The eagerly anticipated Fountain Trophies Senior Cup Final between the Wiltshire Senior League’s top two teams lived up to its star billing, with plenty of goals and drama.
A large crowd at Southbank Ground in Corsham, the traditional venue for the cup final gathered and were almost rewarded with a goal in the opening few minutes when Wroughton’s leading goalscorer Shane Hibbert smashed an overhead kick against the Kintbury bar.
Wroughton went close again a couple of minutes later when a short free-kick routine taken by Riegan Cook found Jamie McLaughlin, whose shot was saved by Kintbury keeper Kyle Clough.
At the other end, Kintbury looked at their most dangerous from set pieces, either from long throw-ins into the box or corners.
Just before the 10-minute mark, they had a spell where they had four corners in succession, but they were unable to make it count, captain Shaun Thorp just failing to get on the end of the last of the four corners.
The next attack went Wroughton’s way and Aaron Maximen fed in Kyle Parker, but his cross come shot went wide of the left-hand post.
Once again at the other end it was corners that were causing the Wroughton defence problems and Shaun Thorp headed just wide from one such corner.
The veteran striker was again involved in the next Kintbury chance picking up a poor goal kick and feeding his fellow strike partner George Smith, whose dangerous cross from the right into the box looked to have come off a Wroughton defender but unfortunately for Kintbury a goal kick was given.
It was all Kintbury now as they dominated possession and put the Wroughton defence under sustained pressure for a 10-minute spell.
Wroughton did manage to create an attack on 22 minutes and earned a free kick in a dangerous position, Riegan Cook finding the head of Tom Dingle but his effort went wide of the right-hand post.
A couple of minutes later the deadlock was finally broken and it was not surprising that it came from a Kintbury corner, although it should have been cleared by the Wroughton defence.
Instead though Kintbury’s Fabio Pinto got his head on the loose ball and headed into the Wroughton net for his third in the cup competition this season and his 14th of the season.
Soon after the goal and incident involving Kintbury’s Stephen Blunt and Wroughton’s Riegan Cook saw Cook become the first player to go into the referee’s book.
Moments later Kintbury’s Liam Thorne also found his name in referee Sam Hunt’s book following a strong tackle on Wroughton’s Chris Flannagan. Alex Smith quickly followed his team mate into the referee’s notebook moments later when a free kick was given against him as the game threatened to boil over.
When matters settled down again, it was Wroughton who went to close to scoring an equaliser. Tyler Wilkinson saw a shot rebound to him and his volley back at goal went just wide of the left-hand post.
Wroughton continued to press for an equaliser and Tom Dingle played in Riegan Cook but the youngster saw his quickly-taken shot sail way over the bar.
Kintbury continued to look dangerous from their long throw-ins into the box and at corners and it was again no surprise when they extended their lead from another such corner.
This time it was Jamie Gannon who got on the end of a George Smith corner to make it 2-0 to Kintbury and it remained that way at the break.
Having found themselves two down at the break it quickly got worse for Wroughton a minute after the restart. George Smith broke down the right for Kintbury and as he crossed the ball into the box he was caught by the Wroughton defender. The cross sailed over all those in the box, but the referee had pointed to the spot for a foul on Smith.
Wroughton’s Gareth Davies joined the list of players in the referee’s notebook as a result of the challenge while Shaun Thorp stepped up to take the penalty and fired it powerfully into the roof of the net giving Wroughton keeper Callum Wilkinson no chance.
Despite the set back Wroughton responded well and took the game to Kintbury as they started to play their normal flowing football that had been missing in that opening period.
They got themselves back into the game when Tom Price fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area to make it 3-1. Shortly afterwards it got even better as Wroughton were awarded their own penalty for a foul in the box. Aaron Maximen stepped up and coolly chipped the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net, sending keeper Kyle Clough the wrong way to make it 3-2.
Wroughton immediately continued to press and were awarded another free kick right on the edge of the box which saw Kintbury’s Thorne pick up a second booking for disputing the decision and receiving his marching orders. Another Kintbury player also picked up a yellow card in the incident. Unfortunately for Wroughton, Riegan Cook’s powerful and low free kick was fired straight into the Kintbury wall and the ball was cleared.
Despite the one-man disadvantage, Kintbury continued to be adventurous on the break and nearly extended their lead 10 minutes from time when Alex Smith fired in a shot from 25 yards that went just wide of the post.
Substitute Alistair Thorp then went on a mazy run into the Wroughton box, went down but the hopeful calls for a penalty from the Kintbury fans behind the goal line fell on deaf ears.
Instead it was to be a penalty incident at the other end which would ultimately decide the game. A Wroughton shot into the box was adjudged to have hit a Kintbury hand and again the referee pointed to the penalty spot. It looked harsh on the defender as the ball was struck at him from close in but penalty was the decision.
Having successfully scored the first penalty Aaron Maximen again stepped up to take the spot kick. However, this time he went for power and the other side of the goal but fired it at a height which enabled keeper Kyle Clough to pull off a great save to maintain his side’s lead.
Wroughton continued to press for the equaliser and five minutes from time Shane Hibbert got on the end of a cross from the right but his header went agonisingly wide for the league leaders.
Despite the obvious Wroughton pressure Kintbury remained dangerous on the break with captain Thorp doing particularly well to hold up the ball and take pressure off his defence.
The wily striker earned his side a free kick about 30 yards out. Fellow strike partner George Smith took the resulting free kick and fired in a powerful strike that went over. Within minutes there was another free-kick from a similar position and distance and once again Smith made an audacious and powerful strike on goal from distance which this time went just wide of the post.
There was still time for a couple of further chances for Wroughton. Riegan Cook engineered a shot for himself on the edge of the box but his shot struck a Kintbury defender and out to safety. The final chance of the game fell to Tom Dingle who got on the end of a cross into the box but again for Wroughton his header went agonisingly just wide of the post. The final whistle saw wild celebrations from the Kintbury players and supporters.
The only consolation for the losing finalists Wroughton is that they can be crowned the new champions this coming week as the two sides meet again in the league on Tuesday night.
Report: MARK SMEDLEY
Click on the video below to watch these highlights.