Albion’s double hopes hit by Crane’s late strike

Josh Christlow wins a tackle.
Josh Christlow wins a tackle.

A goal five minutes from time ended Albion FC’s hopes of completing a league and cup double.

The Bridlington side, in their first season, had already wrapped up the East Riding County League Division One, losing only two games during the campaign.

But they went into Saturday’s HE Dean Cup final at Queensgate as underdogs, against Wawne United Reserves, who had achieved an identical record in winning the Premier Division.

Despite the odds being stacked against them, it was Albion who opened the scoring, just after the quarter-of-an-hour mark.

Josh Christlow was sent clear down the right and once he cut into the penalty area, he cut back inside on to his left foot and fired a low shot across keeper Gav Elliot.

Christlow almost added a second, but saw his shot bounce back off the post.

Craig Young

Craig Young

Albion had lost defender Steve Russell to injury, and moments later Wawne’s prolific striker Matty Crane broke the offside trap, rounded keeper Nick van Heerden and slotted into the empty net.

Albion’s top scorer Jake Day then thundered a rocket of a shot from 25 yards against the crossbar, as Albion gave as good as they got in the first 45 minutes.

Crane saw another goal disallowed, not only was he offside but his diving header was actually put into the net with his hand.

Albion were grateful to full back Alex Staveley for a goalline clearance in the opening seconds of the second half, and then Day had a wonderful chance to regain the lead.

Jake Day

Jake Day

Sent free by Christlow, he hit his effort at Elliot when one-on-one.

Albions were pushed further and further back as the game went on, but with no extra time in the HE Dean, they looked as if they could hold on for a penalty shoot-out.

But with five minutes to go, a header dropped to Crane and he flashed a stunning half-volley into the bottom corner from outside the area for his 60th goal of the season.

Down to 10 men, after Louis Gregory’s injury with no substitutes left on the bench, Albion couldn’t muster one last attack and it was Wawne who lifted the trophy.

Louis Gregory

Louis Gregory

Man of the match: Joe Huyton.

Albion FC would like to thank their sponsors, Prospect Property Care and Paul Scott Plumbing and Heating, for their support over the season and all the staff at the Albion pub for their hard work.