A bizarre own goal enabled Ferrybridge Progressive to add another trophy to their collection when they beat Fryston AFC 2-1 in the Oakworth Open Cup final.
The match started well for Fryston as they had the first chance. Striker James Lister latched onto an Ash Rycroft ball, but his shot was saved well by Prog keeper Adam Tasker. The Premier Division champions responded, but the Fryston defence held firm. Ferry did have one good chance as keeper Mark Edwards allowed the ball to slip from his grasp and was saved by a clearance off the line.
Jamie Bird also saw a shot knocked off the line by Paul McNamara and the half ended goalless.
But within a few minutes of the re-start Ferry broke the deadlock when Danny Middleton began a breakaway and fed Del Pollock, who squared the ball across the six-yard box for Bird to slide it home.
Fryston had a great chance of a swift reply when Lister was played in by a Ross Haywood loose pass across his back-line, but the defender was saved by his keeper as Tasker got down quickly to superbly save the low shot.
At the other end Middleton’s shot was tipped over by Edwards while Tasker then saved well again from Andy Blackwell’s header.
Then came the unfortunate own goal. Fryston felt that Andy Blackwell was fouled in the lead-up to a corner being conceded, but from the cross into the box by Middleton, Adam Blackwell’s attempted clearance saw the ball skew off his foot and spin into the net.
Staring defeat in the face, Fryston upped their game. They had Prog back-peddling which resulted in a free-kick being given-away. Rycroft sent in the cross from the right which Ferrybridge failed to clear. The ball came to Ad Blackwell and he hit a powerful shot that seemed goal-bound until it struck Liam Cooper in the back before being cleared.
Progressive were now happy to soak-up anything Fryston threw at them and then try to hit them on the break, but tidy defending from the likes of Andy Blackwell and Andy Burrow, made sure they were kept at bay. As the half ticked into its last 15 minutes, good work from Fryston saw Lee Hudson push a ball forward towards Cooper, who in turn fed Ad Blackwell in support. Blackwell’s shot wasn’t the best but neither was the clearance that followed, as it fell to Rycroft on the left. He floated in a left-footed cross back into the box and there was Blackwell to redeem himself and side-foot volley home a great goal. Now it was game-on.
It was mostly now all Fryston, although Ferry did get a chance when Kris Sleight shot well wide and another snap-shot was sent well clear of the bar, but the rest of the match saw Fry pushing for the equaliser.
They had now gone to three-at-the-back and pushed Burrow up to partner Cooper and Lister and the big man was unlucky to see an effort just go over when he beat Tasker to the ball after he out-stretched a leg to meet a deflected Lister shot. A forty-yard pass by sub Matty Midgley, not long after, set Lister away down the right, but the forward’s cross-cum-shot sailed over the bar. Then a Burrow free-kick was punched clear by Tasker, as Fryston piled forward in the final ten minutes.
Another sub Mikey McNamara created the best opportunity of the lot when, with time ticking-away and Ferrybridge looking to run the ball into the corners, he put Cooper away with a great ball down-the-middle. The usually prolific Fryston striker rid a last-ditch attempt at a tackle and found himself with only Tasker to beat as he entered the box. Rushing out quickly to meet Cooper, Tasker made a fantastic save to deny the striker and probably won the cup there and then.
Although in the last couple of minutes Fryston pumped balls into the box, Ferrybridge defended stoutly to win their third trophy of the season, those being the Premier Division crown, the Bob Smith Founders Cup and now the Oakworth Open Cup. There was little between the sides, but in the end Ferry had the bit of luck needed to make the difference and in the impressive Carr they had the Official MOM.
For Fryston, none tried harder than James Lister to win the cup for them and he took the Jill & Andy’s Premier Store MOM for his performance.
With a new era under a new manager about to start, with Trevor Adamson now moving to get the new Fryston Saturday side up-and-running, they know that with a little more consistency they are well placed to push Ferrybridge all the way again next season.