Biggleswade FC 1 – 1 Biggleswade Town (3-5 on penalties): Waders triumphant after spot-kicks in first ever ‘Carlsberg Clasico’
PUBLISHED: 13:04 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:37 07 February 2018
Biggleswade Town booked their place in the Bedfordshire Senior Cup final, winning 5-3 on penalties over Biggleswade FC on a truly historic evening.
This Beds Cup semi-final witnessed the first ever meeting between the two sides that call the Carlsberg Stadium their home.
144 years into Biggleswade Town’s history, and less than two into Biggleswade FC’s, the fixture was dubbed the ‘Carlsberg Stadium Clasico’.
Goals from Reece Fielding for the Waders and Josh Holmes for FC sent the tie to penalties, and the Waders were clinical, triumphing 5-3 on penalties.
Waders boss Chris Nunn made three changes including benching Liam Brooks, but fielded a strong side, as the Waders prepare for another big day - a trip to Hereford FC’s famous Edgar Street on Saturday to play in front of 2,000 people.
As light snow fell gently on to the chewed up Langford Road pitch, the urgency in the players’ voices told how much the game truly meant and the game kicked-off in front of a strong, yet frozen, attendance of 208.
It wasn’t long before the first goal between the sides, as the Wader’s second minute corner was squeezed through to Doncaster Rovers loanee Reece Fielding nine-yards from goal, who found space to shoot on his left and tuck it into the corner for 1-0.
The step three team, in their orange away strip, were suited to the intensity of the first-half, with Greg Kaziboni thriving down the right. He dribbled through the entire FC team after 15 minutes, only for Jack Bowen to sky the squared pass over the empty net.
The thrilling action continued and FC’s hard work down the right paid off. Un-marked Ryan Inskip flashed a ball across the face of goal that evaded everyone except the late arriving Josh Holmes, who slotted in at the back-post for 1-1 with 23 minutes gone.
FC’s chances dried up in the latter part of the half, as the Waders pressed for their second goal. However, Kaziboni rattling the bar and a terrific Green save kept the scores level at the break.
The Waders - who were the people’s favourite according to a poll on talkSPORT’s twitter, winning 53-per-cent of over 2,500 votes - had the better chances in the first-half but FC’s competence in the final third kept would keep the away dugout worried.
The majority of the second-half was a calmer affair, and despite Nunn bringing on Brooks and club captain Craig Daniel, Dave Northfield’s men defended resolutely and after a frantic final five minutes came to nothing, step-five Biggleswade FC took step-three Town to a shoot-out.
The Waders were faultless in their spot-kicks, and Liam Gooch’s save from Tom Cookman’s effort prevented Nunn having to rue missed chances yet again.
The other semi-final between Bedford Town and Luton Town finished 1-0 to the League Two leaders after a late goal, confirming a Waders vs Hatters final.
It was an emotional night for FC, who were one spot-kick away from playing giants Luton in the final at Kenilworth Road less than two years after forming.
While Nunn was delighted with his team’s hunger and full of praise for FC, an immensely proud Northfield said: “We were great, we played our passing game and we pushed them all the way. This means so much to me.”