and played in Kieran Shrimpton, who turned onto his right foot just on the edge of the penalty area sending Genclik ‘keeper Stefan Lawrence scrambling to see the attempt just go wide of the upright.

Genclik took the lead in the 18th minute when Bailey’s goal kick was turned over and Luke Burdon raced towards goal breezing past two or three Brewmaster defenders before unselfishly squaring the ball across the face of goal for teammate Declan O’Driscoll to tap home from close range.

That kicked the Brews into action and John Ripley’s side enjoyed a decent ten-minute spell where they really stretched the opposition in the wide areas and should have got themselves back in the game at this point. A great counterattack midway through the first half saw Shrimpton feed the ball into the run of Harry Linch, and the skilful winger took the ball around the outside of Adam Phillips before cutting in and a getting a decent shot away that was easily dealt with by Lawrence. Shrimpton then went close with a rocket of a free kick bent around the wall but well saved by Lawrence before Lawrence was called into action again two minutes later saving from Shrimpton’s powerful drive through a crowded penalty area after Gary Mickelborough had intelligently headed down from Linch’s pinpoint cross from the left.

Brewmaster lived life on the edge at times and allowed Genclik a double chance at doubling their lead when Haylock-Ashdown’s delivery was brought down by Matt Burdon who saw his original effort saved by Darren Bailey before Dion Orris followed up only for his attempt to be blocked and go out for a corner. But Orris did eventually get his goal a minute later when Luke Burdon went around the outside of Brews defender Jamie Hurst before setting up the unmarked Orris to side foot home Genclik’s second goal of the afternoon.

Man of the match Luke Burdon added to his two assists with a goal of his own nine minutes into the second half when he timed his run in the box well to meet James Haylock-Ashdown’s in-swinging corner from the right at the near post to head home Genclik’s third and all but kill off the game. It could have been four with around a quarter of an hour left to play when defender Adam Phillips carried the ball deep into the Brews half before playing a one-two with substitute Klaidi Krasniqi, then playing in Orris on the left who crossed the ball into the box for Phillips to get in on the end of, but Bailey superbly got a hand to it to deny an excellent attacking move.

Brewmaster were handed a late lifeline in the 89th minute when Kieran Shrimpton was bundled over just inside the box, and the set-piece specialist made no mistake from 12-yards blasting the ball into the back of the net to spark some hope in a Brews comeback. But as the Brews threw numbers forward gaps understandably appeared at the back and Genclik took just 30 seconds to restore their three-goal lead when Haylock-Ashdown was again the architect setting up Krasniqi to slot home to put Genclik 4-1 ahead in the first minute of injury time.

Brews substitute Jorden Mbola scored from a lovely finish to make it 4-2 just over a minute later, and it was almost 4-3 seconds later when Shrimpton’s stinging effort just fizzed past the post with the goalkeeper beaten as Genclik, despite looking comfortable going into the closing stages, held on to see out the victory.