Daly fires Langford to Division One Cup victory
PUBLISHED: 16:30 13 April 2017
Pat Daly’s scrambled late winner help Langford claim their first silverware in nine years, squeezing past Wodson Park 1-0 in the SSML Division One Cup final at London Colney’s Cotlandswick Playing Fields on Wednesday night, writes Tom Sharp.
With this hard-fought, but ultimately stodgy affair, heading for extra time the prolific striker popped up to grab his 37th goal of the season four minutes from the end after substitute Dylan Gittens’ clubbing shot had been parried by keeper Simon Dent.
A goal that late was always going to be harsh on the losers but in truth Phil Childs’ men just did enough to shade victory, twice seeing Daly shots cleared off the line before the eventual headline-grabbing strike to secure the cup.
The game pitted the fourth-placed Reds, winless in their previous five games in all competitions, against a Park side eighth in the Division One pecking order and it was the slight underdogs who had the better of the opening exchanges.
Karl Gudgin tipped Matthew Ellis’ fifth-minute header over the bar while Craig Knightly’s cross-shot agonisingly dropped the wrong side of the upright.
The next real moment of note came just beyond the half-hour when Steven Redmond’s chipped pass found Daly who rounded the keeper but could not get the better of the man on the line.
That let-off sparked Ware-based Park and two minutes later striker Oliver Babbage left Gudgin’s crossbar shuddering after a terrific close-range effort.
Following the nervy opening 45 minutes, both sides re-emerged with more grit and Harry Bushell was left with his head in his hands after failing to connect with Jordan Halls’ cross-shot when no more than three yards out.
Langford’s Connor Waite exhibited similar exasperation moments later when he fired wide when well placed in the box.
One goal was always going to be enough and Daly again thought he’d found it 15 minutes from the end but this time he was denied by Ellis’ goal-line heroics.
It was third time lucky for Daly in the end as he instinctively latched onto Gittens’ leftovers several yards from goal with what was the killer blow for the Forde Park outfit.