Aylesbury Flooring lifted the 2019 FA Sunday Cup title, after a thrilling comeback win against Birstall Stamford in the Final at Peterborough.
The Berkhamsted Sunday League outfit’s strong second-half display eventually saw off the challenge of Leicestershire-based Stamford, who enjoyed a 1-0 lead at the interval.
Flooring didn’t equalise until the 77th minute, but from that moment on, with the momentum in their favour they stepped up a gear to deservedly lift the trophy.
- The FA Sunday Cup Final
- Sunday 28 April 2019
- ABAX Stadium, Peterborough United
Yet Birstall can claim, with some justification, that had events followed a slightly different course the side from the Leicester and Charnwood Premier Division could instead have got their hands on the cup.
In the early exchanges, coherent play was at a premium, but once both sides grew accustomed to the occasion and the excellent playing surface of an EFL League One ground, the spectators witnessed a game of high skill and drama.
Birstall, after being on the defensive, started to make inroads of their own and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 29th minute when Ryan Seal took control of the ball before steering it into the corner of the net.
Aylesbury then made crucial changes to their formation for the second half, re-instating their inspirational skipper Alex Kedzierski back into midfield and adopting a more attacking stance.
Birstall could have extended their lead when following a mesmerising run from midfield by Seal, Paul Pallett blasted over when well positioned.
The Birstall defence was well regimented and appeared to be handling anything Aylesbury could throw at them, but in the 77th minute their failure to execute a clearance from a corner would prove costly.
With the Birstall keeper Elliott Shilliam distracted by the number of players in front of him, a shot by Ollie Hogg from the edge of the area was trickling goalwards before Ty Deacon made doubly sure by forcing the ball home.
Pallett then had an opportunity to re-establish Birstall’s advantage in a breakaway move, but his effort flashed past a post.
With the Final seemingly destined for extra time, Birstall’s Shilliam collected a high ball from a delivery into the middle in a manner that referee Michael Salisbury, after consulting with his assistant, considered worthy of awarding penalty kick.
Ryan Freshwater duly tucked away the resulting spot kick and with Birstall striving frantically to find a late leveller, in added time added, Aylesbury’s Lynton Goss sprinted clear before deftly chipping the on-rushing Shilliam to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Aylesbury Flooring FC: (4-4-2) 1 Liam Smith; 2 Jack Page, Ryan Freshwater, Jordan Jenkins, Mitchell Collins; Daniel Parsons, Alex Kedzierski, Ollie Hogg, Lynton Goss; Ty Deacon, Dave Brown
Substitutes: 14 for Neil Roberts for Jenkins 13, 15 Ben Seaton for Brown 48, 12 Taylor Collins for Parsons 90+3
Substitutes not used: 16 Billy Harrison, GK Ashley Jenkins
Manager: George Tomlin
Goals: Deacon 77, Freshwater 87, Goss 90+3
Birstall Stamford FC: (4-4-2) 1 Elliott Shiliam; 2 Jack Lane, 5 James Dodd, 6 Carl Sibson, 3 Reif Armstrong; 11 Reece Morris, 7 Adam Parry, 4 Lee Barrett, 8 Charlie Young; 10 Ryan Seal, 9 Paul Pallett
Substitutes: 18 Lewis Dodd for Barrett 52, 16 Ethan Bibby for Parry, 14 Dan Jelly for Morris 83
Substitutes not used: 12 Lewis Ballard, 20 Rikki Bates
Managers: Sean Lynch & Nick Varman
Goal: Seal 29
Referee: Michael Salisbury